We are back with another Veronica Speedwell mystery with An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn. In the installment we learn a bit about Veronica and her days before Stoker. Entertaining, suspenseful and filled with characters you’ll come to love.
While investigating a man claiming to be the long-lost heir to a noble family, Veronica Speedwell gets the surprise of her life in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.
London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.
But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family’s most valuable possessions–a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It’s a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo’s only hope.
Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.
I absolutely love time spent with Veronica and Stoker and was delighted to begin their next adventure. The two have no sooner arrived home when Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch, asks them for a personal favor. It seems he is worried about his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. Her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, who was believed dead, has returned after eleven years. Stoker isn’t pleased until he learns about their unique collections.
A trip to the moors soon leads to trouble and secrets, as Veronica recognizes the man claiming to be Jonathan. The tale that unfolded had everything from intriguing characters to thieves. It was a clever mystery, and I loved how Veronica pieced things together. Of course, Stoker is rather clever himself. I did not like that these two keep secrets from each other and my stomach knotted, waiting for confessions to be made.
I adored learning about Veronica’s past and her travels collecting butterflies. We learned of friendships, mistakes and of lessons well learned. Before all is said and done, they will find themselves in trouble more than once. The story was well paced and kept me throughly entertained.
The relationship between Veronica and Stoker is complex and delightful. From their back-and-forth banter to their deep understanding of each other. I simply adore them, individually, as a couple and as a crime solving team.
While each book contains a mystery/case, I recommend reading the series in the order of its release. The character development, relationships and secrets are best revealed in order.
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