A Dangerous Collaboration (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Written by Deanna Raybourn
Review by Ilysa Magnus

If Raybourn published a new Speedwell mystery every week, I would only be reading Speedwell mysteries. End of review.

Seriously, what could be better than the fourth installment of my favorite series? Veronica Speedwell is hornswaggled into posing as the fiancée of Lord Templeton-Vane, Stoker’s aristocratic brother, at a Cornish house party which, we later learn, is a ruse. The lure: the opportunity for Veronica to catch a glimpse of a rare and elusive butterfly. How can Veronica resist? Actually, how can Stoker resist inviting himself?

What the invitees soon discover is that they have been invited to the island to resolve, once and for all, what happened to the host’s bride, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day. What the guests come to realize is that there are dangers lurking around every corner and a bevy of idiosyncratic personalities roaming the family castle.

This book is just delicious – as in edible. The characters are fully fleshed out – Veronica and Stoker are cleverly drawn, and their repartee is unmatched. Even the secondary characters are fully developed and have crucial roles to the plot development. The castle is gothic and just plain creepy. Somehow the fact that the host’s sister maintains a poison garden isn’t shocking or surprising. And the denouement is a bit shocking. What more could a reader want for pure atmosphere and entertainment? Highly recommended.