Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lady of Ashes-Christine Trent

Lady of Ashes

Christine Trent

Kensington, Feb 26 2013, $15.00

ISBN: 9780758265913

In 1861 London, Violet Morgan is super at dressing a corpse but terrible at keeping a house. Violet is fabulous sympathizing and assisting those grieving a loss, but unable to understand why her husband is so angry with her lately and for practical purposes no longer gets involved with his family’s Morgan Undertaking funeral services.

Violet is unaware that Graham loathes the Americans and joins a conspiracy to help the South gain their independence by selling weapons to the Confederacy. At the same time Violet is hired to provide funeral services for a close friend of the royals. At the same time Graham vanishes, Violet investigates deaths among the impoverished; not appreciating the risk she places herself in with her inquiry.

The mystery takes a back seat to the historical aspects of the engaging story line; as readers obtain insight into the strict rules of Victorian funerals and grieving. Violet is a wonderful protagonist whose husband condemns her for not keeping the house proper while she also undertakes all the tasks at their funeral business since he stopped working there in order to spend time defeating America. Ironically she finds giving respect to the dead a haven from her marital troubles. Her investigation is slow and begins somewhat late, but still fans will enjoy this entertaining Victorian tale.

Harriet Klausner

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