A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3). Kathleen Rowland. Penguin Publishing Group. January 2018. 320 pp. ISBN#: 9780451476173.
Another intriguing mystery fuels the intelligent investigator, Veronica Speedwell, and her just as skilled mysterious friend Stoker. This one hits closer to home as it involves the disappearance of John De Morgan who was at one time very close to Stoker’s world indeed a best friend. The mystery begins with an archaeological dig in Egypt which centers on the discovery of the burial site of the Egyptian Princess Ankheset. But along with the discovery comes a curse that has shadowed the expedition with first a death and then the disappearance of both De Morgan and the diadem of the Princess.
This third mystery in the Speedwell series is not as engaging in plot as it is in diverse types of characters. You’ll meet the eccentric head of the expedition and his cool, deviously calm character who knows more than she tells, as well as their son who is a keen observer and not as detached as he often appears. Jealous couples, a friend of both Veronica and Stoker who knows everyone and a tad of information about the present disappearance and theft, and someone willing to commit murder over a lost relationship. Add to bone-chilling scenes the presence of ancient Anubis, god of the embalming process and dead, who visibly appears to a few of the characters at the exhibition site.
There are also some interesting discussions about how mummies of royal Egyptian rulers and their keepsakes buried with them were deliberately moved from their known burial sites and hidden.
The end of the plot left this reader a bit weary as it’s rather anticlimactic. However, if one is into a good mystery, with plenty of scintillating banter (as usual) between not only Veronica and Stoker but also other characters, and some fascination with exotic locales, this is a good read. Nicely done, Deanna Raybourn!
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