By Deanna Raybourn
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Series or Standalone: Veronica Speedwell #3
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
A Treacherous Curse brings us Stoker and Veronica’s third adventure and it does not disappoint! This is another personal favorite in the series as I love the mystery and how it connects to Stoker’s backstory.
A Treacherous Curse picks up directly after the ending of A Perilous Undertaking and might have my favorite opening line of all time as it always makes me laugh – “‘I assure you, I am perfectly capable of identifying a phallus when I see one,’ Stoker informed me, clipping the words sharply. ‘And that is no such thing.’”
While Stoker might want peace and quiet after the outcome of Veronica and his last adventure, that is not to be. Stoker’s former best friend and collaborator, John de Morgan, has gone missing after participating in the Tiverton expedition in Egypt that unearthed a previously undiscovered tomb of Princess Ankheset. And unfortunately, Stoker is a prime suspect in de Morgan’s disappearance given some bad blood between the two. In addition to de Morgan’s disappearance, a diadem from the princess has gone missing and members of the dig reported seeing sightings of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, leading the salacious newspapers to deem the expression as cursed. Veronica and Stoker get wrapped up in unraveling the mystery of the Tiverton expedient which also leads Veronica to uncover secrets of Stoker’s past.
In my head, I affectionately call this book the “Stoker backstory book” as we finally dive into the mysteries in his past. In the previous two books, we’ve had hints as to what he’s been through during his time in the Amazon when his wife left him for dead and then smeared his name in the British press while he was recovering from a jaguar attack, but we come face-to-face with that past in this book. His ex-wife, Caroline, left her marks on Stoker in more ways then one, and having to confront her opens up old wounds. I love diving into Stoker’s past as you really get to understand him and why he’s had so many barriers up around him and was so closed off when he first met Veronica.
Confronting Stoker’s past is also so important for the progression of Stoker and Veronica’s relationship and made me love both of them even more. Veronica sees the damage and hurt that Caroline has caused Stoker and watching her come to his defense always gets me. She can see the man he is behind the damage Caroline caused, and she sees his value. I also love that Veronica is willing to do everything in her power to prevent Stoker from regressing to that dark place she found him when they first met. The ending of this book also gets me so much as Stoker and Veronica’s relationship has progressed from just friends to possibly something more. The slow burn in this series is one of my all-time favorites and this one definitely gives you some great moments where all you want them to do is kiss.
The mystery in A Treacherous Curse is so much fun and one that feels the most fantastical with the talk of a mummy’s curse and an Egyptian god running amok. However, this being a Veronica Speedwell story, we know there is some logical, rational explanation to what is happening and the first time I read this, I literally didn’t know how all the pieces would come together. I always feel a sense of sadness at the conclusion of this mystery as some of the people wrapped up in scheme definitely didn’t seem like complete bad guys and I feel for them.
A Treacherous Curse is a great addition to the Veronica Speedwell series – I swear there are no bad books in this series. I’ve reread this one I don’t know how many times at this point, and every reread I enjoy it as much as my first time. I feel like I also always pick up on new details or small things that foreshadow what is to come with each reread which shows how much thought and attention Deanna Raybourn puts into each of these novels.
I love the Veronica Speedwell series so much and cannot recommend it enough! Pick this book series up now – you won’t regret it!