Veronica Speedwell is unlike most English women of the 1880’s. She travels the world alone, has the occasional romance without the thought of marriage, and collects butterflies professionally. She has returned to England to help her dying aunt who has raised the orphaned Veronica. After her aunt’s funeral someone tries to abduct Veronica, but she is helped by a German Baron who carries a secret about Veronica’s parents and is convinced her life is in danger.
The Baron and Veronica travel to London where she goes into hiding with the Baron’s friend, Stoker, a grumpy but talented naturalist who has a mysterious past himself. Before the Baron reveals Veronica’s secret and the source of the danger to Veronica, he is killed. Forced to find the truth Veronica and Stoker embark on a dangerous quest that could kill them both in A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn. This historical thriller mystery is the first in a new series featuring the independent Veronica.