I’ve read and enjoyed several books in Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series, but have never read any titles in her Veronica Speedwell series. So I was glad to have a chance to read a review copy of the fifth and most recent title in the series, A Murderous Relation.
A Murderous Relation is an nice combination of a “traditional” royal scandal (Prince meets madam, Prince gives madam a personalized gift, Prince is now vulnerable to exposure/blackmail) with the generally debunked, but still persistent, idea that Prince Eddy (Albert Victor) might have been Jack the Ripper. Veronica and Stoker are asked to retrieve the gift before the scandal becomes public, and of course (this IS a murder mystery in Jack the Ripper’s time), there are also some dead bodies along the way.
At the beginning of the book, I was quite confused, and wished I had read at least some of the previous books in the series. It took me a while to start understanding the various characters and their relationships, but once I did, I really started to enjoy the story. It also helped that author Deanna Raybourn creates a nice sense of the historical time and place, as Veronica and Stoker move through both high society and low. In the end, I got sucked into the book, and ended up finishing it by reading far too late into the night.
Overall, I enjoyed A Murderous Relation a lot, and now will go back and look for the earlier titles in the series. I’ll also be hoping for another book in the future, since there are continuing story arcs around Veronica’s parentage and her relationship with Stoker to be resolved. My thanks again to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC. And also please keep in mind that I try to fight “star-inflation” a little bit. I reserve 5 stars for a very few of my most favorite books, ones I’m likely to read and re-read many times, and 4 stars is a great rating from me.