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.…
About the Author
Date of Birth:June 17, 1968
Place of Birth:Ft. Worth, Texas
Education:B.A. in English and History, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1990
Reading Group Guide
A DANGEROUS COLLABORATIONDeanna Raybourn
Questions for Discussion
1. Tiberius brings Veronica to the island under false pretenses. Why does he hide the full truth? Do you think she would have come if he had been honest from the beginning?
2. St. Maddern’s Isle is a unique setting. How does Mertensia’s poison garden add to the atmosphere? How does it add to her role as a healer?
3. Malcolm seems unable to move forward with his life as long as Rosamund’s disappearance remains a mystery. How important is closure in moving on?
4. Rosamund chose practicality and security over a dangerous love that would have threatened her emotional independence. Was she right to do so? Would you?
5. Caspian and Mertensia are possible heirs to the island. Which of them would be more suitable to assume control of St. Maddern’s? Why?
6. Mertensia feels Rosamund usurped her role on the island. In what ways did she do so? What recourse would Mertensia have had if Rosamund had been mistress of St. Maddern’s?
7. Veronica and Helena have both been forced to earn a living but have chosen different paths. How do their choices reflect the limitations on Victorian women?
8. Stoker risks a tremendous sacrifice. Was it for Tiberius or Veronica? Or both? How would you characterize his relationship with them?
9. Was justice served in the end? Do all villains need to be brought before the law or is nature’s justice as valid?
10. How do you think Stoker and Veronica’s relationship will develop after their return to London?