A Treacherous Curse

A Treacherous Curse

by Deanna Raybourn

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698198401
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/16/2018
Series: Veronica Speedwell Series , #3
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 23,666
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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 CurseA Perilous Undertaking, and A Curious Beginning; and several stand-alone novels. She lives in Virginia with her family.


Williamsburg, Virginia

Date of Birth:

June 17, 1968

Place of Birth:

Ft. Worth, Texas


B.A. in English and History, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1990

Read an Excerpt



London, 1888

I assure you, I am perfectly capable of identifying a phallus when I see one," Stoker informed me, clipping the words sharply. "And that is no such thing."

He pointed to the artifact I had just extracted from a packing crate. It was perhaps three feet in length, carved of some sort of exotic hardwood, and buffed to a smooth sheen. Bits of excelsior dangled from it like so much whimsical decoration. It was oddly festive.

"Of course it is," I said. I brandished the item in question at him. "Just look at the knobby bit on the end."

Stoker folded his arms over the breadth of his chest and looked down his nose at me.

"Consider, if you will, the length. Improbable, you must admit. Most improbable." He was doing his best to avoid the appearance of embarrassment, but a touch of rose still bloomed in his cheeks. I found it winsome that such a hardened man of the world could have gained so much experience as scientist, explorer, natural historian, naval surgeon, and taxidermist and still manage a maidenly blush when confronted with a fertility icon.

"Stoker," I said patiently, "both male and female genitalia have been celebrated in ritualized art since the beginning of time. And frequently their proportions are exaggerated in order to convey their importance to the peoples in question."

He curled a handsome lip. "Do not invoke ethnography, Veronica. You know how I feel about the social sciences."

I shrugged. "There are those who maintain the study of culture is just as important as the examination of a bit of bone or a fossilized snail. And do not pretend that you are immune to the seductive siren call of the humanities. I have seen you mooning over journal articles about the role of religious ritual in the decreasing populations of certain South Sea turtles."

"I do not moon," he retorted. "And furthermore, those journal entries-"

He proceeded to lecture me for the next quarter of an hour, about what I cannot say, for I turned my attention to the contents of the packing crate. I had long since discovered upon my travels that men are largely the same no matter where one encounters them. And if one is prepared to let them discourse on their pet topics of conversation, one can generally get on with things quite handily without any interference.

The packing crate was the newest arrival at the Belvedere, the budding museum Stoker and I had been commissioned to organize under the aegis of our friend and benefactor, the Earl of Rosemorran. Situated on the grounds of his lordship's Marylebone estate, Bishop's Folly, the Belvedere was either a glorious trove of undiscovered treasures or the storehouse of a family of madmen, depending upon one's perspective. The earls of Rosemorran had been an acquisitive lot, haring around Europe to amass a collection of art, artifacts, zoological specimens, books, manuscripts, jewels, armor, and a thousand other things that defied description. How we came to live amongst such treasures is a story that merits its own volume.

To investigate one murder is a curiosity. To investigate two is a habit. Stoker and I had fallen into the practice of murder when our mutual friend, the Baron von Stauffenbach, had been slain the previous summer. We had uncovered some difficult truths and made a cautious alliance with Sir Hugo Montgomerie, the head of Special Branch, Scotland Yard's most prestigious division. When, at the end of that investigation, Fate had proven to be an unkind hussy and left us without home or employment, the current Lord Rosemorran had graciously invited Stoker and me to work for him, living on the grounds of Bishop's Folly and cataloging his collection with an eye to one day opening the Belvedere as a public museum. It was arduous work, consisting of unpacking, inspecting, reviewing provenance, cleaning, and registering each item-the beetles alone could take years-but it was enchanting. Every day offered its own surprises, and as word spread of our undertaking, donations to the collection began to arrive. It seemed that Lord Rosemorran's project was the perfect opportunity for his friends to rid themselves of items they no longer wanted. They would never send anything truly valuable-the English aristocracy are nothing if not sharply attentive to financial advantage-so we received instead a steady stream of decrepit hunting trophies and wretched oil paintings. They were of no use to us, so Stoker regularly burnt the moth-eaten trophies in the garden whilst I arranged the portraits into a grim sort of family, giving each a pet name and taking particular delight in each baleful new addition.

But the shipment that arrived that morning had been the most peculiar yet. The large packing crate had been stuffed with excelsior to cradle an array of phalluses, each more impressive than the last. Clay, leather, marble, wood-the materials were nearly as varied as the objects themselves, and the assortment of sizes was frankly extraordinary. From a modest little fellow about the width of my handspan to the enormity I brought to Stoker's attention, they represented a thorough study of that particular piece of anatomy. At the bottom of the crate nestled a leather box with a piece of card affixed to the lid.

Personal gift to Miss Veronica Speedwell. I have not forgot my obligation. With my compliments and heartfelt gratitude. Miles Ramsforth

Suddenly, the mysterious collection made perfect sense. Our second investigation had saved Miles Ramsforth from the hangman's noose, and I was not surprised he had chosen to repay the debt with part of his extraordinary array of erotic art.

Understandably, Ramsforth had quitted England immediately upon his release from prison and we had never met in person, but he had sent an effusive letter of thanks with a splendid silver watch chain for Stoker and a promise to remember me with something even more noteworthy.

My curiosity piqued, I extracted the box carefully and opened it with a rush of anticipation. I was not disappointed. Wrapped lovingly in cotton wool was yet another phallus, this one a masterpiece of the Venetian glassmaker's art. Of clear blown glass, it was striped with luscious violet color that gleamed like a boiled sweet as I held it to the light. I remembered it well. I had admired it when Stoker and I first studied the collection, although how Ramsforth happened to know of my appreciation was a mystery. It was a testimony to both his gratitude and his puckish sense of humor that he would present me with the costliest specimen from such a deliciously lurid collection.

I brandished it at Stoker. "I was quite right about the hardwood piece," I told him. "This was at the bottom of the crate. It is the doing of Miles Ramsforth. A personal gift," I added with a waggle of my brows.

Stoker blushed furiously. "For the love of God, put that thing away."

"I cannot imagine why you are so bashful on the subject of the male genitalia of Homo sapiens when you are the only one of us who can boast of owning it," I muttered as I replaced the offending item carefully into its box with a mental note to examine it more thoroughly in private.

"I heard that," he said as he returned to the task at hand-hollowing out the remains of a badly mounted platypus. The task was messy but not arduous, so he had kept on his shirt, a rare occurrence given his penchant for working stripped to the waist. I regretted the fact that he was fully clothed, but I contented myself with the occasional appreciative glance at his muscular forearms, bared to the elbow. His shirt was open at the neck, and he seldom wore a waistcoat and never a coat if he could help it. His hair, black and waving and badly in need of a barber's attentions, was punctuated by a slender streak of silvery white, a souvenir of our most recent foray into detective pursuits. It had ended when he had been shot in the temple in a ridiculous attempt to shield me from a murderer, and the result was a single snowy lock where the bullet had struck him. Gold rings glinted at his earlobes, and one of his many tattoos, relics of his days as a surgeon's mate in Her Majesty's Navy, peeped from the edge of his rolled sleeve. He wore a patch over his left eye, a habit since an accident in the Amazon had nearly taken it from him, leaving him with slim pale ribbons of scars that marked him from brow to collarbone and beyond. He looked like precisely what he was: a man in his prime with a good deal of experience and precious little regard for Society's expectations.

"Stop scrutinizing me as if I were one of your damned butterflies," he said in a conversational tone.

I sighed. "It has been a year since my last indulgence in physical congress," I reminded him in a wistful tone. "Admiring your physique is my only consolation."

He snorted by way of reply. I had made no secret of my perfectly sensible approach to relationships between the sexes-namely that marriage was a ridiculously outmoded institution and that sexual exercise was both health-giving and revivifying to the spirits. In the interest of respectability, I never indulged whilst in England, preferring to satisfy my urges during my trips abroad, a discreet and wholly efficient arrangement. The fact that it had been more than a year since my last expedition had begun to try my resolve. Stoker did not judge my predilections any more than I judged him for living as chastely as any medieval monk. A brief and hellish marriage followed by a period of Bacchanalian overindulgence had soured him on romance, although I regularly recommended to him a restorative bout of coitus, preferably with a strapping dairymaid-a course he had yet to embrace.

I considered the various phalluses, uncertain of where to begin. "Ought I to arrange them by size? Or shall they be grouped according to geographical region of origin? Or material?" I asked. Stoker and I frequently quarreled about various methods of organization within the collection. I preferred a chronological approach whilst he maintained a firm preference for theme.

This time he merely flapped a hand, clearly finished with the subject of phalluses. I hefted the largest, the hardwood piece from the Pacific, scrutinizing it with a practiced eye. "You know, I am rather reminded of a charming American fellow I met in Costa Rica," I said with a nostalgic sigh. I made a point of never keeping in contact with my paramours once I had finished with them, but I had very nearly made an exception for the American . . .

I did not pursue the conversation. Stoker was in a good mood for once, something that had been sorely lacking of late. February had been thoroughly nasty, with snowfall of apocalyptic proportions and temperatures that would have caused a polar bear to shiver. We had made the best of the situation, applying ourselves diligently to our work, but both of us had suffered bouts of ennui, longing for balmy climes and sea-scented winds. Our planned expedition with Lord Rosemorran to the South Pacific to search for new specimens had been thwarted by accident-namely his lordship's unfortunate collision with his Gal‡pagos tortoise, Patricia. She lumbered around the estate with all the grace and speed of a boulder, so how the earl managed to fall over her was a matter never fully explained to my satisfaction. But the result had been a broken femur and months of recuperation. We sympathized with his lordship and told him we did not mind in the least, but I drank a significant amount of strong spirits as I unpacked my bag, and I suspected Stoker sniffed back a manful tear or two as he put away his maps and charts.

Saving Miles Ramsforth from the noose had been a diverting occupation, but a Christmas spent with Lord Rosemorran's unruly brood of children underfoot and the rigors of a perilously long winter had nearly undone us both. Stoker had amused himself by unearthing the most ludicrous of the taxidermy mounts while I had taken to reading sensationalist newspapers. One, The Daily Harbinger, had proven useful during the Ramsforth case, and I had resorted to bribing the hall boy, George, to bring me the copy each morning before his lordship had a chance to read it.

This morning he skipped in, bearing the newspaper and the first post, whistling a merry tune. George broke off as he caught sight of the object in my hand, his eyes round with interest and his errand forgotten.

"Here, now, miss, that looks like-"

"We know what it looks like," Stoker cut in ruthlessly.

George peered into the packing crate. "Where are these from, miss?"

"All around the world," I told him. "They were amassed by a gentleman named Miles Ramsforth, a famous patron of the arts and a suspected murderer."

He blinked. "Imagine that."

I put out my hand. "Harbinger, please."

He gave me the newspaper before wandering to where Stoker was bent over his trophy. "That's a funny old stoat."

"It isn't a stoat," Stoker corrected. "It is a platypus."

"Why has it got a duck on its face?" George put out a tentative finger and Stoker flicked it aside.

"This is Ornithorhynchus anatinus, the duck-billed platypus, native to Australia."

"But why has it got a duck on its face?" George persisted.

"It hasn't got a duck on its face. That is just its face."

"Are you taking the duck off its face?"

Stoker's nostrils flared slightly and I knew he was about to say something unpleasant.

"George," I called as I skimmed the front page of the newspaper. "What is the latest news of the Tiverton Expedition?"

George trotted over, his face bright with interest. He had a penchant for the most outrageous stories in the Harbinger-and the Harbinger's stories were already more outrageous than most. But he was a good lad and took great pride in his budding literacy, so I encouraged him.

"Oh, miss, you ought to read it. They say the expedition is cursed," he said with an unholy gleam in his eye.

From behind his platypus, Stoker gave a snort.

"You don't believe in curses, sir?" the boy asked.

Stoker opened his mouth-no doubt to hold forth on the subject of superstition-but I anticipated him. "Curses are not rational, George. There is no scientific basis for them. However, there is good reason to think that the belief itself in a curse can create deleterious effects."

"Dele-what?" the boy asked.

"Deleterious. It means bad. I was saying that the mere belief in a curse can give it power."

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A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell Series #3) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
LibbyMcKinmer More than 1 year ago
A Treacherous Curse By Deanna Raybourn The late 1800s in the UK were a time of exploration, and Victoria Speedwell and her partner, Stoker, are definitely adventurers. And they don’t mind taking on a mystery and solving it. When a former archaeology partner of Stoker’s disappears from an ancient dig site at the same time as the royal diadem of a recently discovered Egyptian princess, Stoker and Victoria are called on to help figure out what happened to both. Stoker’s former colleague is now married to Stoker’s ex-wife—the breakup was not an amicable one and played out in public—so an extra twist is added to the plot. There are not a lot of surprises with all the standard stock plot points for a book of this genre set in this time period—a death during the dig, the rumors of a curse on any who disturb the princess, theft of an ancient treasure and an exhibition of the tomb and its riches in England. Having read other titles by this author, I was looking forward to reading this one. I can’t say I enjoyed it…although it was similar in style to the wonderful Amelia Peabody stories, this was not done nearly as well. At times this narrator’s tone felt censorious and wore on me as a reader. I’m unlikely to continue reading this series, although I am a fan of this historical period. 2.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this series of books. The two main characters are likable and there is still some mystery about them. The mysteries themselves are fun. Even though some aspects are easy to figure out, the outcome is not completely predictable.
CindyFW More than 1 year ago
I was quite certain I'd love this series and I do. I finally caught up to reading the 3 books already published and it keeps getting better and better! Stoker is the quintessential hero with a tortured past (and present) and Veronica is no shrinking violet. I know a lot of readers have criticized her modern attitude, but I think it works for her character. The relationship they have is quite unique. I keep waiting for more, but they're not there yet. If you enjoy Deanna Raybourn and/or Victorian mysteries with a romantic vein, I highly recommend this series. Each book has its own satisfactory conclusion of the mystery but the overarching story arc between the main characters keeps ramping up. I received a copy from the publisher and this is my own opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I marvel the wit, charm and humor woven into every Veronica Stillwell story. Character development is first rate. Do promise you a fabulous adventure as you relish each page. Happy reading ! When is the next book in this series? I can hardly wait for the next adventure.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
Once again, Raybourn takes the reader on an historic ride. Marvelous, engaging characters. New back story reveals. Egyptian mayhem! London mayhem! All in all, quite delicious and satisfying.
Chrissie_W More than 1 year ago
Veronica Speedwell and Stoker Templeton-Vane together make a most entertaining duo. Veronica is venomous in the most charming and non-villainous way. Stoker is one of those masculine feminist men, a rare bird for their days and still surprisingly (and irritatingly) rare. And though they are very alike and match each other very well, I cannot help but be charmed by how much they balance and compliment each other as well. It's almost like they are written for each other as much as for the characters individually. Veronica's pragmatic approach and Stoker's emotional temperament are both the top layer of two multi-layered and fascinating figures. I just simply enjoy reading them so much. They dive right into the fray, never leaving the reader wanting for action or adventure. With a scientific background, Veronica and Stoker spend an equal amount of time discussing and dissecting the problems rationally. With this, they never leave the reader behind in the dark. There don't seem to be a lot of eureka! moments that dash off with the reader in a blind tow, and I really appreciate that. The plot was returned to be more of the main focus here than in the previous installment, A Perilous Undertaking, and with that we finally get to meet Caroline de Morgan, Stoker's ex-wife. I hope this means something more significant for Stoker and Veronica in the next book, because I'm about to pull out my own hair with the chemistry sparking between these two like shards of electricity on a Tesla ball or plasma globe. Egyptian curses, Egyptian artifacts, and an archeologically-centered family (or two) dominate the narrative in the best and the most convoluted way. Almost expanding on the idea of a dysfunctional family, but with intrigue, crime, deception, and separation taking on a whole new meaning. Raybourn lands herself firmly in the delightful and funny mysteries category with this installment, and I very much look forward to the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DarqueDreamer More than 1 year ago
Curses, and conspiracies, and Egyptian gods, oh my! A Treacherous Curse will keep you on your toes with new adventures and threats. Veronica and Stoker are at it again with solving an Egyptian mystery on London soil! This one is striking, intriguing, and thrilling until the end! Let me start off by saying that I have just devoured these first 3 books in a matter of four days! That’s right. These books have been insanely entertaining, full of humor, mystery, and intrigue! I have loved the fact that women have been shown to be the stronger, more cunning, sex (in a time when women were looked upon as weak), and that the attitude toward strong female characters, and men who admire them, has been one of intense empowerment! That said, A Treacherous Curse both mirrored the attitude and hilarity of the first two books, but also offered more in regard to the emotional side of Veronica and Stoker’s friendship. I loved that we still got a well written mystery, but also saw a side of Stoker, and Veronica, we have yet to see. Both were more emotionally vulnerable and open. The Veronica Speedwell books have quickly become one of my new favorites series. I have thoroughly enjoyed the shameless banter, the scandalous comments and attitude of Veronica, the well thought out mysteries, and the intriguing plot twists that have carried throughout the books. A Treacherous Curse was unpredictable and captivating! And, now that I have blown through these with intense excitement, I am in dire need of book 4! 4.5 stars! Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
I love the Veronica and Stoker books. And this one did NOT disappoint. I especially love the character of Veronica. She is just wonderful. The only reason I'm disappointed? Because now I have to wait for the next book in the series. I swept through this book.
BookGirlNY More than 1 year ago
Veronica and Stoker are back to solve another mystery. This time the mystery is a curse that clouds the archaeological dig where an Egyptian Princess is buried with a priceless diadem. The diadem has gone missing along with Stokers former expedition partner and his disreputable past is re-surfacing. Anubis, the god of tombs who has the head of a jackal, has been seen haunting the shadows of London. Is the curse real? Can Veronica solve the mysteries that plague the princess and Stoker? This was a great read, but not my favorite Veronica Speedwell mystery. It is well written and Veronica’s sassy attitude is always entertaining. However, I prefer a more historically based book where I am entertained and also learn something. I am looking forward to the next Veronica Speedwell mystery. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Meemo_B More than 1 year ago
I love Julia Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series, so I was anxious to dive into her new Veronica Speedwell series. I’ve not been disappointed, and in fact, may like Veronica even more than Lady Julia. Brilliant, outspoken, strong-willed and far ahead of her time, Veronica is a fascinating character, as is her partner, Stoker. I received this as an ARC through Netgalley, but decided to read the first two books before diving into this one. That turned out to be an excellent decision, as the relationship between Veronica and Stoker develops through the first 3 books, and secrets from both their backgrounds are revealed over the course of the series, and there are surely more to come. The lovely relationship that has developed between Veronica and Stoker has been enjoyable to watch develop. Their banter makes me laugh out loud at times, and conveniently the mysteries they solve are interesting. And while I feel like I have a pretty good vocabulary, I’m always grateful for my Kindle’s built-in dictionary when I read a Deanna Raybourn book - I do believe I use that feature more for her books than for any other author’s. (And that’s a positive in my book.) Copy provided by Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an unbiased review.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Oh Veronica Speedwell… I adore your stories. Your wit, your fire, and your partner in crime Stoker always pull me in and make me forget everything while I enjoy your stories. A Treacherous Curse is no exception. I started the book with only a short time available to read and found myself looking for stolen moments where I could get more of the story. The mystery that is given to the characters to solve kept me guessing at who was guilty. I made guesses, changed my mind, and then changed it again. I am proud to say that before the end I had a final guess and was at least partially correct. The best part of me changing my mind was reading all the clues and following the path that Deanna Raybourn took the reader on. There were so many twists and turns that I was never sure that I was following the correct path. While this is part of the Veronica Speedwell series, it can easily be read without knowledge of the other books in the series. Although I would recommend reading all the books in the series and enjoying getting to know Veronica and Stoker.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful follow up!
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
With each new installment in the Veronica Speedwell series, I become increasingly convinced that this is one of the best historical fiction mystery series out there. The characters are utterly charming and the plot is consistently engaging, full of intriguing twists and turns. A Treacherous Curse is easily my favorite book in the series thus far. When the book opens, Veronica and Stoker have settled into a comfortable routine as they undertake the monumental task of cataloging the Earl of Rosemorran’s artifacts. Then, John de Morgan, Stoker’s ex-best friend and the man who stole his wife, is found murdered. And Stoker is the main suspect in the murder investigation. Before they know it, Veronica and Stoker are embroiled in yet another mystery. From Egyptian curses to mysteriously changing rooms to Stoker’s ex-wife, this case may be their most challenging one yet. I absolutely loved how much both Veronica and Stoker grew in the installment. In the first two books, they were both beginning to figure out their partnership and what they wanted from life. In A Treacherous Curse, Stoker must face his past and Veronica must decide if she truly wants to create a life in London. I thought that their interactions with each other were the best part of the novel. The secondary characters were just as interesting, they were all well-developed and nuanced. I particularly liked Monsieur d'Orlande, Stoker’s ex-wife, and Lady Tiverton. The mystery itself was fascinating. I loved the idea of the Egyptian mummy curse, it was so interesting to see how Raybourn developed it. Additionally, although I’m no historian, I thought that the portrayal of the English-Egyptian relationship was well-developed and brought up some important issues related to the removal of artifacts. As far as the mystery went, the pacing was perfect and I was constantly changing my guess as to the perpetrator’s identity. I even occassionally laughed out loud, particularly in the scenes with Stoker’s ex-wife. A Treacherous Curse was an excellent addition to what was already a wonderful series. I’m going to be anxiously awaiting the next installment, I can’t wait to find out what’s next for Veronica and Stoker (particularly after that ending!!). I would recommend this series to fans of mysteries who enjoy strong female protagonists. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
veronica and stoker are at it again in a treacherous curse. this time stoker's past has them all caught up in a mysterious disappearance, and we finally learn more about stoker's disastrous first marriage and what happened on the fateful expedition that cost him his reputation and marked his body forever. it's his former best friend who has disappeared. the man who married his ex-wife. and considering the acrimony between them he's been declared scotland yard's most likely suspect. unwilling to have stoker's reptation further blackened or to face the strong likelihood that the royal family will intervene in their partnership, veronica sets herself on the task of figuring out what went wrong with the egyptian expedition that preceded the disappearance. with her trademark wit and her staunch lack of squeamishness veronica carefully pulls apart all the tangled threads of this web of lies and murder and mystery. but this particular mystery reveals more to veronica about what she might feel for stoker. she understands him even more. she's afraid of what it all means. a feeling that veronica is not at all acquanted with as she has not much use for fear. this world, this relationship, these characters continue to be delightful and entertaining and smart. and i can't help but be excited for the next book in the series. **a treacherous curse will publish on january 16, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/berkley publishing group in exchange for my honest review.
Monnie777 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into it but as soon as I did, I did want to put it down. I have not read the first to books and you don't need to read this book. The only thing I found missing by not reading the first 2 books is a little more back story on Veronica and Stoker but nothing major. I found myself really enjoying the mystery about what happened to de Morgan. Veronica is a fun, spirited, nonsense woman and it is so much fun to follow her along in this book. I can't wait to see what adventures Veronica and Stoker get upto next. *Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this for my honest opinion*
Myndia More than 1 year ago
One would think that in a city the size of London trouble might knock on the door of someone other than Veronica Speedwell for once. But, she and her partner Stoker seem to find themselves in the sewers without even trying. This time, the diadem of an Egyptian princess has gone missing, along with Stoker’s old expedition partner and arch enemy, and now Stoker’s reputation is at stake. Having spent years trying to piece back some semblance of respect in society, Veronica refuses to allow him to be destroyed once again. As the police have little interest in pursuit of the diadem and assume the missing man to have run off with it, Veronica and Stoker are left to their own devices to find the truth. If you’ve read my reviews on the first two books in this series, you know how much I love it. But it bears repeating: I love this series! Veronica Speedwell is everything I had hoped to grow up to be: intelligent, independent, strong, adaptable, resilient and she cares little for what others think of her. With one exception. Her partner Stoker is her only equal, and the most important person in her life. His respect she could not do without. Being a little in love with Stoker myself, I completely understand. ;) The mysteries in this series are always smartly done, with some complexity that prevents me from sorting it all out by the end. The characters are addictive. It is hard for me to imagine tiring of their escapades, though it would be interesting to see how the romance angle would work in the long-term. The will-they-won’t-they can’t drag on forever, and based on the progress in this book, I’d say there will be some answers on that front in the next installment. The ending of this book was tremendous and the only thing that disappointed me on the last page was that it was the last page. And as this has just been released, I have to wait. The good news is, it appears there are at least two more books slated in the series. Definitely a series worth waiting for! Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Gdrd only/need A & BN) I kept hearing “Another fine mess you’ve gotten me into” as I read the adventures of Veronica Speedwell, new and most deserving member of the Hippolyta Club, which “does not permit gentlemen to enter” except for “extraordinary circumstances . . . only to the Parley Room . . . for twenty-nine minutes.” Rest assured, the gentleman is worthy of the exception, a brave and equal partner in extraordinary escapades. (A special nod to literacy with “Reader, I carried him” made me smile). I was also reminded of the adage that if a prop is introduced, expect it to be used, as will knowledge of Egyptology and drains, and butterflies, at least metaphorically, with the lovely word eclosed. I’m late to the series, ready to remedy my not having read the first two . . . and hoping to see many more.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Gdrd only/need A & BN) I kept hearing “Another fine mess you’ve gotten me into” as I read the adventures of Veronica Speedwell, new and most deserving member of the Hippolyta Club, which “does not permit gentlemen to enter” except for “extraordinary circumstances . . . only to the Parley Room . . . for twenty-nine minutes.” Rest assured, the gentleman is worthy of the exception, a brave and equal partner in extraordinary escapades. (A special nod to literacy with “Reader, I carried him” made me smile). I was also reminded of the adage that if a prop is introduced, expect it to be used, as will knowledge of Egyptology and drains, and butterflies, at least metaphorically, with the lovely word eclosed. I’m late to the series, ready to remedy my not having read the first two . . . and hoping to see many more.
Vesper1931 More than 1 year ago
1888 and an Egyptian expedition has returned to London. A cursed expedition. When Stoker's (Revelstoke Templeon-Vane) former friend and expedition companion goes missing with a priceless diadem it is the latest in a line of unusual events. Veronica and Stoker decide to investigate. A very enjoyable well-written mystery. With some interesting characters who I hope to read more about. Although this is the third in the series it can be read as a standalone book.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Another intriguing mystery fuels the intelligent investigator, Veronica Speedwell, and her just as skilled mysterious friend Stoker. This one hits closer to home as it involves the disappearance of John De Morgan who was at one time very close to Stoker’s world indeed a best friend. The mystery begins with an archaeological dig in Egypt which centers on the discovery of the burial site of the Egyptian Princess Ankheset. But along with the discovery comes a curse that has shadowed the expedition with first a death and then the disappearance of both De Morgan and the diadem of the Princess. This third mystery in the Speedwell series is not as engaging in plot as it is in diverse types of characters. You’ll meet the eccentric head of the expedition and his cool, deviously calm character who knows more than she tells, as well as their son who is a keen observer and not as detached as he often appears. Jealous couples, a friend of both Veronica and Stoker who knows everyone and a tad of information about the present disappearance and theft, and someone willing to commit murder over a lost relationship. Add to bone-chilling scenes the presence of ancient Anubis, god of the embalming process and dead, who visibly appears to a few of the characters at the exhibition site. There are also some interesting discussions about how mummies of royal Egyptian rulers and their keepsakes buried with them were deliberately moved from their known burial sites and hidden. The end of the plot left this reader a bit weary as it’s rather anticlimactic. However, if one is into a good mystery, with plenty of scintillating banter (as usual) between not only Veronica and Stoker but also other characters, and some fascination with exotic locales, this is a good read. Nicely done, Deanna Raybourn!
chefdt More than 1 year ago
A Treacherous Curse is the third book in the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series. I enjoy well written historical mysteries and the Veronica Speedwell series is one of my favorite series. They provide the reader with well-plotted and wonderfully told stories. Additionally, what I really love about this series are the characters Veronica Speedwell and Stoker. Both characters seem to love to deride each other and I quite often find myself chuckling at the banter between the two. But all in all, they truly have high respect for each other, I feel. Stoker has not shared a lot of his past, but with this book, we learn more of his past that has caused him to be the person he is today. Sir Hugo, head of Special Branch at Scotland Yard, has asked for a meeting with Veronica and Stoker as a suspicious event at an archaeological dig in Egypt has come to the attention of Sir Hugo and it will have a direct impact of Stoker and he hopes to avoid any bad publicity for Stoker. It has been learned that a tiara reportedly belonging to a princess has been reportedly stolen by the photographer, John de Morgan, from Sir Leicester dig. In addition, it is reported that dig has had a curse put on it. It has been reported that the God of the Underworld, Anubis, has been seen at the dig. It’s thought that de Morgan and have headed for England, but the day after arriving in England Caroline, de Morgan’s wife, reports her husband missing. Stoker had been married to Caroline and they had gone through a messy divorce and de Morgan had been his best friend, at the time. Sir Hugo was hoping that Veronica and Stoker would be able to find de Morgan and the tiara before the press would catch wind of Stoker’s connection and smear his name. But that was not to be as, J. J. Butterworth, a reporter with The Daily Harbinger, caught wind of this development and was taunting Stoker daily. Another excellently told and very interesting look at Victorian England. The book left me guessing until the end. I will be definitely be watching for the next exciting adventure with Veronica and Stoker.