A royal scandal’s connection to a brutal serial killer threatens London in this new Veronica Speedwell adventure from New York Times bestselling and Edgar® Award–nominated author Deanna Raybourn.
Autumn 1888. Veronica Speedwell and her colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to stop 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, 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 it from the club before scandal can break.
Worse yet, London is being 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 Auroreʼs high-class brothel, where a body soon turns up. Secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family—and it is up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth, before it is too late for all of them.
Veronica Speedwell and Revelstoke "Stoker" Templeton-Vane have finally decided to act on their long-standing attraction to each other when an urgent telegram from friend of the royal family Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk puts romance on hold in Raybourn's rollicking fifth Victorian mystery (after 2019's A Dangerous Collaboration). It's October 1888, and Prince Albert Victor, the heir to the British throne, has given a diamond star marked with his initials to Madame Aurore, who runs the Club de l' toile, a "palace for debauchery." Lady Wellingtonia asks the duo to retrieve the gift, which could cause scandal; worse, she has received anonymous letters suggesting that the prince may be involved in the Ripper murders terrorizing London. Stoker and Veronica attend the club's weekly masked ball hoping to find out more. Instead, they encounter the prince dressed up as a woman, Madame Aurore's murdered corpse, and thugs who imprison them in a warehouse. Raybourn delivers fast-paced action, sexual tension, quirky characters, and clever repartee, but she also crafts quiet scenes most memorably, a meeting with one of the Ripper's future victims rich with deeper emotion. This entry's bound to win her new fans.