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An Unexpected Peril

A princess is missing and a peace treaty is on the verge of collapse in this new Veronica Speedwell adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

January 1889. As the newest member of the Curiosity Club–an elite society of brilliant, intrepid women–Veronica Speedwell is excited to put her many skills to good use. As she assembles a memorial exhibition for pioneering mountain climber Alice Baker-Greene, Veronica discovers evidence that the recent death was not a tragic climbing accident but murder. Veronica and her natural historian beau, Stoker, tell the patron of the exhibit, Princess Gisela of Alpenwald, of their findings. With Europe on the verge of war, Gisela’s chancellor, Count von Rechstein, does not want to make waves–and before Veronica and Stoker can figure out their next move, the princess disappears.

Having noted Veronica’s resemblance to the princess, von Rechstein begs her to pose as Gisela for the sake of the peace treaty that brought the princess to England. Veronica reluctantly agrees to the scheme. She and Stoker must work together to keep the treaty intact while navigating unwelcome advances, assassination attempts, and Veronica’s own family–the royalty who has never claimed her.

Back to Summary

  1. Veronica and Stoker’s relationship has evolved over the course of six books. How would you characterize their relationship now?
  2. Veronica is impulsive and intrepid. Are these strengths or weaknesses in her character?
  3. What drives Veronica? What drives Stoker?
  4. Alice Baker-Greene is inspired by real-life mountaineers such as Fanny Bullock Workman and Annie Smith Peck. What challenges did they face as climbers? As suffragists?
  5. Veronica and Stoker live in a world that struggles to adapt to modern technology. How is that similar to the struggles we face in the twenty-first century?
  6. Princess Gisela faces the conflicting demands of heart and head. Do you think she chooses wisely in how she balances the duties of a head of state with her personal inclinations?
  7. Veronica meets another member of her family in this adventure. How would you characterize Empress Frederick?
  8. Veronica makes a difficult choice with regard to meeting her father. Did she make the right choice under the circumstances?
  9. Veronica chose to participate in a masquerade that proves dangerous. If she knew at the beginning what would happen, do you think she would have acted differently?
  10. How do their dangerous adventures affect Veronica and Stoker’s relationship? Does peril bring them closer or do you think it is driving them apart?

Other Books in Veronica Speedwell Mysteries Series