Member Blogs > Journey of a BooksellerA Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

  • Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:00:00    Permalink
    Veronica chases butterflies.  Don't laugh.  She's traveled all over the world and is good enough at it she gets paid for her specimens.  She's come home to care for her aunt, who was in declining health.  As she attends the funeral, she's already planning her next trip.  That all goes awry when she finds someone destroying the house.  She tries to fight him off, he tries to abduct her, and it's only when the strange man at the funeral comes to her rescue that things right themselves.  When the man says she needs to go to London with him, she's OK with that.  She was already packed after all.

    Penguin Books sent me a copy of this book to review (thank you).  It will be published September 1st, so you don't have to wait long to get a copy.

    Ms. Raybourn has created a great character.  Veronica Speedwell is smart, fiesty, and unafraid.  She even has the gall to consider herself smarter and better than most men.  She's already had some sexual encounters in her travels so she's hard to intimidate.  She likes being independent and pursuing her own goals; she needs no one else.

    When the strange man tells her he knew her mother, she's anxious to get some details.  She grew up with two "aunts" who were really just caretakers.  She has no idea about her past and would like to learn more.  Unfortunately, the man who offered to tell her more later delivers her to a friend of his and says he'll be back the next day.  He doesn't even survive that night.

    The man he has settled her with is big and strong and as opinionated as she is.  He didn't want her there but he owed the man.  So he lets her in.  He's a taxidermist and he's working on an elephant at the moment.  When they find out that the man has been killed, they go on the run.

    This is an exciting and fascinating tale.  Neither character is traditional; neither one trusts the other.  But to stay alive, they keep on the move and take shelter where they can.  No one is telling the truth.  No one is really on their side.  They have to learn to trust each other.

    The mystery at the core of this story was unusual.  I wasn't expecting the political upper class to get involved.  I really liked how the two odd characters became a team by the end of the story.  I also see more potential for future stories, and I can't wait.  I want to read more about this feisty couple.

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