After my recent disappointment in Raybourn’s Killers of a Certain Age, I admit to a lack of confidence in the latest Veronica Speedwell, despite the series being one of my favourites. What if Raybourn has lost her magic? My reader nervousness, however, dissipated on the first page of Veronica and Stoker’s latest adventure, A Sinister Revenge. And this time around, Raybourn brings Stoker’s brothers along, older bro Tiberius, the imperious looker, pretend-dissolute, and paterfamilias, much as he’d scoff at the role, and the adorable baby-bro, Merryweather, the vicar, innocent, handsome, and a trifle bumbling. They are brought together when Tiberius’s past necessitates a trip to the family’s Devon estate, Cherboys, and also as it returns to endanger him. The publisher’s blurb will fill in some details:
Veronica’s natural-historian beau, Stoker, has been away in Bavaria for months and their relationship is at an impasse. But when Veronica shows up before him with his brother, Tiberius, Lord Templeton-Vane, he is lured back home by an intriguing job offer: preparing an iguanodon for a very special dinner party.
Tiberius has received a cryptic message—along with the obituaries of two recently deceased members of his old group of friends, the Seven Sinners—that he too should get his affairs in order. Realizing he is in grave danger but not knowing why, he plans a reunion party for the remaining Sinners at his family estate to lure the killer out while Veronica and Stoker investigate.
As the guests arrive and settle in, the evening’s events turn deadly. More clues come to light, leading Veronica, Stoker, and Tiberius to uncover a shared past among the Sinners that has led to the fatal present. But the truth might be far more sinister than what they were prepared for. (more…)