Series Name: Veronica Speedwell, # 9

Review By Veronica

A Grave Robbery is another thrilling and captivating installment in the Veronica Speedwell series.

Favourite Quote:

We looked inside, and for a long moment neither of us spoke. After a pause that might have lasted entire minutes, I posed a question, my voice sounding distant above the roaring in my ears.

“Stoker, is that—”

“Yes. Yes it is. Would you mind holding this?” Without waiting for a reply, he thrust the portion of the torso into my hands and turned away to be lavishly sick upon the floor.

I waited calmly for him to finish, and as I waited, I wondered exactly how an actual human body had come to be disguised as an anatomical waxwork and who precisely the dead woman might be.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Lord Rosemorran has purchased a wax figure of a beautiful reclining woman and asks Stoker to incorporate a clockwork mechanism to give the Rosemorran Collection its own Sleeping Beauty in the style of Madame Tussaud’s. But when Stoker goes to cut the mannequin open to insert the mechanism, he makes a gruesome discovery: this is no wax figure. The mannequin is the beautifully preserved body of a young woman who was once very much alive. But who would do such a dreadful thing, and why?

Sleuthing out the answer to this question sets Veronica and Stoker on their wildest adventure yet. From the underground laboratories of scientists experimenting with electricity to resurrect the dead in the vein of Frankenstein to the traveling show where Stoker once toured as an attraction, the gaslit atmosphere of London in October is the perfect setting for this investigation into the unknown. Through it all, the intrepid pair is always one step behind the latest villain—a man who has killed once and will stop at nothing to recover the body of the woman he loved. Will they unmask him in time to save his next victim? Or will they become the latest figures to be immortalized in his collection of horrors?

Veronica and Stoker are back! Fans of the series will be happy to know that their favourite crime-fighting duo is up to their usual shenanigans. The previous book in the series saw Veronica and Stoker at odds with each other, and in my opinion, that book lacked the chemistry I’ve come to enjoy in this series. That was not the case with this book; Veronica and Stoker have made up and come back together even stronger. I always get worried when a series has been around for a while. There is this fear that things will become repetitive or dull. I am happy to report that this is not the case with this series. I love everything about this latest installment. On a quick note, these books can be read as a stand-alone. Each book focuses on a new mystery or crime; the only continuous thing is the growing relationship between Veronica and Stoker and their continued character growth.  

The mystery in this book was perfect. I couldn’t believe how fascinated and obsessed I became with this Sleeping Beauty case. It was such a unique and interesting mystery that I couldn’t help but be hooked. Veronica and Stoker discover that the waxed figure their employer purchased is actually a real person who was covered in wax. They have no idea who this Sleeping Beauty is or whether she was murdered or died of natural causes. As a reader, you really don’t know where Deanna will take you. There were so many unexpected twists and turns, and I loved everything about the journey I went on in this book. There are some definite Frankenstein vibes with this murder mystery, which I LOVED. The mystery elements in this book just inject new life into this series. It was just so different from past cases they have investigated. 

Those new to this series will be delighted by the humour that is woven throughout this story (and series). There is often this fun banter that exists between Veronica and Stoker, which has grown as their relationship has grown. At this point in the series, these two know each other very well and can predict (for the most part) what the other will do. That sense of familiarity has allowed for those walls that Veronica and Stokers have built to come down, and in its place is the feeling of being utterly comfortable in each other’s company. That comfort has led to them poke fun at each other and try to ruffle each other’s feathers. 

Veronica is a strong and smart female protagonist. She is not one to be overly emotional, and there are times when she can be a bit rash. I’ve really enjoyed her character, and watching her grow as this unofficial detective has been an absolute joy. Her character has also had tremendous growth with regards to her relationship with Stoker. Both of their characters have these alpha-like qualities, which have caused some bumps in their relationship. Veronica has often acted and reacted to situations with little thought on how her actions affect others, especially Stoker. In this book, her character has gone through this internal growth, where she stops and thinks about how Stoker will be affected by her actions and is also aware of him more emotionally. She has started to really acknowledge his feelings and moods and is there to support him when he needs that support. It’s something that Stoker has been doing for Veronica for quite some time. This growth from Veronica has really made their relationship more balanced and equal. 

A Grave Robbery is another clever and fascinating book in the Veronica Speedwell series. 

Thank you, Berkley Publishing, for the ARC in exchange for an honest opinion