Violet's peculiar but happy life soon begins to unravel as Graham becomes obsessed with his own demons and all but abandons her as he plans a vengeful scheme. And the solace she's always found in her work evaporates like a departing soul when she suspects that some of the deceased she's dressed have been murdered. When Graham's plotting leads to his disappearance, Violet takes full control of the business and is commissioned for an undertaking of royal proportions. But she's certain there's a killer lurking in the London fog, and the next funeral may be her own.
Equal parts courage, compassion, and intrigue, Christine Trent tells an unrestrained tale of love and loss in the rigidly decorous world of Victorian society.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sara on 09-07-14
A Most Unusual Book!
I need to start out by saying that I was unsure that I would like this book. Further, based on reviews I read over at amazon I was wary about giving it a try. It sat in my wish list for quite a while before I finally took the plunge. What a jump into the deep end it was! Gruesome, fascinating, terrifying and enthralling are words that come to mind. The mystery is just a part of this amazing tale of life in Victorian England, the US during the Civil War, the relationship between the two countries, and yes the business of Undertaking. The book leans heavily on true events and in the author's notes at the end of the book she discusses liberties she took with actual events in her writing of the story.
Be aware that every detail is drawn out and examined in great depth. There were so many facts and back stories that it was almost overwhelming at times. At hour eleven I was willing the author to get to the point and even thought of giving up. But by then I was so wrapped up in it all that I just had to finish the book. And finish it I did!
Polly Lee did a wonderful job with the narration. Her voice was stilted and difficult to adjust to a first but she added depth to the story telling and I enjoyed her reading once I got over the initial surprise.
As to some of the reviews that concerned me over on amazon--I'm not sure those kind folks actually read/finished the book. Their comments were puzzling in hind sight. This recording even has the first 30 minutes of book 2 in the series after the author's comments at the end of the book. So, you can jump right into the next installment--though I might need to take a breath for a bit.
Not your ordinary mystery story. Not for the faint hearted. A bit gruesome. No plot spoilers allowed-- but if you would like to try something totally different and completely enthralling this might be for you. I loved it in the end! Wouldn't have missed a word of it!
56 of 57 people found this review helpful
By Christine Ehren on 06-02-15
Entertaining historical jaunt
What did you love best about Lady of Ashes?
I love an author that has clearly done their research, those little details that show they love their subject. This is an author that seems to know her Victorians, and their obsession with death. The main character and her vocation are well designed to show off one area of that period that hasn't been thoroughly mined already.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Lady of Ashes?
I now know more about royal funerals, and what went into early embalming fluids than I ever expected to know.
What does Polly Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I thought the narrator's accent and diction were well suited to the period the story was set in. It helped set the right tone.
Any additional comments?
I'm looking forward to further installments of this series.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful