This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
I enjoyed this book but I didn't think it quite lived up to the first book in the series. I had a really hard time getting into the book at first but once the story got moving, I found myself really enjoying it. I think that the characters in this series are amazing and this book lets us get to know them just a little better than before. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.
Veronica Speedwell is such a fun character. She is extremely intelligent and not afraid to live by her own rules instead of bending to society's dictates. She is called upon by a member of royalty to look into the murder of an artist. The man that has been accused is scheduled to hang very soon even though some believe he is innocent. Veronica enlists the help of her friend, Stoker, to help her discover the truth about the death.
I really enjoyed the fact that Veronica and Stoker are not the average pair of detectives. Veronica is an expert on butterflies and Stoker is a remarkable taxidermist. They are both intelligent and inquisitve and well suited to solving the puzzle of the murder. They have wonderful chemistry together and truly make a great pair. This isn't a romance although they both seem to have feelings for the other that they seem to be supressing.
This was a smart book with a really complicated puzzle to be solved. It is nice how the reader gets to be with Veronica and Stoker at every step during the process to solve the murder. I loved the way that there were quite a few funny moments to keep the book nicely balanced. Veronica and Stoker both have complicated backgrounds which added some depth to their characters and gave me something to think about and helped explain some of their motivations.
I would recommend this book to others. It is the second book in the Veronica Speedwell series but I do think it would work as a stand alone. I look forward to future books featuring Veronica and Stoker!I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.