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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Murder and intrigue in high places!

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn 



                            


Lady Veronica Speedwell (lepidopterist and adventurer) and Stoker (‘the Honourable Revelstoke Templeton-Vane, third son of the sixth Viscount Templeton-Vane’) a natural historian, are drawn into the hunt for a murderer at the request of one who 'cannot be named.'
Its 1887 London and a bohemian artist who moves in semi exalted circles has had her throat slashed. Her lover Lord Miles Ramsforth was declared guilty and is to hang--all too quickly it seems. At least that's what Lady Sunbridge, who tasks Lady Veronica to find the truth, believes. As Veronica and Stoker delve further into the matter they see behind the veil into the decadent sensual antics of some of the the upper class in an underground grotto within the grounds of Ramsforth's estate. The motive for Artemisia's murder eludes them. Something must give, and soon. Otherwise Miles will die.
The beauty of the relationship between Veronica and Stoker is a gift. As is their interaction and care for each other on many levels. Their anticipation of each others needs, their understanding of each other gives a depth to the investigation itself. They hover somewhere between caring and sensitive friends attune to each other in a myriad of ways, all highlighted by a suppressed sexual attraction. That frisson makes the relationship even more interesting.
Both have unhealed hurts that neither are able to set aside.
The side charters are worthy of note. There's 
Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch, and Veronica's bête noir; and the older Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk otherwise known as Wellie.
A smashing good read!

A NetGalley ARC

*****

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