Veronica Speedwell Mystery #5
March 10, 2020
A Murderous Relation
Veronica Speedwell navigates a dark world of scandal and murder in this new adventure from New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award nominated author Deanna Raybourn.
Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to help with a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, known as the Club de l’Etoile, and the proprietess, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Lady Wellie would like Veronica and Stoker to retrieve the jewel from the club before scandal can break.
Worse yet, London is gripped by hysteria in the autumn of 1888, terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper—and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible.
Veronica and Stoker reluctantly agree to go undercover at Madame Aurore’s high class brothel, where another body soon turns up. Many secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family—and it’s up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth, before it’s too late for all of them.
- The year 1888 is the setting of the Jack the Ripper murders. How do
these crimes affect the atmosphere of the city? What other factors are
in play, influencing the social unrest?
- Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk meddles excessively in the lives of the
royal family. Is her interference justified?
- What drives Veronica to undertake this investigation? What drives
- This novel sees the introduction of another member of Stoker’s family. How would you characterize Stoker’s relationship with his family?
- Madame Aurore has had to make her way in the world. What do you make of her choices?
- How do you think Stoker and Veronica’s relationship will progress?
- In this novel we meet the character of Prince Albert Victor (Eddy). Discuss his relationship with Veronica.
- Like Veronica, J. J. Butterworth is unusual for a Victorian woman. How does she differ from the stereotype?
- Veronica has a brief interlude with a shadowy man in the streets of Whitechapel. Who do you think he was?
- How do the skills Stoker and Veronica have acquired from their work and travels translate to solving mysteries in Victorian London?
- Who of the supporting characters do you feel has the most to offer as a member of Veronica’s “found family”?
- What is the significance of Chester, the velvet mouse?
- What drives the villain? Is their scheme doomed to fail?
- The Club de l’Étoile is based upon actual establishments in London at the time. How does this fit with your ideas of Victorian propriety?