A Murderous Relation: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery #5. Deanna Raybourn. Penguin Publishing Group. March 2020. pb, 320 pp.; ISBN #: 9780451490766.
Veronica Speedwell is asked to recover a beautiful piece of jewelry that has been given to a rich courtesan in a high-class bordello for the aristocracy. The jewelry is to be used to unite a Prince of the British Kingdom to a woman he admires. However, the Royal Family has other plans for his future marriage. Left alone the passing of this jewelry will cause a scandal that would destroy the monarchy. Veronica, as the unrecognized daughter of the ruling Prince, agrees to carry out this task. She protects the Kingdom even if her shameful status remains unacknowledged.
The pages that follow will put the life of Stoker, a natural history colleague, and Veronica at risk since they are kidnapped as part of a plot to remove the remaining Germanic people from the Royal Family and begin a new reign supposedly ruled by Veronica but in reality dictated by a failing police officer and an anarchist.
In the process readers will meet some of Stoker’s dead animals ready to be mounted, will see how Stoker and Veronica will survive being wounded several times, and will meet Eddy, a Prince, who is spoiled but wants to leave a good mark on the people of his Kingdom but is clearly unprepared to do any ruling.
Meanwhile Veronica has finally realized how much she loves Stoker and is resolved to be united with him but is stymied by circumstances which leave the two closer to dead than alive and passionately connected. However, determination may eventually pay off which would definitely change the nature of their future sleuthing activities.
You will also meet a journalist and the head of police who care about the poor and homeless individuals who wind up in lives of prostitutes and thieves. The social connection is touching although these characters seem powerless to change the lives of those they most pity. This situation makes the Jack the Ripper murders to which their plight is connected all the more devastating!
A Murderous Relation… is a fun read, full of adventure, danger, mystery and passion! Enjoy the great read!