Title: An Impossible Impostor
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #7
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publication date: February 15, 2022
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
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.
A new installment in the deliciously smart Veronica Speedwell series is always cause for delight, and book #7 is no exception.
Veronica and Stoker are a well-established couple at this point, but they’ve lost none of their spark or chemistry. Their passion continues to simmer, and they’re fulfilled by their work together on the natural history collection of Lord Rosemorran. But when Sir Hugo Montgomerie of Scotland Yard asks a favor, he’s awfully hard to ignore, and their peaceful moments are interrupted by a call to adventure.
Our fearless duo sets off to the Hathaway estate to discover whether the long-presumed dead eldest son has miraculously returned — which would have enormous ramifications for his surviving siblings, especially the brother who has legally inherited in his stead.
Veronica and Stoker discover a situation much more complicated than expected, further muddled by Veronica’s own distant past which included an acquaintance with the missing Hathaway son. While uncovering the truth, Veronica and Stoker once again end up in mortal peril, fighting for their lives, solving multiple mysteries, and using their wits to find solutions.
It’s all very charming, and the adventure itself is fun even while taking a while to build up stakes. Once our favorite couple are themselves in danger, of course it all escalates and becomes much more dramatic — but even then, the banter and sexy glances and innuendo continue.
I had a few qualms about a certain plot complication which the romantic in me found upsetting, but never fear, it’s more or less resolved by book’s end. The mystery is tied up nicely, although Veronica and Stoker are left in a status that’s less settled than in previous books… so can I have #8 now please???? (Sadly, no — I expect it’ll be another year’s wait for the next one).
As in all the books in this series, the humor is silly and fun, and Veronica is a treat — a fierce, intelligent woman of science who’s not afraid to follow her own path, including becoming romantically and physically involved with a man who’s very much her partner and equal.
And really, when else would we get to read a book that includes such delightful words and phrases as “fritillary”, “amatory arts”, “passamenterie”, “osculatory”, and “inanition”? Not to mention a quick little aside in which a character educates us on the origins of the bandanna?
An Impossible Impostor is just a super fun adventure. Each book in the series goes by too quickly, and I always tell myself to slow down and savor them… but I never do. An Impossible Impostor could potentially work as a stand-alone mystery. The key players and background are explained well enough to be able to follow along. But, I don’t really recommend this approach — you’d be missing out on all the delicious history of Veronica and Stoker’s relationship, as well as their individual backstories, and truly, those are too good to miss!
If you want to get to know Veronica Speedwell, I’d say start with book #1, A Curious Beginning. I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked! And isn’t it nice to know that there are already another six books to enjoy after that one?
This series has become one of my favorites. Check it out!
13 thoughts on “Book Review: An Impossible Impostor (Veronica Speedwell, #7) by Deanna Raybourn”
To be honest, I read the first one and she ALMOST hooked me, but that ending… the reason why someone wanted her dead… that was WAY too far-fetched for me.
Ah, too bad! That plot piece carries through the series, but it’s used in a really clever way that develops over the books.
Oh well… I guess it just isn’t the series for me, then. I couldn’t get past that bit, I’m afraid.
I cant believe this series is up to book 7 already! I feel like I was just reading a review of the first book not too long ago 😁
Time flies! Although since it’s one book per year, it kind of shocks me to realize I’ve been reading these books for seven years now!
I’m glad you are enjoying this Veronica Speedwell series so much! Isn’t it great to have something you can’t wait to read? Happy weekend!
Absolutely — although at some point, it’s almost counter-productive to read a series for so long. At this point, I love the characters themselves so much that I just want them to have a nice happy life, which would definitely get in the way of exciting adventures and their tendency to end up in danger every book!
I get that!
Great post! I really need to get to reading this series.
Wishing you a great reading weekend. 🙂
Thanks! I hope you give it a try. 🙂 Have a great weekend!
I’m so far behind in this series! But I’m glad to hear it’s still going strong. Veronica and Stoker are such great characters. I need to try and catch up.
I’m so glad you like Veronica and Stoker!! It’s light reading, fun to save for when you need a good, fluffy distraction. 🙂
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