Lady of Ashes : Lady of Ashes

  • by Christine Trent
  • Narrated by Polly Lee
  • Series: Lady of Ashes
  • 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Only a woman with an iron backbone could succeed as an undertaker in Victorian London, but Violet Morgan takes great pride in her trade. While her husband, Graham, is preoccupied with elevating their station in society, Violet is cultivating a sterling reputation for Morgan Undertaking. She is empathetic, well-versed in funeral fashions, and comfortable with death's role in life - until its chilling rattle comes knocking on her own front door.
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 Reviews

Most Helpful

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!
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- Sara "Avid Reader"

A Hot Mess

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Choose a theme and stick to it.

What could Christine Trent have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I would have loved to read a book JUST about a female undertaker in Victorian England. Super interesting. But instead it just goes ALL OVER the place---seriel killer, Contact with eccentric royalty, a troubled marriage, the civil war, adopting a troubled child, romance... I was irritated.

Did Polly Lee do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, she did fine.

Did Lady of Ashes inspire you to do anything?

Not read the next one in the series.

Any additional comments?

I had high hopes but this was pretty awful and I couldn't wait for it to end.

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- Almira

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-25-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios