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...
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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
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Excerpted from "A Treacherous Curse"
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Reading Group Guide
A Treacherous Curse
Questions for Discussion
1. Stoker and Veronica are clearly drawn to each other and share a special connection. What do you think is the most significant issue keeping them apart, and do you think it’s valid?
2. Veronica’s relationship with the royal family is complicated. Do you think they should acknowledge her? What problems would this present?
3. In lieu of a typical family, Veronica is creating a “found” family. Which characters would you consider to be members of this family? What roles do they play?
4.Stoker feels strongly that the mummy of Princess Ankheset should not be publicly exhibited and that even the ancient dead should rest in peace. Do you agree? Why or why not?
5.Veronica’s character is inspired by actual Victorian explorers such as Margaret Fountaine and Isabella Bird. How do these women differ from the stereotypical Victorian lady?
6.Two of the new characters introduced in this book are Julien d’Orlande and J. J. Butterworth. How do they fit into Veronica and Stoker’s world? What roles might they play in future books?
7.The Tivertons are a blended family with complicated relationships. How does Sir Leicester’s connection with his protégé Patrick Fairbrother stoke Figgy Tiverton’s resentment? How successful is Lady Tiverton in her self-appointed role as peacemaker?
8.Stoker’s former wife, Caroline de Morgan, plays a significant role in the story. How would you characterize her relationship with Stoker? How has her remarriage to John de Morgan changed her life?
9.Veronica is invited to join the Hippolyta Club, an organization dedicated to exceptional women. How does the club’s motto—Alis volat propriis (She flies with her own wings)—apply to Veronica?
10.What do you think the ending suggests about Veronica’s future?