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A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1)
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A Curious Beginning

(Veronica Speedwell #1)

by
3.96  ·  Rating details ·  12,807 ratings  ·  2,316 reviews
London, 1887.

After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted ab
...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Berkley Books (first published September 1st 2015)
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Daniele No. There is some tame bad language (bloody, bastard, etc) and references to sex but nothing detailed.
Vreggli Veronica Speedwell turns 25 in the course of the book and Stoker is 30 (if I remember correctly).

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Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Berkley Publishing Group
Shelves: from-publisher
It is a rare day that I pick up historical fiction of any kind; I have nothing against the genre, but I feel as though all the flashy, contemporary books shove my good intentions out of the way and I never get around to reading those golden oldies I claim I'll dive into. Lucky for me, Berkley offered the opportunity to review all three books that currently make up the Veronica Speedwell series and am I glad they did. These books are amazing! I cannot believe it's taken me so long to read them, a ...more
Felicia
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
OH HAI I GOT TO READ THIS ARC :P

This comes out in Sept, and I got to read an early copy of Deanna Raybourn's new series. JEALOUS MUCH? If you follow my reading tastes you know I'm slightly obsessed with her, we've picked her books twice at least in my Vaginal Fantasy Romance Book Club, so this was a tasty morsel to enjoy, for sure.

I love Veronica, she is a very different character from Lady Julia, and entirely enjoyable in her own way. Sassy, independent, plucky, she's a cool Nancy Drew for the
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Robin (Bridge Four)
A lepidopterist and taxidermist run away and join the Circus….Wait what??? First I didn’t know what a lepidopterist was, it’s a person who studies butterflies and when I started this I think I internally groaned thinking that this was about a woman who loved to chase butterflies but lucky for me Veronica Speedwell is far more interesting than that.

Veronica might not be the quintessential Victorian heroine. She is headstrong, opinionated and even has taken a lover or five in her time (she has ve
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Julie
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn is a 2015 NAL/Penguin publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don't know how she does it! This first book in the new Veronica Speedwell mysteries gets off to a rip roaring start! I absolutely loved it!

Veronica has lived an extraordinary life for a young lady raised in the 1800's. Taken in by her two aunts after being orphaned, Veronica has been shuffled around often, but this has wo
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Linda
"I have little doubt your bark is worse than your bite," he retorted.

"How do you know, Mr. Stoker? I haven't bittten you yet."

And there's quite the bite in this one. Teeth-sinking......gonna-leave-a-mark kind of bite.

Veronica Speedwell has been raised from early childhood by two spinster aunts in London. 1887 brings the last chapter to that relationship as Veronica returns to close up the small cottage after their deaths. Walking through the rooms she recalls the memories. Such confined quarters
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Beverly
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
It is strange that I read this one after A Murder in Time, because the heroine in this story is smart, disciplined, and a modern thinking woman of the 1800s, where as the actual modern day woman who traveled back in time to the 1800s did not seem to be terribly smart or self-disciplined. She was unable to stop flinging epithets about, not even to protect herself from exposure. I liked this heroine more and admired her fortitude under extremely trying circumstances. It makes me consider A Murder ...more
Christina ~ Brunette Reader

5 Fabulous Stars
”But those of us who have been given the benefit of learning and useful occupation, well, we are the proof that the traditional notions of feminine delicacy and helplessness are the purest poppycock.”
Veronica Speedwell, Victorian lady and globetrotting lepidopterist extraordinaire. Her wit, her sass, her quirkiness, her own original brand of early feminism, I loved each and every page in her company.

London, 1887
Just back in England due to the loss of her only remaining adop
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I did enjoy the book very much for the most parts. It was entertaining, funny to read sometimes and I really wanted to know what was so special about Veronica. One thing I thought about when I read the book was that even though I liked Veronica, she just didn't seem to suit the century. I mean this is the year 1887, not 1987. She is freely talking about sex, she had several dallies, she even asks Stoker when the last time he had sex and she seems so liberated in a period when women absolutely we ...more
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, favorites
This was a very random read for me, but I really liked it! I literally knew nothing about this before going into it, but it was a lot of fun. The story was a little all over the place, but I really liked the main character, Veronica. I look forward to reading the next book in the series!
Emma
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe even 4.5! Very much enjoyed this feisty new character Veronica Speedwell and her sidekick Stoker. A sparky relationship develops between them as they are chased across the country by various rogues and scoundrels. Looking forward to the next instalment. Recommended.
Jaclyn
A Curious Beginning is the launch of Raybourn’s newest series featuring amateur sleuth, adventuress, lepidopterist, and lover of foreign men, Miss Veronica Speedwell. Veronica has just buried her spinster aunt, her last living guardian, and she’s ready for another adventure. However, this adventure is much closer to home than she could have anticipated. Arriving home from her aunt’s funeral she surprises a burglar and hitches a ride to London with a German baron that claims to have known her mot ...more
Melisa
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The language! I absolutely adored the Victorian language of this novel. This is my first time reading this author, but I will definitely be back for more!

I also loved the character of Veronica, the little spitfire. She had such an easy and oftentimes hilarious banter with the other main character, Stoker. I highly enjoyed their misadventures and sleuthing.

The storyline took quite an exciting turn when the mystery was finally revealed - I was not expecting that at all!

My main complaint, as someo
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Book of Secrets
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yes, it was a curious beginning. :-) This is the first book I've picked up by Deanna Raybourn, and it was an enjoyable read. It's an intriguing Victorian mystery with an oh-so-unconventional Victorian heroine. Veronica Speedwell is worldly, independent, and free-thinking. She has a scientific mind and would rather travel to exotic locales in search of rare butterflies than settle down with a hubby and kids. Unfortunately, her life is in danger, and she has no idea why.

After an abduction attempt,
...more
Katie
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
♥Rachel♥
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Veronica Speedwell is called back to her home from her adventures as a lepidopterist (a person who studies or collects butterflies) when her aunt falls ill. Adventure, danger and intrigue isn’t anything new to Veronica, but she didn’t expect to find it in her homeland of England right after burying her aunt. Her cottage is ransacked, and a German, Baron von Stauffenbach, comes to her rescue proclaiming her to be in grave danger. Promising to reveal all after he gets a few things sorted, he puts ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
4.5 Stars!

This book truly delivered everything I was hoping it would. Never one to shy away from a feisty heroine, Raybourn once again pulls through with a heroine that is every bit as fierce and independent as the synopsis promised, with just the right amount of softness and wit to truly make her stand out and shine. Lovable to the core and instantly relatable, Veronica is sure to steal anyone's heart.

A well written, beautifully told story that is sure to please everyone and with a hero that i
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Lizzy
** 4 stars **
Congratulations, Ms Rayborn, a very entertaining book! Despite the fact that it took me a little bit to get into A Curious Beginning, soon I was sold and each page went faster, getting better and better and I couldn’t stop reading it. I had to work the following morning, then late at night heartbroken I turned down my kindle.

I relished the mystery and how Veronica and Stoker work together to solve it. I loved Veronica from the beginning, an intrepid and 'modern' woman that is not co
...more
Wendy
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sep-15
Deanna Raybourn is one of my favorite authors and her Lady Julia series is a favorite of mine as well. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read "A Curious Beginning", the first book in a thrilling new series, set in Victorian England, introducing fearless adventuress Veronica Speedwell.
She's fiercely independent, sassy, outspoken and highly intelligent. Her brazen defiance sets her apart. Then there is Stoker, the male protagonist, who is a dark brooding soul, full of mystery and good
...more
Dianne
Is there anything a better than a trip back to London in the late 19th century where men are whatever they want to be and women are expected to have vapors, delicate constitutions and while away their days having tea and maybe embroidering? The answer is yes! Give us a 19th century woman who is feisty, a trailblazer and quite frankly, doesn’t give a damn what others think. Meet Veronica Speedwell, a young woman, orphaned and raised by two quirky aunts who have passed on. Veronica comes home from ...more
Ginger
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
What a fun book to read!

Overall, I liked this book. I enjoyed the Gothic tone along with the humor of Veronica and Stoker bantering most of the time. The chemistry between the two of them was great! I loved Veronica from the beginning, a woman that is not limited by her sex, an adventurous lepidopterist (butterfly catcher to the layman), courageous and honest to a fault. I liked Stoker as well but it was more of a slow burn on my admiration for him. But when it took, oh boy, I was all in! He is
...more
Caz
I don't give 'em very often, but this one got a straight A from me at AAR.

I admit it. When I saw that Deanna Raybourn was going to be writing another series of mysteries set in the Victorian era featuring an independently-minded female protagonist, my initial thought was – “how are these books going to be different to the Lady Julia ones?” But I enjoyed both those and the author’s recent forays into the 1920s, so I was eager to read A Curious Beginning regardless - and Ms Raybourn, if you ever r
...more
Kathy Martin
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Move over, Amelia Peabody, there is a new Victorian eccentric in town. Veronica Speedwell loves to go on adventures hunting butterflies and attractive foreign men. Now that her aunt has passed away, she has no ties keeping her in England. But when she returns to her aunt's cottage after the funeral, she surprises an intruder who is searching the place and who attempts to kidnap her. She is rescued by Baron Maximillian von Stauffenbach who offers her a ride to London and answers to her questions. ...more
Holly
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Didn't like Veronica as much as I like Lady Julia but still enjoyed this book none the less. I especially loved the sparing between Veronica and Stoker! Those were my favorite scenes and really "made" the book for me:) I didn't care for the taxidermy and butterfly talk, however. Can't wait to see what other adventures they get into!
Medini
ACTUAL RATING: 3.5

Historical fiction is slowly becoming one of my new favorite genres, and rightfully so. I love everything about it: the guarded mannerism, the ways of speech, the clothing and how life went on without the technology and amenities we take for granted today. I love that mandatory formality which existed during that time period, with the undercurrents of thoughts and feelings that couldn’t be spoken out loud.

So this is Book #2 in my quest for the search of a book similar to These
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Skyler Autumn
2 Stars

Well that was stupid. This book took me what felt like years to finish. I kept leaving it to read and finish another book then returning getting a few chapters in and going fuck it and grabbing another book from my TBR pile.

A Curious Beginning is about a lepidopterist (expert in butterflies) name Veronica Speedwell that is thrusted into the arms of a reluctant man named Stoker (obviously he is super handsome and shrouded in mystery) when an attempt is made on her life. When a close frie
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Hollis
"What is the matter with you? We have now agreed upon something. Furthermore, I said something courteous to you and you have not cursed at me in a full five minutes. Have you a fever?"

A CURIOUS BEGINNING was everything it says on the box. It was a beginning, it was curious, and it was also funny, fantastic, fun, and lots of other words that don't start with f for which my alliterative loving heart weeps a little. With plentiful banter, clever characters, and a not-couple you desperately want to
...more
Milda Page Runner
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Milda by: Mimi
Victorian rom-com. Light, flippant, sometimes charming, sometimes ridiculous, occasionally funny with a dash of feminism. Reminded me of Gail Carriger’s Soulless minus the sex and the paranormal.
Romance is slow burn, all about the chemistry, the tease and the banter. Main mystery though is very weak – and that’s my biggest issue with this book. It was bloody obvious from the start and had me groaning everytime characters were discussing the possible causes for the chain of crimes.
Thumbs up for n
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Jaya
Instead of writing a ragey/rantey review-reaction, I'd just mention that the female protag's charater and attutide was quite annoying and unrealistic to the extent of being intolerable often at times. And the big mystery was.... Meh
Thoroughly disappointed 1.5 stars
Lady Wesley
Readers who enjoyed Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia series of Victorian mystery/romance stories will definitely want to try A Curious Beginning, the first volume of a new series featuring an independent-minded Victorian woman who goes sleuthing with a sexy, mysterious man of many secrets. On the surface, the characters sound similar to Lady Julia and Brisbane, but they are sufficiently different from that couple to make this series stand on its own. (In case you’re wondering: Raybourn changed publi ...more
Clemlucian (🏳️‍🌈the brooding witch)
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Ratings:

Enjoyment rating: 3.5/5 stars
Critical rating: 2.75/5 stars


So recently I updated my rating system, making it as critical as I think it can be which leads this book to have a rather low rating, compared to how enjoyable it was, and thus, for the following reasons.

[My new rating system gives one star to each of the following bullet points]

The Plot (0.5/1): While it was entertaining and fast-passed, the plot was really obvious with very little plot twist and lead by decisio
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A sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a double major in English and history and an emphasis on Shakespearean studies. She taught high school English for three years in San Antonio before leaving education to pursue a career as a novelist. Deanna makes her home in Virginia, where she lives with h ...more

Other books in the series

Veronica Speedwell (5 books)
  • A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2)
  • A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3)
  • A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4)
  • Untitled (Veronica Speedwell, #5)
“I abhorred weakness of any kind but most particularly in my tea.” 37 likes
“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.” 20 likes
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