After dedicating a chunk of time to the Sydney Rye saga, I circled back to read the second book in the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn. Called A Perilous Undertaking, it is indeed a story fraught with potential missteps, as Veronica and her colleague, Stoker, must deal with royals, police detectives, high society eccentrics, and a whole slew of artsy bohemian hedonists as they try to figure out who committed a murder in 1887 London.

The catch is, someone has already been convicted of the crime; but at least one extremely high-up individual doesn’t believe Miles Ramsforth, art patron, to be guilty of killing his pregnant mistress, Artemisia, and has demanded that the unconventional duo prove it by discovering who did. Since the case is emphatically closed according to the police, there will be little assistance (or cooperation) from that direction, so Veronica and Stoker explore the original circumstances of Artemisia’s death with an eye to who benefits, and use a variety of stratagems to spend time with and focus on the many suspects.

I liked this book almost as well as the first. The various relationships are continuing to evolve, the new characters are fun and interesting, and the places the story goes are unexpected. I will probably continue with this series, though not right away. 

That’s because, at the moment, I am rereading the first and second books in the Finlay Donovan series by Elle Cosimano, for two reasons: One is that the third book is due out in January, and I always like to review before continuing; but the other is that Ms. Cosimano has graciously agreed to be a guest speaker during the mystery genre segment of my readers’ advisory class at UCLA’s library school this coming Tuesday (via Zoom, since she is an east-coaster). We are all excited about her appearance; if you wish to read my review of her books about the hapless accidental hit woman, it can be found here.

After I am finished with her two books, I am quite excited to read the brand-new (out on Tuesday, and pre-ordered to arrive from Amazon that same day) Barbara Kingsolver novel, Demon Copperhead (with a nod to David Copperfield). I have loved every one of her books with the exception of her greatest success story, The Poisonwood Bible, which people tend to either love or put down after 100 pages of effort. I was one of the latter; but everything else in her catalogue is a winner for me. I hope this one is, too!

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