a curious beginning book coverReviewed by Charity Lyman

What a strange story I found inside the pages of this new novel from Deanna Raybourn. I have never read anything by this author before – which is odd as I do enjoy a good mystery, especially one set in the Victorian era – so when I saw that A Curious Beginning was the start of a new series, I figured I would jump right in. It was definitely interesting and I was pretty surprised by the characters.

This new series involves a young woman, Veronica Speedwell, who becomes an orphan just as the book opens. But as we see from the start, trouble comes calling and killers have no respect for the dead. One of the men who comes calling, however, gives her a way of escape but also adds to the intrigue. Veronica is then thrown into a swirl of mystery in London that threatens to engulf her. One man helps to keep the trouble at bay but also might bring some spice to her life of adventure!

The plot itself was very intriguing. A modern woman who smokes, wears split skirts and get involved with men on a regular basis – oh, but never an Englishman! – would have been quite shocking for the time period. She is very different from most of the main characters in similar books who are usually older women or middle aged men. And the man who ends up aiding her is almost repulsive from the description but for some reason she likes him. Either way, I found that they made for an interesting read.

There are quite a few swear words which I didn’t care for as well as the intimation of Veronica’s relationships with many men. She was scandalous for the day and age and I know the author was trying to make her so–she just wasn’t 100% my cup of tea. The mystery is good but fairly easy to figure out. Overall, a good book but not exceptional.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Charity lives in Illinois and is the oldest of 6 children. The family also has 3 dogs and a cat. Reading is a hobby when not cooking, baking, sewing or enjoying music. She reads many different genres but Christian fiction is a favorite. Charity can be found often at her blog, Giveaway Lady

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.