A Murderous Relation

Berkley. (Veronica Speedwell, Bk. 5). Mar. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780451490742. $26. M
Veronica, an unconventional lepidopterist, and Stoker, an aristocratic taxidermist, take on a case at the request of Lady Wellie in October, 1888. Prince Eddy, Queen Victoria’s eldest grandson, has been terribly indiscreet, gifting Madame Aurore, owner of a private pleasure house, with expensive jewelry—including a diamond that could be traced back to the royal family. Meanwhile, London is reeling from the gruesome attacks by Jack the Ripper, and Lady Wellie is also worried that the Prince could be involved. Veronica and Stoker aim to retrieve the diamond and go undercover to investigate the killings before scandal erupts. From the quirky beginning, where a tortoise wedding is being planned, to the salacious sex club escapades to the death-defying denouement, the pair of amateur detectives work together to avert royal disgrace, all while navigating the increasing sexual tension between them. Raybourn’s (A Dangerous Collaboration) combination of late Victorian history, well-drawn characters, romance, and humor keep the pages turning.
VERDICT Fans of the author and Victorian mystery lovers will enjoy this romp and eagerly await another Veronica and Stoker adventure. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]
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