One of Victorian London's most respected undertakers, Violet Harper has the new duty of accompanying coffins from various undertakers on the London Necropolis Railway for respectful funerals and burials in Surrey. But on her fateful first trip, the mournful silence of the train is shattered by the shrill ringing of a coffin bell--a device that prevents a person from being buried alive.Read more...
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One of Victorian London's most respected undertakers, Violet Harper has the new duty of accompanying coffins from various undertakers on the London Necropolis Railway for respectful funerals and burials in Surrey. But on her fateful first trip, the mournful silence of the train is shattered by the shrill ringing of a coffin bell--a device that prevents a person from being buried alive.
Inside the noisome coffin Violet finds a man wide-eyed with fear, claiming he was falsely interred. When a second coffin bell is rung on another trip Violet grows suspicious. She voices her qualms to Inspector Hurst of Scotland Yard, only to receive a puzzling reply that, after all, it is not a crime to rise from the dead.
But Violet's instincts are whispering that all is not well on the London Necropolis Railway's tracks. Is this all merely the result of clumsy undertaking, or is there something more sinister afoot? Determined to get to the heart of the matter, Violet uncovers a treacherous plot and villains who will stop at nothing to keep a lid on her search for the truth...
Praise for Lady of Ashes
"A vibrant story."
"Rich with historical incidents and details."
"A book you can sink your teeth into, with characters you'll fall in love with."
--Mystery Scene Magazine
- ISBN-13: 9781617736438
- ISBN-10: 1617736430
- Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
- Publish Date: April 2015
- Page Count: 432
- Reading Level: Ages 18-UP
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.5 pounds
Series: Lady of Ashes Mysteries
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-02-16
- Reviewer: Staff
An intriguing though ghoulish premise sparks Trent’s fourth Victorian whodunit featuring London undertaker Violet Harper (after 2014’s Stolen Remains). Violet, who disapproves of “safety” coffins that enable the mistakenly interred to alert the world above ground that they are still among the living, is stunned to experience just such a phenomenon. On arrival at Brookwood train station in Surrey, Violet, who has been escorting a casket on the journey, hears a bell ringing from another coffin. The bell is attached to a string within reach of the body inside, and the noise prompts her companion to undo the lid, which reveals a disoriented but very much alive man, whose first word is “havfindabang.” That bizarre occurrence proves to be the first of several. Murder soon follows. Trent nicely integrates the Debtors Act of 1869 into the plot, though the dogged, feisty lead unconvincingly bites off more than she can chew. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Apr.)