ARC Review: An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn

An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn
An Impossible Impostor
Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Series or Standalone: Veronica Speedwell #7
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4 Stars


Starting a new Veronica Speedwell book is like being welcomed with a warm hug from an old friend or family member. It’s so comforting and soothing to be spending time with Veronica and Stoker again and getting wrapped up in their latest unexpected mystery and adventure. 

After returning home from their last adventure, Stoker and Veronica receive a summons by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch, to help with a personal matter. His goddaughter Euphemia Hathaway reports that her brother, Jonathan Hathaway, has returned after being thought dead after the explosion in Krakatoa over half a decade ago. Having traveled with Jonathan in the past, Veronica is asked to determine if the man is in fact Jonathan or an impostor after the family’s inheritance and jewels. Stoker and Veronica reluctantly head out to Hathaway Hall, where Veronica ends up finding herself coming face-to-face with a ghost from her past while also getting wrapped up in a much bigger mystery than she could have expected at the outset. 

If you know me, then you know I’m a massive Veronica Speedwell fan. When I saw I had received an ARC of book seven in the series, An Impossible Impostor, I kid you not, I flailed and screamed in my apartment. I’ve now read this book twice as the first time I was reading in a state of heightened excitement so my notes were a lot of “OH MY GODs,” which isn’t very helpful when sitting down to write a review.

Even though I’m a massive fan of this series, I will say it took me a while to sort out my feelings on this book. I’m very curious about how fans of this series will respond to the actions and revelations in this book as I feel it might be divisive. 

More so than previous books, this book shines a light on Veronica’s past. We learn a lot more about younger Veronica’s adventures around the time of Krakatoa’s eruption. It’s hard to say too much more about these revelations without spoiling major plot points, but I will say I was shocked by the reveals and not necessarily thrilled with how Veronica handled being confronted with her past.

I liked this book a lot more on my reread as I felt like I understood Veronica’s actions and reasoning than I did on the first read-through. The first time I read it, my biggest issue was that it felt like Veronica was acting very out of character. However, upon rereading, her reaction is actually very in character as her actions when she was younger led her to be the person she is today. 

Coming face-to-face with her past really shook Veronica and bubbled up a lot of uncomfortable feelings from her youth. I will say I’m still not thrilled how she handled revealing her past to Stoker, but I understand why she acted the way she did. On the first reading of this, I kept yelling at her to tell him the truth and wanted to shake her, but on the second read-through, I understood her choice not to tell Stoker right away, even if I didn’t necessarily agree with it. 

Stoker, bless his soul, is too good for this world. I truly adore him, and he once again proves why he and Veronica are of the same mind multiple times throughout this book. However, this book does introduce some significant hurdles and a bit of conflict to Veronica and Stoker’s relationship. My heart was hurting for them at times. And the ending! Be warned, it is a little bit of a cliffhanger and left me feeling so many emotions. I hope to God Veronica makes the right choice.

The mystery in An Impossible Impostor takes Veronica and Stoker on a much bigger adventure than they initially thought it would. While they originally set out to determine if the man purporting to be Jonathan Hathaway is an impostor, they end up involved in a plot involving the theft of the “Eye of Dawn” diamond, a villainess who swindled Brazilian nobility and a maharani looking to garner support for India home rule. There are multiple layers to this mystery, yet Raybourn perfectly manages to weave together all the different plot lines. I honestly didn’t expect this book to go in the direction I did, but I found it an enjoyable ride. The ending is satisfying, with Veronica and Stoker managing to see justice fulfilled.

Outside of that, I really liked the introduction of the possible Jonathan Hathaway. His character was fascinating and I could see how people were drawn to him. His interactions with Veronica, while not always the most pleasant, were fun to read. There was a sort of banter between Veronica and him, even though he brought out a lot of Veronica’s worst tendencies (though he rightly deserved it). I couldn’t predict how he’d act in certain situations as I couldn’t fully trust him, but he did surprise me at times. 

I adore the Veronica Speedwell series, but An Impossible Impostor was not my favorite, but it’s also not my least favorite. I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I appreciate what this book adds to the series. It does flesh out a lot more of Veronica’s past and adds some conflict into Veronica and Stoker’s relationship in a realistic way. I’m interested in seeing how this book’s actions influence further entries in the series, and I’m already dying for book eight as that ending left me screaming! 

If you haven’t read any books in the Veronica Speedwell series, I highly recommend you do! This is one of my all-time favorite series. It’s got an incredibly slowburn romance, smart and engaging characters, fun mysteries and so much more. You can check out my reviews for the previous books in the series below:

Thank you to Berkley/Netgalley for the ARC. All thoughts, ideas and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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