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Stolen Remains (Lady Of Ashes Book 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 305 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Queen Victoria, still in mourning for her beloved Albert summons Violet to St. James Palace. In the previous book Violet became acquainted with her Majesty when she assisted at the funeral for Prince Albert and became the Queen's confidante. A peer of the realm Viscount Raybourn has been found shot to death in his townhouse in London and Victoria suspects there is more to this than meets the eye and requests Violet to be the "mortician in charge." After the family's personal undertaker leaves the Viscount's house in a huff---Violet takes over.
There's a lot going on in this mystery. Viscount Raybourn had just returned from Egypt as an emissary for the Queen and was involved in some scandals and blackmail concerning the building of the Suez Canal. No one seems to be aware of who the letter sender is that is threatening to expose all the wrong doings. Then there is the family---the remaining son Stephan and his wife Katherine, two other daughters Eleanor and Dorothy, and Eleanor's husband Gordon Bishop, and their son Tobias. There was also an eldest son Cedric who died in the Boehr War. There's also a distraught housekeeper, Mrs. Peet. And a disheveled guy claiming to know Cedric turns up.
As Violet pursues her job not just as undertaker but investigator she is joined by two members of the new Scotland Yard. More hands in the pie, more characters, and eventually more killings! There's also a connection between Violet and the family which makes this case even more challenging and brings back a lot of memories for her.
This is the second episode in the lady of ashes mysteries. I look forward to a lot more. The author of these books has obviously done a lot of research into funerary practices of the Victorian age---the clothes worn, the laying out of the body, the draping of the windows, and the superstitions and rituals involving the care of the dead. She also exposes the quackery that funeral homes engaged in during the day preying upon grieving families and encouraging them to spend more money to remember their loved ones.
Violet brings a unique respect to her "deceased clients" no matter how they died. It is sad to note that her treatment of the dead, in some cases, is the best they've ever been treated.
In this story Violent, now married to Sam, is returning to England from America to tend to her ill mother. A murder is committed and Queen Victoria has a hand in judiciously delaying burial, and Violet finds herself in the home of a boy she grew up with.
There are fragments of the mystery everywhere and, for me at least, it was a bit difficult to keep track of them all. Thankfully, Violet isn't me, and she keeps notes.
It did get a bit twisty for me but as I really enjoy Violet I did not stop reading. I will soon start the third book in the series and hope that the next has a bit more of Sam. I missed him.