Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent

Author: Christine Trent
Publisher: Kensington
Date of publication: February 26, 2013

In 1861 London, Violet Morgan is struggling to establish a good reputation for the undertaking business that her husband has largely abandoned. She provides comfort for the grieving, advises them on funeral fashion and etiquette, and arranges funerals.

Unbeknownst to his wife, Graham, who has nursed a hatred of America since his grandfather soldiered for Great Britain in the War of 1812, becomes involved in a scheme to sell arms to the South. Meanwhile, Violet receives the commission of a lifetime: undertaking the funeral for a friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. But her position remains precarious, especially when Graham disappears and she begins investigating a series of deaths among the poor. And the closer she gets to the truth, the greater the danger for them both…

I was really looking forward to reading this book.  From the synopsis, it looked really interesting.  For the most part it was a good mystery with a strong female lead.  I liked Violet and her determination to be a good undertaker. She is a smart and compassionate woman. I also liked the glimpse into the world of death and burials in the late 1800s.  

The problem that I had with the book was that it was too packed with plots and historical figures.  Had the book just followed the killer plot that I was expecting, I think I would have liked it more. I found myself skimming parts of the book, especially the parts pertaining to the civil war.  The mix of American and British history just didn't work for me.  I would recommend reading the notes from the author at the end of the book.  She provides more information about the historical figures in the book.  I found that interesting.  The book has gotten lots of great reviews.  Check them out and give the book a try.

About the author:

Christine Trent writes historical fiction from her two-story home library.  She lives with her wonderful bookshelf-building husband, four precocious cats, a large doll collection, entirely too many fountain pens, and over 4,000 fully cataloged books.  She and her husband are active travelers and journey regularly to England to conduct book research at historic sites.

Christine Trent's novels include The Queen's Dollmaker, A Royal Likeness and By the King's Design.
For more information, please visit Christine Trent's website.  You can also find her on Facebook.

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