In Christine Trent’s newest novel Lady of Ashes which releases tomorrow she hits on an intriguing story line – a woman undertaker in Victorian London. This novel is great mix of historical details along with a tale that keeps you turning the pages. Lady of Ashes is the first book in a new historical mystery series that Christine is writing and I can’t wait to read more. She is one author who can spin a tale that never fails to draw me in and keep me there! I must say as well that I adore this cover along with the title!
Violet Morgan is no normal lady of society. In fact, she is an undertaker who works along with her husband in their shop which is something unheard of back in the 1860’s. Not only is she an undertaker but she’s spirited, opinionated, independent, and quite intelligent – again out of the norm that most women followed back then of the quiet, polite, homemaking lady. Violet can dress up a deceased person but don’t ask her to roast a duck because it’s unlikely she could. While she loves working with her husband Graham trouble seems to be brewing on the marital front. The very thing that first attracted Graham to Violet which was how she took so quickly to the undertaking business now seems to be turning him off and he’s complaining that she doesn’t keep a proper home for him. It’s not long before Graham is keeping secrets from Violet and staying out all night and it leaves her wondering what her husband is up to.
Too add to Graham’s displeasure of his wife she takes in an orphan of whom she becomes quite attached. In the meantime Graham is still up to no good and it’s not long before he and his brother have to flee London for their lives. This leaves Violet on her own with the orphan Susanna but Violet is no weeping willow and she pulls up her boots and moves on with, of course, the help of a handsome fellow who is more than willing to help her. As all of this is unfolding Violet is noticing disturbing things with the corpses she is attending for burial and she begins to wonder if there isn’t someone causing these deaths. To this end Violet finds herself in even more dire straits and soon enough she is fighting for both her and Susanna’s life. Who will be victorious – the murderer or Violet?
While this novel is full of many true historical characters and happenings which I really liked as I learned quite a bit, it is still Violet who steals the show. It is her story that kept me turning the pages. I really liked her and the way she stood up for what she believed in. Of course she elicited a few giggles from me when she was angered and would becomes incensed at people who she felt deserved a verbal battering. The novel also takes us back to Victorian London in a way that made me feel as though I was there. Trent is a very descriptive writer and I could almost feel the darkness of the streets and the swirling mist that seemed to constantly fill the air. One of my favorite parts though would have to be the diary entries of the murderer every few chapters as they contemplated the people getting in their way and the next move that they would have to make. What I found to be the most intriguing thing about the book was the information on the undertaking business back in the 1800’s. It was fascinating to learn how they prepared bodies back then and that embalming was thought to be evil and not a common practice as it is today.
Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent is another winner for me. I enjoy her writing and her stories and I could not have found a better way to spend my weekend than to immerse myself in the tale she wove. I am already looking forward to the next novel in this series!
Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent is on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and today is the kick off day so be sure to stop by all the other tour stops coming up for more reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways! Christine can be found on her website and Facebook so be sure to check out more of her work there. Your own copy of Lady of Ashes can be purchased at Amazon or Amazon Canada.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (International)
I have one copy of Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do let me know so I can pass the entry on to you as well.
- Tweet, Like on Facebook, or Blog about this giveaway for 3 entries.
This giveaway is open Internationally! I will draw for the winner on Saturday, March 9/13. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Christine Trent. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.