Book Review: A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION​

A Dangerous Collaboration Image

A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION

A Veronica Speedwell Series (Book 4)

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Publisher’s Page for Veronica Speedwell Mystery Series

Publisher’s Author Page

Publication Date: 03.12.2019

Genre: Mystery & Suspense > Romance

Page Count: 336 Pages

ISBN -13: 9780451490735

 Pre-Order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, Walmart, Penguin Random House

My Rating: 5 Stars

Deanna RayburnAbout the Author (From Publisher’s Page): Deanna Raybourn is the author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling Lady Julia Grey series, currently in development for television; the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries, including A Treacherous Curse, A Perilous Undertaking, and A Curious Beginning; and several stand-alone novels. She lives in Virginia with her family. Contact Deanna Rayburn.

Deanna Raybourn Bio (From Author’s Website): A sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn grew up in San Antonio where she met her college sweetheart. She married him on her graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation at the age of twenty-three, she wrote her first novel, and after three years as a teacher, Deanna left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time. Fourteen years and many, many rejections after her first novel, she signed two three-book deals with MIRA Books.

Deanna’s debut novel, Silent in the Grave, published in January 2007. The first in the Silent series, the book introduces Lady Julia Grey, an aristocrat bent on investigating the mysterious death of her husband with the help of the enigmatic private enquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane. From the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to a Gypsy camp on Hampstead Heath, Silent in the Grave deftly captures the lush ambiance of Victorian London.

The series continues with the second book, Silent in the Sanctuary (January 2008), a classic English country house murder mystery with a few twists and turns for Brisbane and Lady Julia along the way. Silent on the Moor (March 2009), set in a grim manor house on the Yorkshire moors, is the third adventure for Lady Julia and the mysterious Brisbane.

March 2010 saw a departure from the series with the release of The Dead Travel Fast, a mid-Victorian Gothic thriller that features novelist Theodora Lestrange as she leaves the safety and security of her Edinburgh home for the dark woods and haunted castles of Transylvania. Deanna turns once more to Lady Julia and her companions with Dark Road to Darjeeling (October 2010) which features an exotic setting in the foothills of the Himalayas and the introduction of an arch-villain. The fifth book in the series, The Dark Enquiry, follows the return of Lady Julia and Brisbane to London for their most puzzling adventure yet. The Dark Enquiry hit the New York Times Bestseller list the week before its official release in July 2011. The digital exclusive novella Silent Night, published in November 2012, is a bright Christmas adventure set in Julia’s ancestral home in the Sussex countryside.

Deanna’s next release, A Spear of Summer Grass (May 2013), chronicles the adventures of a scandalous flapper heroine in Africa and the lives she changes along the way. It is listed as one of Goodreads’ most highly anticipated books of 2013 and was preceded by Far in the Wilds, an exclusive digital prequel novella (March 2013). A Spear of Summer Grass received a starred review from Library Journal. Deanna carried on the theme of 1920s adventure with City of Jasmine (2014) and Night of a Thousand Stars (2014), but is delighted to return to Victorian London with the September 2015 hardcover release of A Curious Beginning, the first mystery featuring butterfly-hunting sleuth, Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian sidekick, Stoker. Veronica returned in 2017’s A Perilous Undertaking, and A Treacherous Curse, 2018. Don’t miss her next adventure, A Dangerous Collaboration, in March 2019.

Deanna’s novel Silent in the Grave won the 2008 RITA® Award for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best First Mystery. The Lady Julia Grey series has been nominated for several other awards, including an Agatha, three Daphne du Mauriers, a Last Laugh, four additional RITAs, and two Dilys Winns. Dark Road to Darjeeling was also a finalist for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery as well as a Romantic Reviews’ finalist for Best Book of 2010. In April 2015, the Lady Julia books were optioned for development as a television series in the UK by Free@Last TV. A Treacherous Curse, the third Veronica Speedwell Mystery, was nominated for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Follow Deanna Raybourn on Author’s Website, Author’s Blog, Instagram, Twitter

Book Description (From Publisher’s Page): A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.

But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance.

From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner.

Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…

Other books in the Veronica Speedwell Mystery Series: 

A Treacherous CurseA Treacherous Curse: Book 3 (02.12.2019) Members of an Egyptian expedition fall victim to an ancient mummy’s curse in this thrilling Veronica Speedwell novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries. 

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything…

A Perilous UndertakingA Perilous Undertaking (01.10.2017): The “wickedly clever and devilishly amusing”* Veronica Speedwell returns for a rousing adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries.

London, 1887. At the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task—saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Ramsforth, accused of the brutal murder of his mistress, Artemisia, will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if the real killer is not found.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural-historian colleague, Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer. From a Bohemian artists’ colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed…

A Curious BeginningA Curious Beginning: Book 1 (09.01.2015): In her thrilling new series, Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England…and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.

London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

Note: Deanna Raybourn is currently on tour and can be found at the following locales through 03.19.2019:  

March 12, 7:00pm | The Ripped Bodice | Los Angeles, CA | The Ripped Bodice

March 13, 7:00pm |The Poisoned Pen |Scottsdale, AZ | The Poisoned Pen

March 14, 6:30pm | Murder by the Book | Houston, TX | Murder by the Book

March 16, 2:00pm |Fountain Bookstore |Richmond, VA | Preordered signed copies of A Dangerous Collaboration will come with an exclusive gift! Pre-orders must be received by midnight, Monday, March 11th! Pre-order now at Fountain Bookstore

March 19, 6:30pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN | Parnassus Books |**In conversation with Ariel Lawhon

Be sure to follow Deanna Raybourn’s Tours Page on her website for a listing of future tours. 

My Review: 

A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book in the Veronica Speedwell Series, which when I first began to read this novel I felt it was a disadvantage for me as I had not read Raybourn’s first three novels. Initially, it was as if I were feeling my way through the dark. I had heard many great things about this series; however, to be honest, I have to admit that I had a difficult time getting into the novel when I began reading A Dangerous Collaboration, which is no fault due to Raybourn’s writing ability.

Deanna Raybourn writes elegantly and does so in a way that if you have ever been privy to interact with the aristocratic society of Britain, you find she writes as the social class presents itself, whether it be 19th century Britain or the aristocrats and royals of today. Raybourn, like a good deal of literature being written today, also writes her protagonist’s character, Veronica Speedwell, as a strong, independent woman with ambitions and wanting to be on equal footing with her male counterparts.

I am not intimating that Veronica was a part of the 19th-century women’s suffragists and suffragette movement; however, her desire for equality with her male counterparts correlated with the action of the 19th-century suffragists and suffragettes call for co-equality. This continues in the U.S. today; however, it was the #METOO movement that fostered a renewed sense of standing up and speaking up for change in regards to women’s rights and co-equality that the women’s suffragette had initiated more than one hundred years ago. It’s interesting that I have read more books in the last couple of years where the author’s protagonist is a strong and independent woman, as is the case of Veronica Speedwell.

It was clear from the beginning of A Dangerous Collaboration that Veronica and Stoker were mutually attracted to one another; although, they had a peculiar way of revealing this by disguising their true feelings for one another through playful sparrings that were not obvious to either Veronica or Stoker as playful. The relationship between these two characters was amusing. It was the laughable squabbles between Veronica and Stocker that kept me chuckling and wanting more in the beginning.

However, A Dangerous Collaboration is about so much more than the hidden amorous feelings between these two characters, but the book’s description provides you with what you need to know without me spoiling the story behind the novel. The more I read I realized that as any well-written series, Raybourn had met and exceeded the literary challenges of writing a book series. I cannot speak to books one through three; however, book four, A Dangerous Collaboration exceeded the prerequisites of what makes a for a successful series. Although initially, I found myself floundering, a result of my not reading the three preceding novels; the more I read, the more drawn into A Dangerous Collaboration I became.

Raybourn’s characters were not static but were dynamic in characteristics, personalities, and dialogue, and moved with precision with the plot. The same can be said of Raybourn’s scenes as she weaved the themes into her story without skimping on detail. However, the characters were numerous, and I finally broke down and made a list of who was whom to keep myself from becoming confused and distracted. Again, this is not a knock on Raybourn’s creative and imaginative writing ability; this was on me for choosing the fourth book of a series to read and review.

I wish I had read the first three novels of the Veronica Speedwell series before reading A Dangerous Collaboration. I would then be able to speak to the equilibrium of the series and note whether books in the series referenced complications from the plot of the previous books. With that said, it was clear that A Danger Collaboration had its own plot and conclusion.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Publishers, Deanna Raybourn and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review A Dangerous Collaboration.

 

Comments and Recommendations are Welcome Here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: