A Treacherous Curse

A Treacherous Curse

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princ...

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Title:A Treacherous Curse
Author:Deanna Raybourn
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Treacherous Curse Reviews

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    4.5 Stars!

    Sometimes it is easy to forget how much you love two characters until you are immersed back into their world and then all those old feelings and thoughts about them resurface and you remember why this is one of your most favorite series and some of your most favorite people.

    Veronica and Stoker are those people for me. This series is just so much fun with the Victorian old world London setting, mystery, and of course the adventures that always await these two. Not to mention the chemist

    4.5 Stars!

    Sometimes it is easy to forget how much you love two characters until you are immersed back into their world and then all those old feelings and thoughts about them resurface and you remember why this is one of your most favorite series and some of your most favorite people.

    Veronica and Stoker are those people for me. This series is just so much fun with the Victorian old world London setting, mystery, and of course the adventures that always await these two. Not to mention the chemistry between them is off the charts.

    I would say there is very little romance in this series, if any at all in fact and yet these two have such a passion, such a spark that it is hard to resist reading about them and not sensing it and just waiting for that spark to ignite and set fire to the world.

    With nonstop action, mystery and intrigue, this really has become a favorite and a series that is just getting better and better with time. Fans of the genre really need to pick this up, because I can guarantee that this series will be one that will not disappoint.

    *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  • Caz

    Deanna Raybourn continues her series of late-Victorian historical mysteries featuring the intrepid lepidopterist Veronica Speedwell and her piratically handsome, enigmatic associate, Revelstoke Templeton-Vane (Stoker) in 

    .  The big draw of this third instalment was the prospect of at last getting to know more about Stoker’s chequered – and sometimes heartbreaking – past and what exactly happened to turn him into a social pariah w

    Deanna Raybourn continues her series of late-Victorian historical mysteries featuring the intrepid lepidopterist Veronica Speedwell and her piratically handsome, enigmatic associate, Revelstoke Templeton-Vane (Stoker) in 

    .  The big draw of this third instalment was the prospect of at last getting to know more about Stoker’s chequered – and sometimes heartbreaking – past and what exactly happened to turn him into a social pariah with the blackest of reputations.  We’re also treated to a mystery concerning  a missing Egyptian artefact and an ancient curse – and the two storylines are inextricably linked by virtue of the fact that one of the parties involved is none other than Stoker’s ex-wife, Caroline.

     can easily be read as a standalone, but readers will gain a far greater understanding of the still-evolving, complex relationship between Veronica and Stoker by reading the novels in order.  I’ll also say now that there are likely to be spoilers in this review for the earlier books, so proceed with caution if you have yet to read them.

    If you 

     read the previous books, then you’ll know that Veronica and Stoker have been employed by the Earl of Rosemorran to catalogue his family’s vast collection of art, artefacts, natural history specimens and mementoes with a view to eventually curating a museum, and that they both work and live on site at the Belvedere, a 

      in the grounds of Rosemorran’s Marylebone estate.  Although they have separate apartments, their living arrangements are regarded as being somewhat unorthodox, but then they’re unorthodox individuals, both fiercely independent free-thinkers, estranged from their families and not really caring about the strictures of society.  These commonalities are just two of the things that bind this unusual pair; from almost the beginning of their association, each recognised in the other a kindred spirit, and Ms. Raybourn has done a splendid job of developing their friendship and strengthening their unique bond, a bond that relies on an almost soul-deep connection and a love for each other that goes far beyond the romantic and sexual attraction that continues to crackle between them.

    (Stoker in 

    )

    Veronica and Stoker are surprised when they are approached by Sir Hugo Montgomerie of Special Branch and asked to look into the disappearance of John de Morgan, the man who had once been Stoker’s closest friend.  De Morgan was engaged as photographer for Sir Leicester Tiverton ‘s most recent expedition to Egypt, but departed unexpectedly and was accompanied back to England by his wife – whose very public divorce from Stoker some years earlier saw Stoker disgraced and vilified.

    Sir Hugo explains that the de Morgans stopped for the night in Dover, and in the morning, John de Morgan was discovered to have vanished, along with a priceless diadem from the tomb of Princess Ankheset. Making things even more intriguing is the fact that not only have man and artefact gone missing, but so has John de Morgan’s hotel room! Caroline de Morgan states that her husband’s room was blue with rose-print wallpaper – yet no such room exists, and according to the hotel proprietor, Mrs. de Morgan was travelling alone. Add to this the rumours of a curse affecting members of the dig and the sightings of the figure of Anubis (the Egyptian god of the dead) striding through the streets of London and the stage is set for an entertaining mystery in which our heroes must dispel a curse, fight for their lives, battle vicious rumour and find a murderer.

    With that said, however, the mystery feels a little less intricately plotted than those in the other books, and it does take a bit of a back seat to the unravelling of Stoker’s backstory – although I’m not going to complain about it, given I’ve been eagerly awaiting that very thing.

    Veronica and Stoker know it’s only a matter of time before the press gets hold of the story, and that once they do, they’re going to “hunt you [Stoker] like a pack of feral dogs” and take great delight in dredging up all the old scandal that painted him as the worst sort of villain, a man whose wife was so terrified of his violent nature that she took advantage of the offer of escape made her by his friend, filed for divorce and then married said friend. We already know Stoker was wronged, and now, Ms. Raybourn fills in the gaps and reveals the whole truth behind his ill-fated marriage and how his career as one of the foremost explorers and natural scientists of the age came to an ignominious end. I love the way she reveals Stoker to be a man of sensitivity and vulnerability while at the same time showing him to be possessed of an incredible determination and inner-strength:

    The way Veronica so passionately champions Stoker is one of the things I really enjoyed about her in this book. She’s opinionated, independent, flawed and unconventional (and thankfully, Ms. Raybourn has toned down those ‘look at me, I’m unconventional!’ aspects of Veronica’s character that grated in the last book), but she will fight to the death for what she believes in – and she believes in Stoker. That’s not so say that things are all one-sided; far from it, as we already know that Stoker would do the same for Veronica (and did, when he took a bullet for her at the end of

    ). That unquestioning loyalty is one of the things that makes their friendship so special, but I will admit that I’ve become a little impatient at its lack of development in this novel. On the one hand, the author has done a terrific job of building and showing her readers a strong, deeply affectionate and trusting relationship between two extraordinary people; a pair of social misfits who have been lucky enough to find the one person in the world who truly understands them and sees them for who and what they are. And that’s wonderful. BUT… given the off-the-charts sexual tension that has existed between the couple from the get-go, I’ve been expecting their relationship to turn romantic, and so far, it hasn’t. It’s fairly clear that this is partly because both Stoker and Veronica value what they have so greatly that they are wary of changing it, but this book (like the others) is littered with references to the fact that Veronica has the serious hots for Stoker – she’s forever ogling his gorgeously muscled body and pointing out that he has no idea what a babe magnet he is… and after three books, it’s become just a bit tedious and more than a bit frustrating. With the truth of Stoker’s past now out in the open, I’d expected a little movement on the romantic side of their relationship and although it seems that both of them are, at different points, on the verge of an important revelation, it wasn’t enough to satisfy my shippy little heart.

    YMMV, of course; the mystery is fun, the dialogue is sharp and witty, and the secondary characters – of whom my favourite is undoubtedly Lady Wellie, the doyenne of society who knows everyone and everything there is to know – are expertly crafted.

    earns a strong recommendation in spite of my quibbles, and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a bit more romance in the next instalment.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Storywise do I think this is the strongest and most interesting one so far in this series. Not that the previous two books have been bad, more that I found this book mystery to be much more fascinating to read about, with a less obvious ending than the previous book. This is not a series that you have to read in order to enjoy, but it's a marvelous series so reading in order may be more fun would I think.

    Veronica Speedway is such a wonderful character, not always bound to the traditional female

    Storywise do I think this is the strongest and most interesting one so far in this series. Not that the previous two books have been bad, more that I found this book mystery to be much more fascinating to read about, with a less obvious ending than the previous book. This is not a series that you have to read in order to enjoy, but it's a marvelous series so reading in order may be more fun would I think.

    Veronica Speedway is such a wonderful character, not always bound to the traditional female role of the time and a bit outspoken. She also has an interesting family situation, with a quite absent father. Stoker, as well, has a bit of a family problem, quite similar to Speedways, but Veronica lacks the ex-wife who makes her first introduction in this book. I quite enjoyed learning more about Stoker's past and what really happened in the Amazons.

    But, it's the humor that really makes me love this book, the banter between Speedway and Stoker are always marvelous and makes me often smile while I read this book. This is the kind of book I pick when I want something easy-going, but not too light.

    A Treacherous Curse is a delightful book, with lots of funny moments, an interesting plot and wonderful characters. It was with a bit of sadness that I read the last page, now I have to wait until next year for a new book ... at least I hope a new one will come out next year...

  • Cindy Burnett

    Veronica Speedwell ranks at the top of my favorite female protagonist list with Maggie Hope and Ruby Proulx. Veronica is witty, brilliant, likeable and outspoken, and Stoker is the perfect sidekick for her. A Treacherous Curse focuses more on Stoker and his dark and mysterious past, and Veronica and Stoker tackle a mystery that is interesting but a little drawn out. While I really enjoyed A Treacherous Curse, my favorite in the series is still A Perilous Undertakling. The series is a ton of fun,

    Veronica Speedwell ranks at the top of my favorite female protagonist list with Maggie Hope and Ruby Proulx. Veronica is witty, brilliant, likeable and outspoken, and Stoker is the perfect sidekick for her. A Treacherous Curse focuses more on Stoker and his dark and mysterious past, and Veronica and Stoker tackle a mystery that is interesting but a little drawn out. While I really enjoyed A Treacherous Curse, my favorite in the series is still A Perilous Undertakling. The series is a ton of fun, and I cannot wait for the next one. Thanks to Berkley for an ARC; all opinions are my own.

  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    This book is well-paced, well-written and highly engaging. It keeps you guessing from start to finish, trying to put together all the pieces of a rather convoluted puzzle.

    Veronica Speedwell is undoubtedly one of my favorite heroines of all time. Intelligent, determined, confident, independent, self-reflective and stubborn, she goes against

    This book is well-paced, well-written and highly engaging. It keeps you guessing from start to finish, trying to put together all the pieces of a rather convoluted puzzle.

    Veronica Speedwell is undoubtedly one of my favorite heroines of all time. Intelligent, determined, confident, independent, self-reflective and stubborn, she goes against almost all of societies expectations of her and completely unapologetic about. Veronica knows what she wants and she both skillful and patient enough to achieve it. No challenge is insurmountable, no mystery unsolvable. She uses her wits to find a solution to nearly every problem that comes her way.

    As with her previous adventures, Veronica once again partners with her colleague and friend Stoker, this time to solve the mystery of missing man from Stoker's past along with debunking the rumors of Egyptian curse arriving, along with a sarcophagus, to London. We delve further into Stoker's dark and emotionally charged past, as new a heartwrenching revelations come to light.

    Veronica & Stoker: I have such a love-hate relationship with these two. I want them together so badly. It is as though I am trying to build a ship, but things keep getting in the way when all I want is for my ship to finally sail.

    Honestly, these two are MADE for each other.

    And in truth, they are already partners in almost every other way that counts.

    I just hope they will both find a way to finally let down their defenses and let this happen.

    Veronica & Tiberius: Stoker's eldest brother, The Viscount Templeton-Vane, has made it perfectly clear since he and Veronica met in the previous book that he is attracted to her. It is such a shame we do not get more of him in the book. I like his chemistry with Veronica, and I laugh when he Stoker try to make digs at each other. And while I do ultimately want her with Stoker. I love Veronica and Tiberius' flirtations. They are hot and if Stoker was not in the picture I would support these two.

    Henry & Figgy:

    In all honesty, I did not particularly like Henry or Figgy much at all. But in that moment, I saw two young people so utterly devoted to each other I could not help but admire for the sheer amount of loyalty they held.

    With old friends, uncertain allies and new enemies Veronica and Stoker certainty had their work cut out for them. And I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed seeing it all unfold. If you like historical fiction, mystery and some romance, then my dear I do believe this is for you.

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  • Dianne

    Fun, quirky and just shy of “evah-so-propah,”

    by Deanna Raybourn is Victorian mystery and adventure at its most entertaining. An ancient mummy’s curse seems to be claiming the members of an Egyptian expedition and the plucky Veronica Speedwell is on the case. A man from Stoker’s past has gone missing, as has a priceless artifact from the tomb of an Egyptian princess. Is this part of the curse? Is Anubis actually walking the streets of London on a mission of revenge?

    Veronica i

    Fun, quirky and just shy of “evah-so-propah,”

    by Deanna Raybourn is Victorian mystery and adventure at its most entertaining. An ancient mummy’s curse seems to be claiming the members of an Egyptian expedition and the plucky Veronica Speedwell is on the case. A man from Stoker’s past has gone missing, as has a priceless artifact from the tomb of an Egyptian princess. Is this part of the curse? Is Anubis actually walking the streets of London on a mission of revenge?

    Veronica is one of those heroines you can’t help but adore, brilliant, witty, and more like a tiger lily with claws than a shrinking violet. Who wouldn’t like a woman strong enough to go with her instincts and blaze her own trail, rather than follow the crowd?

    is a fast and a refreshing escape into another time following a heroine who is always full of surprises as she gleans the facts from the chaff of fantasy to get to the truth.

    I received a complimentary ARC edition from Berkley.

    Series: Veronica Speedwell - Book 3

    Publisher: Berkley (January 16, 2018)

    Publication Date: January 16, 2018

    Genre: Victorian Suspense

    Print Length: 320 pages

    Available from:

    |

    For Reviews & More:

  • Juli

    A Treacherous Curse is the third book in the Veronica Speedwell series. I absolutely love the main character in this series. Veronica is intelligent, outspoken and strong. Readers looking for a series featuring a strong, female main character will love this series! This third book focuses on Stoker Templeton-Vane. His former partner has disappeared from a dig site along with a priceless artifact from the tomb. Unfortunately, the item is allegedly cursed, causing Anubis himself to appear in Londo

    A Treacherous Curse is the third book in the Veronica Speedwell series. I absolutely love the main character in this series. Veronica is intelligent, outspoken and strong. Readers looking for a series featuring a strong, female main character will love this series! This third book focuses on Stoker Templeton-Vane. His former partner has disappeared from a dig site along with a priceless artifact from the tomb. Unfortunately, the item is allegedly cursed, causing Anubis himself to appear in London. Wickedly creepy and mysterious, this story was so much fun to read!

    I like this series....it's a nice mix of wit, mystery and suspense with a nice dash of creepiness thrown in for good measure. I like the fact that this book focuses on Stoker, revealing more about the character. It keeps the series fresh, and made for a nice action-filled story. Veronica Speedwell is a creative and different sort of main character. She breaks social norms, lives on her own terms and is an awesome strong female character.

    Another great addition to this series. I can't wait for the next book!!

    Deanna Raybourn is also the author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

    **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    4.5 STARS

    Finally! If you're a fan of Veronica and Stoker but haven't read the latest installment surrounding their adventures yet, you'll be pleased to hear this was a nearly perfect read. Without spoiling the plot, we have officially come full circle back to Stoker's past and many secrets from the previous two novels are revealed in the third. I found my emotional attachment to our main characters deepened through this adventure, as there was much more emotion and characterization here. Don't

    4.5 STARS

    Finally! If you're a fan of Veronica and Stoker but haven't read the latest installment surrounding their adventures yet, you'll be pleased to hear this was a nearly perfect read. Without spoiling the plot, we have officially come full circle back to Stoker's past and many secrets from the previous two novels are revealed in the third. I found my emotional attachment to our main characters deepened through this adventure, as there was much more emotion and characterization here. Don't despair dear reader-there is still plenty of action and a fully fleshed out mystery that kept me guessing until the big reveal, so pacing and intrigue are not sacrificed here. Highly recommended, and I hope you find 

     as exciting, uplifting, and curious as I did! 

  • Melisa - Traveling Sister

    Veronica Speedwell is back, the little spitfire!

    Deanna Raybourn can write authentic historical dialogue so beautifully. The language! It just gets me. And the characters she crafts are so wonderful. Veronica is truly going down as one of my all time favorites, she is such an atypical Victorian little saucy, feisty spitfire.

    Egyptology plays a large role in the story, it is something I knew to be popular during this time but didn’t know much about. It was definitely interesting to learn more abou

    Veronica Speedwell is back, the little spitfire!

    Deanna Raybourn can write authentic historical dialogue so beautifully. The language! It just gets me. And the characters she crafts are so wonderful. Veronica is truly going down as one of my all time favorites, she is such an atypical Victorian little saucy, feisty spitfire.

    Egyptology plays a large role in the story, it is something I knew to be popular during this time but didn’t know much about. It was definitely interesting to learn more about this subject.

    I feel like I definitely missed out by skipping the second in the series - I went straight from the first to this one, the third, which I wouldn’t recommend. I look forward to going back to seeing how the characters developed here.

    For me, this book has 5 star writing and a 3 for plot/pacing, so I’m going with 3.5 stars.

    Thank you to Netgalley, Deanna Raybourn and Berkeley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Ceki

    Doesn't thi

    Doesn't this quote seem a bit

    -ish? Well it does to me and I'm veeery weak when it comes to it. No wonder I found this quote to be the highlight of the series so far (and very romantic as well!)

    Anyway, it doesn't make sense but I actually really enjoyed this book. That's right, I lowered my expectations so low that I was even afraid to start reading. This doesn't mean that the series improved a lot, it's just that I let myself enjoy the parts that I know I would like rather than be annoyed at everything.

    the author hasn't let me down yet on this - she writes amazing historical dialogues and her descriptions and banters are humorous and interesting! It's what I enjoyed since book one.

    it seems that the focus of this book was on Stoker and Veronica's slow-burn romance and the author made it clear in this book that they love each other. There is even a scene in which Stoker almost confesses his love to her. BUT if you are familiar with Raybourn's writing then you know that she likes her romance in small doses and prefers to torture her readers (especially me). However, I was touched by Veronica's protectiveness of Stoker and enjoyed the ending. It was really promising.

    Unfortunately, there wasn't enough Egyptology in this book, the description is a bit misleading. Neither do they travel to Egypt, the curse takes a small portion of the mystery part and it is underwhelming. It is obvious why it is so lacking - the author chose to focus more on the relationship of the main couple. I personally think she should and could have handled it better.

    was annoying as fuck. There's nothing more I hate than self-pitying men and Stoker was really irritating, I wanted to stick something up his ass, luckily he redeemed himself in the end.

    If you've read the previous two books and expect a major character development and romance - you will be disappointed. BUT if you would like a short, light, and humorous read of two friends who go on an adventure - then go for it.

    I have to admit - I'm looking forward to the sequel, I just need them to FINALLY GET TOGETHER. Please don't let me down Ms Raybourn, I'm really rooting for them.

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