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A Perilous Undertaking

Written by: Deanna Raybourn
Narrated by: Angele Masters
Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times best-selling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries.

Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task - saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if Veronica cannot find the real killer. But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer - a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia's life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists' colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed.

©2017 Deanna Raybourn (P)2017 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable Victorian Mystery

I recommend this book as a pleasant dip into history. Love the idea of butterfly collecting. As a female occupation at the time. Very much enjoyed the male and female protagonists. Good reader.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent fun.

The story was highly entertaining and well narrated. Although it is technically historical fiction and well researched, it is primarily and adventurous mystery. The narrator reflected the tone of the story well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable!

I enjoyed this book even more than the first one in the series! The period details are deftly woven into an excellent mystery plot. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great character development narration okay mystery

Again Angele was wonderful as the narrator. the character development and backstory continues to grow. I love the introduction of lady wellingtonia. I appreciate that Deanna alludes to things in previous book with out going into all the details, so that you have a general idea but it entices you to read the previous books because the history isn't rehashed every book. Again it has stolen glances and one or two near kisses between various characters to add a little romance spice. as long time Agatha fan I felt pretty certain of who was my principal suspect. So while they try to place a few red herrings to suggest other characters that are probable, in the long run I wasn't surprised by who it was and why.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • KLR
  • 2017-01-14

An Intriguing Mystery

In this second installment of the Veronica Speedwell mysteries I find that I have come to like her character better than in the first book. I only have one complaint: it was a bit much that with every new acquaintance Veronica made she had to prove to them how unaffected she is by their lack of convention or morality, and try to one-up them with her own immoral views I find it hard to believe that everyone she meets would try to shock her and then admire her for not reacting. Other than that I really enjoyed the story. I loved seeing how Veronica and Stoker's friendship has grown and how they well they complement each other. I also like a book where I am not able to figure out the murderer right away. Now if only miss Angele Masters could narrate a female character, besides Veronica, that does not have a shrill voice . . .

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • sonia
  • Alexandria ,Virginia, United States
  • 2017-06-13

What sex? No where is anyone actually having sex.

What made the experience of listening to A Perilous Undertaking the most enjoyable?

Ms. Masters is pretty much spot on. She enunciates, pronounces words properly and has the perfect cadence to tell this type of story. I could tell the difference between characters. She reads very well and I enjoyed her. The story flows.

What other book might you compare A Perilous Undertaking to and why?

A Curious Beginning. To compare it to another author's story is not something I do. To me each author is a separate entity. Apples and oranges thing.

What does Angele Masters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The story isn't convoluted, simple relationship story with a bit of mystery, 19th century humor. Not sure, due to my Veteran PTSD, I cannot read a book anymore. So I can't give my opinion.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

chasing butterflies up a camels butt!

Any additional comments?

I don't understand the reviews about too much sex. No where in the story does anyone have sex. It is talked about and with some explicit descriptions. If you can't handle limited descriptions of sex, not the book for you

44 of 49 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Denise
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 2017-01-18

Can't get enough!!

Love this series!!! I have Deanna's Julia Grey book one in my wish list!

This series is best read in order.

Angele Masters narration is marvelous!!

Veronica and Stoker are wonderful together!! They have such a wonderful relationship. If you like a good mystery with great characters and a series that adds more history of the main characters each book. This is for you.

Good ending no cliff hanger (thank goodness). Still I cannot wait for the next book!!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Maine Knitter
  • 2017-01-18

Another winner!

Veronica is my kind of hero! I love her attitude.

This second book in Raybourn's latest series continues the excitement and humor of the first. The dialogue between Veronica and Stoker is fabulous! Their interactions - whether in a mortuary or an opium den - make for an amazing adventure.

The narration was perfect. I hope Angele Masters remains the narrator for the following books. And I hope Deanna Raybourn is writing frantically.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 2017-02-07

Much More Sexual Than the First

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book would be better with far less discussion of historic sex toys and orgies.

What does Angele Masters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Master is an impressive narrator. She reads male and female voices so distinctly that it is easy to tell the different characters from each other. Beautiful work.

Any additional comments?

This book is not one I would share with my young teenagers. It was gorier and more prurient than the first novel. This is a plus for some readers, just not my thing.

29 of 39 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelli Leigh
  • Madison, WI
  • 2017-01-10

Enthralling Storyline and Intersting Characters.

Would you listen to A Perilous Undertaking again? Why?

I don't generally listen to them more than once since my queue is always full of books to listen to.

What did you like best about this story?

I like the characters, they are very eccentric and although the main character can be an overbearing and bratty sometimes, (it's true) I like that Raybourn went "all in" with her main characters, sometimes verging on absurd, but it works. The dilaogue/banter between the characters is delicious to listen to and to read.

What about Angele Masters’s performance did you like?

How she handled all of the often quick and witty (often with multiple voices and accents) dialogue--which is more challenging than paragraphs of prose. Very smoothe and clear. At first I wasn't sure how I fel about her gravelly Stoker, but after I got to know the character, it grew on me, and it fits. I look forward to the next book in the series, she really did a great job.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I think some of the more tender moments when Veronica and Stoker both have their guards down, and we can see them forming a lasting connection. Especially since he's so rough and tumble it's nice to see his soft side. And for Veronica to be quiet for a moment. :)

Any additional comments?

Deanna Raybourn is one of my favorite authors and I think the great performances by the readers really enhance the stories and have really done justice to the books. Highly recommend!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynn
  • 2017-01-14

A Very Enjoyable Undertaking

I thoroughly enjoyed this production. First of all, the narration was some of the best I've heard. Ms. Masters was able to capture each character well and have unique voices for them. The story itself was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed the first in the series, A Curious Beginning, but I definitely think this is a stronger book. The characters and their relationships and motivations are well-drawn, and the mystery itself is interesting. It's also a very funny book, making it the total package as far as I'm concerned.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lee
  • VERO BEACH, FL, United States
  • 2019-08-03

Not as good as the 1st

This book was still a good read with interesting characters. You get some more of Speedwell and Stokers backstory which is intriguing. I'm looking forward to listening to book 3.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • LC
  • 2019-07-09

The story was ok but the narration was annoying

I just struggled to get past the narrator’s delivery and the voices given to many of the characters. The voices used for older characters were really annoying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • Los Angeles, CA United States
  • 2019-06-04

Fun book

As A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn opens, lepidopterist Veronica Speedwell and her colleague, the naturalist Stoker, have just had to put on hold their expedition to the South Pacific, and they are starving for adventure. Then Veronica gets invited to the Curiosity Club, where she meets Lady Sundridge, a mysterious lady who begs Veronica to investigate the murder of a woman known as Artimisia. The pregnant mistress of artist Miles Ramsforth was found murdered and in Miles’s arms. Convicted of the murder, Miles is scheduled to be executed in a week, and Mrs. Sundridge is certain that he did not commit the crime. She thus appeals to Veronica to solve the murder.

Veronica and Stoker find themselves getting immersed in the art world in which Miles Ramsforth has lived, a community with its own free love lifestyle. In doing this, the pair find themselves learning to trust each other even more and work together, traits they will need to survive this mission.

As with A Curious Beginning, I fully enjoyed A Perilous Undertaking. The book contained a strong plot that kept me drawn to the story and not wanting to put it down. Further, the characters were highly relatable and ones I got deeply invested in. I did think the book had too much discussion of sexual issues. Though there were no actual sex scenes, Veronica initiates many discussions of sexual performance, and the practices of the artists’ colony includes some rather lewd scenes, especially the grotto where people engage in orgies and other sexual adventures.

I appreciated the audiobook performance of Angele Masters, who takes listeners on a fun ride with the book as she performs the role of Veronica, the narrator of the book.

I liked A Perilous Undertaking, which kept me drawn to it throughout. The rush to find the true killer in time to save Miles’s life keeps the plot moving. If there was just a little less sexual content, I’d be happier, as this comes dangerously close to breaking out of the framework of a traditional mystery. We can still follow characters’ sexual escapades without some of the more graphic depictions of things. I give this book four stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful