I’m a huge fan of Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series, but in every series, there are always one or two books that have a bit more sparkle than the rest. For me, it’s this book, which combines all of Raybourn’s many gifts into one completely delicious package. In book seven of this series, lepidopterist Veronica has settled in with her beloved Stoker, in an extremely unconventional arrangement for the time (Victorian Britain): they live in sin, and Veronica is very much a working woman.
This seems almost unbelievable, but it’s been 51 years since Tony Hillerman published his first Joe Leaphorn novel, The Blessing Way. The books are now such revered classics I was hesitant when I picked up Anne Hillerman’s first book, thinking there was no way she could continue the work of her father. But Ms. Hillerman has made the series her own. The central character is neither Joe Leaphorn or Jim Chee, but Bernadette (Bernie) Manuelito, giving the series an entirely new flavor.