Veronica Speedwell is an unusual young woman for Victorian times. She collects butterflies, going on extended expeditions to strange places to find her specimens and collecting romances along the way. She has never known her parents being brought up by two spinsters to whom she is not related.
Veronica attends the funeral of her last adopted aunt. Now she's on her own and eager to get started with her life, but when she returns to the cottage she shared with her aunt, she finds a man rummaging through her things. Undeterred, she plans to pursue her journey, but narrowly escapes being kidnapped. A mysterious German baron befriends her and takes her to stay with his reclusive, naturalist friend, Stoker. Stoker and Veronica immediately begin a verbal sparring match that is rather delightful to listen to.
Before the baron can tell Veronica what is going on, he's murdered. Now Stoker is stuck with his difficult roommate and together they decide to try to solve the mystery.
The characters in this book, Veronica and Stoker, are very well done. I loved their verbal sparring and the fact that both were extremely independent. Veronica was quite unusual for a Victorian lady. The plot is full of twists that keep you guessing and the conclusion is quite unexpected. The Victorian setting is well done and makes a perfect backdrop for the action.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you like historical mysteries with a bit of romance, you may enjoy this book.
I reviewed this book for Net Galley.