An Impossible Impostor (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Written by Deanna Raybourn
Review by Ilysa Magnus

In this seventh rollicking installment in Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series, set in 1889, Veronica and Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. His goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway, has advised that her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall (who was thought to have been killed in the Krakatoa eruption a few years before) has miraculously returned. Is it possible? Can the dynamic duo decide whether the man who claims that he is Jonathan is really the heir? Or is he an imposter seeking to steal the famous family jewels?

As an incentive, Montgomerie advises Stoker that the Hathaway holdings include a rare Tasmanian devil that he can add to his natural history museum collection. How can Stoker refuse if he can make such an acquisition?

But Veronica doesn’t anticipate that she will be confronting her past when she and Stoker agree to undertake the investigation. As the pair delve deeper into the mystery of Jonathan, of course they are met with all manner of inconsistencies, deceptions, bad behavior and ultimately threats to life and limb.

Both Veronica and Stoker continue to grow together and individually in Raybourn’s talented hands. This story is very focused on Veronica and how she has developed into the woman we see in each installment. I will always recommend a Speedwell mystery as a fun and enjoyable read.