A Curious Beginning

A Curious Beginning

A Veronica Speedwell Mystery

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry--and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime. But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker--a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth" --
Publisher: New York, New York : New American Library, [c2015]
ISBN: 9780451476029
Branch Call Number: Suspense F Ray
Alternative Title: Curious beginning


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 28, 2020

first in a series of four

Apr 09, 2020

This book series is hilarious, witty and amusing. It does play on a lot of stereotypes and is rather on the nose at times but if you can overlook that, the characters will win you over with their unusual nose for detecting mysteries, and the mystery of the relationship between Stoker and Veronica will keep you turning pages. I genuinely love this series, it melds Victorian London, scientific study, and the haphazard life of being half a royal and navigating the very real awkwardness this bring up. Such a great series!

Jan 07, 2020

Quite a mixed review: pretty decent prose style but the plot became rather ridiculous and the characters were melodramatic stereotypes. My biggest complaint is that the author uses the wretched gimmick of "woman and man hate each other at first but then fall in love." Please.

I had the feeling that the author could have written something better. I won't bother with other books in this series but I will try one from her other (similar) series.

Jul 09, 2019

Fans of Elizabeth Peter's mystery series featuring the strong-will Amelia Peabody will find a kindred spirit to Peabody in Raybourn's adventuress Veronica Speedwell. Provides witty dialog and fast-paced adventure.

Mar 25, 2019

I was hoping to like this-sorry could not even finish the first book.

ReadingAdviser_leni Feb 21, 2019

Very enjoyable. I really liked the strong female characters and how they handled everything they had thrown at them.

ArapahoeJessica Mar 23, 2018

What an unexpected absolutely delightful read! I don't much go for lady detectives or historical romance, but this was a wonderful mix of mystery and adventure and girl power. Veronica Speedwell is an audacious, clever, extremely capable and spunky heroine, and she's entirely unapologetic about it. I can't wait to read the next and hopefully find out more of Stoker's secrets!

Aug 24, 2017

A curious beginning indeed lives up to the title. I was genuinely curious as I read it and I really couldn't put it down on many occasions. Veronica is a fantastic character, love her strength and intelligence and unending wit. Stoker too. Holmes-esque, but with a feminine twist. Great book and I'm already on book two waiting on the third to publish :).

Feb 16, 2017

I enjoyed the protagonists and the story. Veronica is fun, spirited and honest. Her "partner " Stoker is interesting as well, but what I enjoyed was the building of the rapport between these two. There is romantic tension, but I felt it was underplayed in the best way. They are actually learning about the other person, not just jumping into a compromising position after adventure tension. Good book.

bkilfoy Nov 22, 2016

Raybourn's deft hand with writing historical fiction set in the Victorian era is once more in evidence in this first book of the Veronica Speedwell series. The book is thoroughly enjoyable even as she establishes the core characters of Veronica and Stoker and works around resolving the mystery at the core of the novel. Veronica is a fascinating heroine with her scientific pursuits and morals that are quite different from the norm for the Victorian era. My credulity was stretched a little bit in believing that Stoker could be quite so accomplished in as many fields as he is but given the general quality of the novel, I'm willing to overlook that single flaw. If you've enjoyed the Lady Julia Grey novels, it's likely you'll enjoy Veronica Speedwell as well although note that the atmosphere of this series is quite a bit different.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Apr 09, 2020

CORI D. MORRIS thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Feb 16, 2017

SilverIlix thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Quote
May 12, 2016

"The starts emerged, shyly at first, an then winking brightly, and a lopsided, waxing moon rode above the trees as we journeyed further west into the countryside."

"There are times when it is entirely safe to show one's vulnerability, to roll over and reveal the soft underbelly beneath. But there are other times when pain must be borne without a murmur, when the pain is so consuming that if you give in to it, even the slightest, you have lost everything."

"The truth is a hard mirror, and I am in no mood to look upon my reflection."


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top