Series Name:
Veronica Speedwell, # 1

Review By Veronica

A Curious Beginning is a fun action-packed mystery with a smart and sassy heroine.

Favourite Quote:

He whirled on me, his anger as palpable as a lash. “Leave? Oh, I think not, my girl. You and I are bound together, at least until this is finished.” 

Appalled but sympathetic to his strong emotions, I strove for patience. 

“Mr. Stoker, I understand you are naturally distressed at the death of your dear friend, and I extend my deepest sympathies to you. I am clearly in the way and have no business here. I must leave you.”

“You do not understand, do you?” His voice was frankly incredulous. “You are my business now.”

“I? That is impossible.”

He threw a rusty black suit into the moldering bag and strapped it shut. “Think again, Miss Speedwell.” 

“Mr. Stoker, again, I am sorry for your loss, but I must insist–”

He reached out and clasped my wrist. He was demanding, not coaxing, and I could feel the weight of his emotions to my bones.

“My dearest friend and mentor is dead, and as nearly as I can comprehend, you are the reason. Until I discover why, you do not stir an inch from my sight.” 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

I am going to admit something to y’all. I might have bought this book solely because the main character’s name was Veronica. When I was growing up, it was always hard to find things with my name on them, so it became a thing in my family to buy anything with my name. I had amassed quite an odd collection of items over the years. I have carried this tradition over to my book-buying habits. I haven’t always enjoyed all the books I have bought; the character Veronica is often just downright awful, and the story itself is terrible. That is not the case with this book. A Curious Beginning is such a fun, and twisty mystery read. I loved that this is a historical mystery story, which I don’t usually read. Deanna does a masterful job at bringing in all these historical elements from the Victorian era and creating this world that is rich with detail and just so interesting. The fact that it is set in the past adds this uniqueness to the story and makes for an entertaining reading experience. There are no cell phones, internet, or really any form of technology to help Veronica and Stoker solve the mystery at hand. They must rely on their instincts and do some good old fashion sleuthing to figure out who is trying to kill Veronica. 

The story is fast-paced and full of unexpected twists and turns. This is the first book in the Veronica Speedwell series. Deanna does a fabulous job at setting up this series. In this book, we are introduced to the series’ two main characters, Veronica and Stoker. These two are thrown together when a mutual acquaintance is murdered. Veronica and Stoker don’t get along for the first half of this book. I liked these two together as crime-solving partners. The dynamic in their relationship is a lot of fun. The banter between them is sharp, witty, and smart. I loved watching their relationship develop into a friendship. Deanna has also planted those seeds of romantic interest between these two, and I can see them becoming a couple in later books. Veronica is a fabulous heroine. She is smart and sassy and doesn’t confirm or listen to the societal restrictions that are placed on women during this time. She is just a delight to be with, and I cannot wait to go on more adventures with her. 

Deanna does a masterful job of leaving enough unsolved pieces in this story to leave her readers wanting to grab the next book to see what will happen next. 

A Curious Beginning is a smart and twisty historical mystery novel and will have you staying up in the wee hours of the night so you can find out what will happen next.