This is the fifth book in the Veronica Speedwell series. There will absolutely be spoilers for some of the previous books in the series. Skip this review if you’re not up to date. It’s an excellent series; if you want to start at the beginning, pick up A Curious Beginning.
Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to help with a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, known as the Club de l’Etoile, and the proprietress, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Lady Wellie would like Veronica and Stoker to retrieve the jewel from the club before scandal can break.
Worse yet, London is gripped by hysteria in the autumn of 1888, terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper–and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible.
Veronica and Stoker reluctantly agree to go undercover at Madame Aurore’s high-class brothel, where another body soon turns up. Many secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family–and it’s up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth before it’s too late for all of them.
Back in London after their near-death experience, not to mention declarations of affection for one another, Veronica and Stoker nevertheless never really seem to find the time or privacy to actually act on their out in the open emotions. You’d think snooping around a high-class brothel and trying to locate a precious gemstone, so they can soothe the worries of Lady Wellie and none other than the Princess of Wales. While they become certain rather quickly that the royal heir has nothing to do with the gruesome serial murders taking place, there is clearly someone trying to blacken the young prince’s name, and as their investigation deepens, Veronica and Stoker discover that the culprits are known to them from a previous case.
Full review on my blog.