Rating: 5 ♥’s
Published: March 7, 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Pages: 336

Description: Veronica must find and stop a devious killer when a group of old friends is targeted for death in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–nominated author Deanna Raybourn.
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.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Happy release day!

Deanna Raybourn has done it again! These books have become one of my most looked-forward-to reads of the year, and this one was amazing. On top of all of the series being great reads, can I just say the covers never disappoint either, they are so beautiful.

We start off almost where the 7th left off and we are left on a cliffhanger as to what is going to happen with Stoker and Veronica’s relationship, which of course I am rooting for and have high hopes that they will work it out. However, right away we are drawn into a new mystery as to who is threatening Stoker’s brother, Tiberius. In order to figure it out he has a plan and of course, that plan involves Veronica and Stoker so they can use their investigative abilities to help figure out who is the culprit and also to make sure that he doesn’t get killed. Of course, this wouldn’t be a part of this series if there wasn’t some animal that Stoker is in the process of fixing up with his taxidermy skills, and this one is a fun one, a dinosaur.

I love that we get to see more of Stoker’s family in this because I have enjoyed it when they show up in the other novels. With them, in this, you get to see more into Stoker’s past and his relationship with his family. I especially like that we got to see more of Merryweather because he was quite fun, even if we only got a little of him. I hope we see more of him in the next. We also get to see J.J. make an appearance and I am enjoying how she and Veronica’s friendship is evolving and love the banter between these two strong independent females. Of course, I will always praise the fun banter between Veronica and Stoker and the chemistry they have.

The plot is well thought out and it flowed really nicely. I was hooked right away on the mystery and found myself jumping around from a couple of different people on who I thought the murderer was. I usually am pretty good at figuring out who they are in mystery books, but I was pleasantly surprised that for this one I did not have it right! I really enjoy that not only do you get the mystery, but you get the adventure, the fun banter that makes you laugh, and the romance of Veronica and Stoker.

This has been one of my favorite reads so far this year. If you haven’t started the Veronica Speedwell series you should! I am sad that I have to wait a year for the next but will be eagerly anticipating it.

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