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A Dangerous Collaboration

Monday, June 24, 2019

A Dangerous Collaboration (2019) Deanna Raybourn

Set in England in 1888

My opinion of Deanna Raybourn’s books, is that they are perfectly fine.

There is nothing wrong with them, but I don’t love them the way one would expect me to, considering they are historical mysteries with a strong female lead.

So I requested this from the library when it was published, and I finally got to borrow it.

This fourth book finds Veronica confused about her feelings for Stoker after events of the previous book, and so when Lady Cordelia asks Veronica to accompany her to Maderia, she takes advantage of the time to think about how she feels about him.

But when she returns, she is immediately whisked off to Cornwall with Stoker’s brother.

I have indeed secured permission from the current owner of St. Maddern’s Isle, Malcolm Romilly, for you to take a certain number of larvae for your collection. While not a lepidopterist himself, he is an ardent protector of every bit of flora and fauna unique to his island, and he believes that if the glasswing is to survive, there must be a population elsewhere as a sort of insurance policy.”

It is obvious to everyone but Stoker and Veronica that Tiberius has manipulated both of them into this trip, but it is not clear initially why he has done so.

These hands were strong and clean, the nails trimmed and the moons stark white. “You have never done a day’s work with those hands,” I told him.

“No, but I’ve done many a night’s,” he said, reaching one out to cup my cheek.

Well, okay, there are probably multiple reasons, but one of those is a missing young woman; their host wants to discover once and for all what happened to her.

I cannot believe Rosamund would have run away. It would have been so out of character.”

“Did you like her?” I asked on impulse.

She gave me a level look. “You are forthright, Miss Speedwell. One is not supposed to ask such things.”

“That means ‘no,’” I replied.

The fact that I don’t love this series really bothers me. By all rights I should love it, yet I don’t.

Malcolm is safe, and for many women, there is no greater attraction than security.”

“How dull you make it sound!” he observed.

“It is not dull to want to know that one will always be fed and clothed and have a roof over one’s head. Only someone who has never faced the specter of the workhouse could think security to be dull.

I should love these stories, but although I find them readable, I’m not drawn to them they way I am so many other similar books. The characters are fine, but I don’t adore Veronica and Stoker they way I do Lady Darby or Sebastian St Cyr. In fact, in this story I found myself far more interested in Tiberius than in Stoker, feeling him far more complex as some of the layers of his armour are peeled away as the story unfolds.

The mystery itself is also fine. It was obvious to me that Malcolm had asked everyone out because he wanted to discover what had happened to Rosamund, but everyone else seemed shocked and surprised. There also didn’t seem to be the concern that one would expect that a young woman had disappeared or been murdered.

So, it was a fine book, but I continue to be glad I can borrow this series, rather than paying more than $10 for a new release.

Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 7/10

Categories: British, Female, Historical, Mystery, Romance     Comments (0)    



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