An Unexpected Peril

Berkley. (Veronica Speedwell Mystery, Bk. 6). Mar. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9780593197264. $26. M
Raybourn’s sixth “Veronica Speedwell” mystery (following A Murderous Relation) finds Veronica greeting London in 1889 alongside her professional partner in natural history, adventurous investigations, and, recently, amorous relations, the Honorable Revelstoke “Stoker” Templeton-Vane. While preparing an exhibition to celebrate the mountaineering of Alpenwald, a tiny country ostensibly set between Germany and France, they understand a need to gracefully integrate into the exhibition the personal effects of Alice Baker-Greene, a famous mountaineer who died a few months previously on Alpenwald’s highest peak. Treading lightly on this death is important to Her Serene Highness, the Princess of Alpenwald, for whom the matter is a national embarrassment, since mountaineering is the primary tourist attraction in Alpenwald. When Veronica and Stoker meet Princess Gisela and her entourage, they quickly discern that all is not as it seems with Alice’s death, and Veronica’s striking resemblance to Gisela complicates their investigation with significant international implications.
VERDICT While series fans will certainly enjoy the newest installment for Veronica and Stoker, this reads well as a stand-alone and will lure readers to Raybourn’s backlist. A rollicking adventure appropriate for mountaineers and mystery-hunters alike.
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