FICTION

A Treacherous Curse

Berkley. (Veronica Speedwell, Bk. 3). Jan. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780451476173. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780698198401. M
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OrangeReviewStarIn 1888 London, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is intrigued by the newspaper reports about the calamities of the Tiverton expedition in Egypt, including stories of the appearance of Anubis, god of the underworld, and a curse attached to a recovered sarcophagus. In addition, the project's photographer, John de Morgan, and his wife have disappeared with a priceless diadem taken from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. It's only when she and her working partner, the scientist Stoker, are called to meet with the head of Special Branch that she learns Stoker was once married to Mrs. de Morgan. Her husband had been the friend who had abandoned Stoker to die in the Amazon. To save Stoker's reputation, the duo team up to investigate the truth behind the expedition and the couple's disappearance.
VERDICT While readers of Elizabeth Peters's "Amelia Peabody" mysteries will enjoy this title, it is fans of Jane Eyre who will truly appreciate the third volume in Raybourn's historical series (following A Perilous Undertaking). Her intricately plotted and dramatic story features a strong-willed, independent woman who is the intellectual equal of the brooding Stoker.

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