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The first book in the Veronica Speedwell mystery series, A Curious Beginning, by Deanna Raybourn was so much fun. Entertaining, thrilling, charming, and witty, this series might just be my new favorite thing ever.
Veronica lives in Victorian England, travels the world in search of rare butterflies, and has a brain for science. (I also appreciate that she bucks the customary Victorian stereotype of women not enjoying sex. On the contrary…) She goes on an adventure with a fellow natural historian (the chemistry between them is electric but the genuine friendship that develops is so heartwarming) and together they reveal a secret that could upset the entirety of the British Empire.
Although smart and ambitious women are a staple within the historical fiction genre, Veronica is unique among them. She looks at everything matter-of-factly and from the standpoint of a scientist. I fell in love with this character quickly, as well as her partner-in-crime.
This book was nothing less than a delight. Super fun. This series would make for an excellent movie.
I need to add that the audiobook, narrated by Angele Masters is an especially good example of the format. Masters managed to give the many characters a distinct and easy-to-listen-to voice. I enjoyed this as an audiobook so much, I’m using my next Audible credit immediately on the second installment in the series!