Soon after their arrival, they have a visit from Sir Hugh Montgomerie, head of the Special Branch of Scotland Yard and sometimes right-hand man to the Queen. Sir Hugh has a favor to ask, that Stoker and Veronica visit a family of his long acquaintance. The Hathaway family has thought for years that the heir, Jonathan Hathaway, was killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa, but a man purporting to be him has returned. Veronica was with Hathaway and another man on the ill-fated expedition. Veronica has always believed that both were killed. Sir Hugh also wants them to check on the well-being of Euphemia “Effie” Hathaway, his god-daughter. He sweetens the deal for Stoker with a promise that there might be a specimen of a “Tasmanian Tiger” at Hathaway Hall and butterflies for Veronica.
Upon arrival, they find a household in turmoil, a miserable Effie, a managing and social-climbing wife to Charles Hathaway, the younger brother to Jonathan, and the estate’s present owner. There is also a dragon of a mother-in-law. Upon introduction to “Jonathan,” Veronica gets the surprise of her life, and so does the reader! The secret of his identity is one she can’t reveal, especially to Stoker. It’s hard to believe that Veronica was ever a romantic fool, but everyone is young once.
An Impossible Impostor is full of chases, kidnappings, escapes, stolen Indian jewels, supernatural happenings, and threats to life and limb. Of course, one has come to expect all that from a Veronica Speedwell novel. The Impossible Impostor himself is just that, impossible indeed. There is the introduction of a new villainess, one I would expect to see again. Isabel MacGregor is not the type to be forgiving when thwarted. The novel ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger, but it only whets the appetite for the next book in the series.
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