Monday, April 11, 2022

Review - An Impossible Impostor

Title:   An Impossible Impostor
Author:  Deanna Raybourn
Series:  Veronica Speedwell #7
Publisher:  Berkley Books
Genre:   Historical Cozy Mystery
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   325
Date of Publication:   February 15, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars

DESCRIPTION:

While investigating a man claiming to be the long-lost heir to a noble family, Veronica Speedwell gets the surprise of her life in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.

But now a man matching Jonathan's description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family's most valuable possessions--a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It's a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo's only hope.

Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good. 


MY THOUGHTS:
 
When Jonathan Hathaway suddenly returns from the dead, Veronica Speedwell and her beau Stoker have been secretly assigned by the head of Special Branch to determine whether or not it is indeed Jonathan or if there is an impostor. Jonathan had been declared dead after the eruption of a volcano years ago, and now he approaches the home of his sister and grandmother - with very little memories, but claiming that he is indeed alive.

In the process, when Veronica sees "Jonathan", she also sees a ghost from her past. Her relationship with Stoker has been going quite well, but now her past just might blow up in her face, and the secrets that Veronica has kept from Stoker just might be her undoing.

So, is this indeed Jonathan? Why does the blurb indicate that Veronica's past plays a role in this next thrilling installment in this exciting series? Mystery, secrets, lies and drama all play hand in hand in this remarkable story. The ending truly whet my appetite for book #8 in this series.

Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Reviewer's note: - Combined series review of previous six titles - https://www.robinlovesreading.com/2021/03/series-review-veronica-speedwell.html

Please also enjoy my YouTube video review of An Impossible Impostor


And, YouTube series review for first six titles:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn grew up in San Antonio where she met her college sweetheart. She married him on her graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation at the age of twenty-three, she wrote her first novel, and after three years as a teacher, Deanna left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time. Fourteen years and many, many rejections after her first novel, she signed two three-book deals with MIRA Books.

Deanna’s debut novel, Silent in the Grave, published in January 2007. The first in the Silent series, the book introduces Lady Julia Grey, an aristocrat bent on investigating the mysterious death of her husband with the help of the enigmatic private enquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane. From the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to a Gypsy camp on Hampstead Heath, Silent in the Grave deftly captures the lush ambience of Victorian London.

The series continues with the second book, Silent in the Sanctuary (January 2008), a classic English country house murder mystery with a few twists and turns for Brisbane and Lady Julia along the way. Silent on the Moor (March 2009), set in a grim manor house on the Yorkshire moors, is the third adventure for Lady Julia and the mysterious Brisbane.

March 2010 saw a departure from the series with the release of The Dead Travel Fast, a mid-Victorian Gothic thriller that features novelist Theodora Lestrange as she leaves the safety and security of her Edinburgh home for the dark woods and haunted castles of Transylvania. Deanna turns once more to Lady Julia and her companions with Dark Road to Darjeeling (October 2010) which features an exotic setting in the foothills of the Himalayas and the introduction of an arch-villain. The fifth book in the series, The Dark Enquiry, follows the return of Lady Julia and Brisbane to London for their most puzzling adventure yet. The Dark Enquiry hit the New York Times Bestseller list the week before its official release in July 2011. The digital exclusive novella Silent Night, published in November 2012, is a bright Christmas adventure set in Julia’s ancestral home in the Sussex countryside.

Deanna’s next release, A Spear of Summer Grass (May 2013), chronicles the adventures of a scandalous flapper heroine in Africa and the lives she changes along the way. It is listed as one of Goodreads’ most highly anticipated books of 2013 and was preceded by Far in the Wilds, an exclusive digital prequel novella (March 2013). A Spear of Summer Grass received a starred review from Library Journal. Deanna carried on the theme of 1920s adventure with City of Jasmine (2014) and Night of a Thousand Stars (2014), but is delighted to return to Victorian London with the September 2015 hardcover release of A Curious Beginning, the first mystery featuring butterfly-hunting sleuth, Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian sidekick, Stoker. Veronica returned in 2017’s A Perilous Undertaking, and A Treacherous Curse, 2018. A Dangerous Collaboration was released in 2019, and book five, A Murderous Relation, is a March 2020 release.

Deanna’s novel Silent in the Grave won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best First Mystery. The Lady Julia Grey series has been nominated for several other awards, including an Agatha, a Last Laugh, and two Dilys Winns. Dark Road to Darjeeling was also a finalist for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery as well as a Romantic Reviews’ finalist for Best Book of 2010. A Treacherous Curse, the third Veronica Speedwell Mystery, was nominated for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Novel.


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