Book Review: A Curious Beginning

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Author: Deanna Raybourn
Published: Titan Books, 2015

Pages: 389
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Series: Veronica Speedwell #1

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5 out of 5 stars

Veronica Speedwell, believed orphan, was raised by her aunts, moving from place to place. When the last of her aunts passes away, a series of events unfold; starting with a break in at Wren Cottage and the appearance of a stranger whom seems to know a lot more about Veronicas’ past than she does, Veronica is about to get the shock of her life.

When I grow up I want to be Veronica Speedwell. Bold, intelligent, outspoken, thoughtful and adventurous are just some of Veronicas’ qualities. Here is a character whom refused to be what society expected of her and instead chose to be herself at every turn.

Mrs. Clutterthorpe, I can hardly think of any fate worse than becoming the mother of six. Unless perhaps it were plague, and even then I am persuaded a few disfiguring buboes and possible death would be preferable to motherhood.

Characterisation is always important to me–I must like the characters. Can I relate to any of these characters? Do they have depth? Am I rooting for them? These are some questions I ask myself and A Curious Beginning ticks them all. It was a joy to read from Veronicas’ POV and to meet the other characters such as Stoker and Lady Cordelia. Each character had a story–they had layers–and I was left wanting to delve deeper and learn more. The reader slowly gets to know the characters as more of their stories are revealed but there is still more to be discovered and this I think will be explored more in the next book–which I can’t wait to get my hands on. We learn as Veronica learns and, just like Veronica, I wish to know more about Stokers’ past.

Veronica and Stokers’ relationship was hilarious at times. Here are two people thrown together whom soon set out to solve a mystery and along the way you see their growing respect for one another and it was lovely–and entertaining–to watch.

The historical side I enjoyed, as I always do with Historical Fiction. It’s fun reading about historical figures in fictitious scenarios and I like seeing characters–especially in historical settings, this case being the 1800s–defy societal norms.

The reader is kept guessing and you start to feel like Sherlock Holmes–or Arcadia Brown, read the book and you’ll know what I’m talking about. However, I did work out the identity of Veronicas’ father *pats self on back*. (I should  clearly be a detective.)

A Curious Beginning is a fun, refreshing and riveting read. A gem of a book which sadly I had not heard of, but stumbled upon while on the publishers’ website and I am so glad I did. I look forward to going on many more adventures with Veronica and co. Excelsior! A new favourite!

Have you read A Curious Beginning? Do you like Historical and/or Mystery novels? Which ones? Do you like it when characters defy societal norms? I always cheer for them. This isn’t YA like most books I review but I wanted to spread the love for it.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Curious Beginning

    1. It was one of those spontaneous buys and I kind of fell in love with the cover so had to have it so it could sit on my shelf. I’m so glad I did buy it because it’s now one of my fave books. I can’t believe I have to wait until January for the next one! 😦 I hope you buy it and enjoy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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