Despite this book being called “A Curious Beginning” I feel it could very well be a stand alone. However, that will not stop me from reading the rest of the series. This mystery novel placed in Victorian England follows a forward thinking, dare I say feminist, lepidopterist (butterfly hunter) in search of the meaning behind the chance meetings and the cryptic messages with which she has recently become plagued.
While many categorize the book as adult historical mystery fiction I believe it could easily work for the “swoony” teenage girl as well. There is an element of romance strewn thought its entirety though it never goes beyond a mention or an idea. This being so, I have defiantly seen novels directed specifically at youth with considerably more “rated R” scenes than anyone could even pretend Raybourn portrayed.
As for the actual story itself, I thoroughly enjoyed the constant action, plot changes, details, and fell madly for each quippy remark. The character herself may be far ahead of her time in just about everything she does but this very much allows for one to better imagine themselves in her place; if you are anything like me regardless of how much you love Jane Austen you can easily become frustrated with the characters’ reserve in some situations.
So, if you are in the mood for a fun read that will keep you on your toes and put a cheeky smile on your face, fear not, Raybourn’s book is up to the challenge.