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A Perilous Undertaking

(Veronica Speedwell #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  6,761 Ratings  ·  969 Reviews
Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an impossible task—saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution, who stands accused of the brutal murder of his mistress Artemisia. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer—a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia's lif ...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Titan Books
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Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, read-2017
Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-publisher
I'm kicking myself for not giving this series a chance sooner. No really, I'm not a huge reader of historical fiction, but the fact that Deanna Raybourn has effortlessly blended aspects of the Victorian era with humor that transcends any decade has me completely hooked. She has flawlessly created the most excellent of flawed characters and I cannot get enough of Stoker and Veronica. If you haven't read the first book in the series, A Curious Beginning yet, I would highly recommend beginning ther ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Or my title A lepidopterist and taxidermist and the case of the dirty sex club

Historical Detective stories aren’t my normal reading but I ran into Veronica Speedwell last year and found her scientific examination of the world fascinating and funny at times. Plus there was Stoker a very broody and broken man reminiscent of Pirate with eye patch and tattoos, a cast out of friendly society after his adventures abroad. The two of them together teamed up for a fun adventure in a Curious Beginning.

Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
A Perilous Undertaking is a sequel to A Curious Beginning, but this book can read as a stand-alone. Though I do think it could be practical to read the first book to really get to know the characters since Veronica Speedwell, well she has an interesting family situation.

In this book, we get a deeper insight into both Veronica and Stoker's families. And, we finally learn why Stoker doesn't want to have anything to do with his family. Veronica meets a relative. However, she knows that the one pers
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I liked this second book less than the first. Not because if was bad, but because I was expecting much more!

Yeah, I know, I know...

Anythow, the book is interesting, sometimes fun and not at all TSTL moments in it!

I liked the characters too, most of all Lady Wellingtonia! WOW, what a dragon-lady!

There're a ton of hints of a case of lust/attraction between Stoker and Veronica, but nothing really comes out of it (view spoiler)
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
okay I rarely read books in the same series back to back but I am loving this one so much I really don't want to read anything else. I could read 20 of these books and it still wouldn't be enough
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This series is so much fun! I absolutely love Veronica and Stoker. I think the sequel was a bit better than the first book and I enjoyed the plot more. I sincerely look forward to reading the next book.

I think part of the excitement of reading this series is that I very randomly found it based on the cover and decided to read it. I didn't even read a synopsis before starting the first one. It reminds me of the days when I would wander the library and B&N picking up random books to read.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that you can just settle right into and enjoy every page. A Perilous Undertaking is the second in Raybourn’s latest series which follows Veronica Speedwell and her scientific partner/friend Stoker.

In a nutshell
Lovable characters with depths yet unexplored. Many hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments. Snappy dialogue. Well constructed mystery with an array of interesting suspects.

Veronica: Intelligent. Determined. Imperious. Sharp-tongued. Funny. Caring. Stubborn.
Unfortunately, this sophomore entry into this series falls far short of its predecessor. Here's hoping book three is a vast improvement.

2.5 stars. I am disappoint.


Finally, finally getting to read this! I hope it's as good as the first book.


Wait a minute....release date 2017?! That was scheduled for September this year!



Oh, did you ever see such a lovely cover? GAAAAAAAH.



I cannot wai
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
4.5 Stars!
The Veronica Speedwell Mysteries, likes it predecessor The Lady Julia Gray Series, has quickly become a favorite. It has absolutely everything I loved about Raybourn's Lady Julia series except for all of the March's themselves but Veronica and Stoker are quite a match for Julia and Nicholas.

The first book was so much fun and I knew I had found a new love in the series, spin off or not and with this second book, it just proves that I was not wrong in the slightest.

Full of all the thin
Milda Page Runner
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Milda by: Mimi
I'm glad I continued with the series. Both book 2 and 3 offer well done intriguing murder mysteries. Slow boil romance between main characters and light humour add to the fun.

I love these gaslight murder mysteries with a zing of passion. I am hooked!

Next month. Next book. Excelsior!

Reread one month later in audiobook!
Cindy Burnett
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-to-read
A Perilous Undertaking is one of the best books I have read recently. I loved everything about it: the cover, the characters, the setting, and the plot. Veronica Speedwell and Stoker Templeton Vane make the perfect pair, sleuthing and otherwise, and are truly entertaining; they are both forward thinking, eccentric, unusual, and highly intelligent. I have not read the first in the series, but I had no trouble leaping right into this installment.

Veronica Speedwell, a Victorian-era lepidopterist (
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the Veronica Speedwell series!

This instalment has Veronica and Stoker trying to solve the mystery of who murdered Artemisia. Miles Ramsforth is set to hang for the murder when Veronica and Stoker are called in to ascertain whether Miles is really the guilty party. What could be more fun than Veronica and Stoker on an adventure through a sex grotto, opium den, funeral house and an art house? We get a little more of Stoker’s story, more of the would-be roma
The Lit Bitch
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

So as many of you might have noticed, I have been on a Deanna Raybourn book binge read!

I first discovered Raybourn’s books a few years ago when I read Night of a Thousand Stars, which I thought was pretty good as a stand alone book.

It wasn’t until last year that I rediscovered Raybourn and picked up the first Veronica Speedwell book and absolutely fell in love with the series.

Needless to say, I’ve been waiting a long time for this book to come out…..I literally couldn’t wait until Janu
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I enjoyed this book but I didn't think it quite lived up to the first book in the series. I had a really hard time getting into the book at first but once the story got moving, I found myself really enjoying it. I think that the characters in this series are amazing and this book lets us get to know them just a little better than before. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.

Veronica Speedwell is such a fun character. She is extremely intel
That was the true measure of his character; even at the height of his irritation he would never let me fall.

I'm throwing this on the romance shelf for my own sanity. We'll get there one day. And in the meantime.. their friendship is flirty, sure, but it's also solid and true and that's romantic, okay? Fight me.

"We need to be menaced by a better class of criminal. This one cannot spell."

In some ways I think I liked A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING both more and less than book one. I actually didn't enjoy t
Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

I decided to start off the year with a read I felt was sure to satisfy. That's the space I'm occupying right now, guys. I need something new and I need something that's going to just make it right. Tall order, I know. But I've been a fan of the first Veronica Speedwell mystery for awhile now, and I was definitely eager to rejoin Veronica and Stoker's company to see what adventure they might find next. Deanna Raybourn has been my go-to author when it comes to
☕ Kimberly
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting is 1887 London, and Stoker and Veronica's travel plans are thwarted when their benefactor trips over a tortoise. Oh yes, things are quite interesting when you spend time with this duo. When Victoria's invited to the Curiosity Club, she meets the mysterious Lady Sunbridge. The lady implores Veronica to save Miles Ramsforth from hanging. Miles is accused of brutally murdering his mistress. Veronica knows that Sunbridge is withholding information, but nevertheless agrees.

The mystery ser
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

A Perilous Undertaking
is the second book in Deanna Raybourn’s series of Victorian mysteries featuring the intrepid Veronica Speedwell, lepidopterist and lady adventurer and her friend and colleague Revelstoke Templeton-Vane, known as Stoker – the scion of a noble family from whom he ran away to join the Navy and who has since made himself a name as a natural historian.

Both characters were very well introduced in the previous book, A Curious Beginning, so while this one can be read as
Darque  Dreamer
A Perilous Undertaking will plunge you in to the depths of danger and debauchery! As A Curious Beginning was full of curiosities and intrigue, this one is full of scandal and betrayal! Prepare to be taken on a wild ride of mystery and misdeeds!

I’ve officially been caught in Veronica’s net. Both books were insanely enjoyable. This one held a bit more mature content, but it was exciting, mysterious, and humorously and tastefully done!

At this point in the series, I 100% adore Veronica. She is sensa
Well, I am disappointed that this author has withdrawn from the writers’ conference in my city in August. I enjoyed this second book in the Veronica Speedwell series almost as much as the first! I do hope that she will attend When Words Collide in the future.

I came into this series a bit suspicious, as I have my reservations about the whole Victorian-lady-detective set-up. I know, I know, it’s popular right now to re-write Victorian society to give it larger, more interesting female roles—and I’
Laura Rash
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Veronica Speedwell is such a spitfire & I love the chemistry with Stoker. Lady Wellington was a delightful character who made me chuckle with her bluntness. A very entertaining series. Deanna Raybourn's sense of humor surely shows thru.
Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
It has been a while since I read the first book. I had not even realized how much I loved and missed Veronica and Stoker until I was reunited with them. Anyways, I loved it.

*Review to Come*
2.5 stars

A tedious undertaking would have been a more apt title. The pacing was so slow. Every 50 pages or so they'd get some minuscule clue. They had to do a lot of socializing to get these clues too. The worst part was that I didn't care about any of the characters other than Victoria and Stoker. All of them were obnoxious and self absorbed. The mystery was too simple. The occam's razor theory definitely applies here.

The main reason I read this was because I wanted to know more about Stoker's
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deanna Raybourn is easily one of my new favorite authors (which sounds weird given that she’s written quite a few books, it’s just – she’s new to me), and while it may have taken me a little to warm up to the first in this series, I instantly fell head over heels in this second installment. If I had access to the next (and I assume there is going to be a next), I’d have jumped right in, no question.

Veronica Speedwell is just my kind of woman: brilliant, passionate, sure of herself, curious, and
Wow, I REALLY liked this book! It's a big step up from the first in the series, primarily because this one has a standard murder mystery plot that allows Stoker and Veronica to grow as characters and as partners. (There is no 50+ page interlude where they join a traveling circus. God save the queen!) The solution to the mystery is not particularly groundbreaking, but all of the elements surrounding it - Havelock House and the Bohemian artist friend group, Princess Louise, the Elysian Grotto - ma ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
4.5 STARS (increased to 5 stars for this site)

If you're told the book you're about to read is a Victorian murder mystery featuring a lepidopterist (butterfly collector) and her best friend, a taxidermist, it may cause you to question if the book is right for you. But with Deanna Raybourn at the helm, you can put away your doubts because you know you're in for a good ride. Her writing is some of the best that I've read and the breadth of her vocabulary is wonderfully challenging (thank goodness f
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Having loved the first Veronica Speedwell novel I had high hopes for its sequel and Raybourn did not disappoint. Miles Ramsforth, a high-society art patron, is due to hang for the murder of his mistress, Artemisia, yet many people feel the wrong person had been found guilty. A member of the royal family secretly hires Veronica and her colleague Stoker to find the real murderer and save Miles' life before it is too late.

This mystery in "A Perilous Undertaking" is quite complex and weaves in and
Lady Wesley
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mystery with a touch of romance
Veronica Speedwell returns for her second adventure with Revelstoke Templeton-Vane, known to all (except his family) as Stoker. Veronica, who has made a career of sorts of lepidoptery, is the natural daughter of a Very Important Person, as revealed in the first book, A Curious Beginning. Stoker is a viscount's younger son, who fled his unhappy home as a young man, became a doctor in the Royal Navy, and now has a significant reputation as a naturalist. (He also practices taxidermy, which makes fo ...more
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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 Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1)
  • A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3)
  • A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4)
  • Untitled (Veronica Speedwell, #5)
“Men, I had often observed, were never happier than when they believed they were imparting wisdom.” 4 likes
“The hardest lesson I had learnt upon my travels was patience. There are times when every muscle, every nerve, screams for movement, when every instinct urges escape. But the instinct to fly is not always a sound one. There are occasions when only stillness can save you.” 2 likes
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