We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Lady of Ashes: Lady of Ashes, Book 1 | [Christine Trent]

Lady of Ashes: Lady of Ashes, Book 1

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.
Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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.

©2013 Christine Trent (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (157 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.0 (150 )
5 star
 (55)
4 star
 (58)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.0 (148 )
5 star
 (65)
4 star
 (41)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Avid Reader 07-09-14
    Avid Reader 07-09-14

    Listening is reading

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3447
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    221
    186
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    131
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    b 09-08-14
    b 09-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a fan"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    The novel is a long winded historical fiction, with an emphasis on detail and a lack of story line. The narrator read the English female roles well, but the male American accents were painful.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Goldman 03-26-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed Dragging Details"

    Story often mired in the details. Plot meandered. Publisher's summary far more exciting than book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Ehren Saint Paul, MN 02-06-15
    Christine Ehren Saint Paul, MN 02-06-15 Member Since 2014

    C O Ehren

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    290
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining historical jaunt"
    What did you love best about Lady of Ashes?

    I love an author that has clearly done their research, those little details that show they love their subject. This is an author that seems to know her Victorians, and their obsession with death. The main character and her vocation are well designed to show off one area of that period that hasn't been thoroughly mined already.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lady of Ashes?

    I now know more about royal funerals, and what went into early embalming fluids than I ever expected to know.


    What does Polly Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought the narrator's accent and diction were well suited to the period the story was set in. It helped set the right tone.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm looking forward to further installments of this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Almira PHOENIX, AZ, United States 10-02-14
    Almira PHOENIX, AZ, United States 10-02-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saks1962 Maine 07-04-14
    Saks1962 Maine 07-04-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    184
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book and narration!"
    If you could sum up Lady of Ashes in three words, what would they be?

    Victorian female undertaker.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lady of Ashes?

    A very suspenseful and nail biting train crash.


    What about Polly Lee’s performance did you like?

    Her voice definitely fits a story that takes place in Victorian England. Polly Lee also has the ability to portray many different characters very well.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Victorian era female undertaker who also solves murders.


    Any additional comments?

    I just purchased book 2 in the series and will be starting to listen to it shortly! I am looking forward to seeing more books featuring Violet from talented author Christine Trent!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gash 01-21-15
    Gash 01-21-15

    Avid reader/listener.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    108
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "16 hours of uneven storytelling"

    Ms. Trent would have been better served to develop her characters a bit more rather than to cover quite as much scope. The book was interesting enough for me to have finished it, but I grew increasingly impatient for it to end. It was a primer on Victorian burial practices (interesting) and relations between England and the US during the civil war (could have been interesting). It included a portrait of Queen Victoria when she lost Albert (annoying), a description of a rail disaster (the most emotive part of the book), and a mystery and romance.

    Unfortunately the tensions that make for a good mystery and/or romance were lost in the surrounding events and lack of character development. I understand that Victorians didn't express themselves very freely, but in novels we are usually allowed inside the protagonists' hearts and minds. In this book the main character seemed more of a cardboard cut out than a woman. Perhaps if Polly Lee had been more of a performer, she could have breathed a bit more life into Violet Morgan, but all-in-all I thought she did an adequate job of reading 16 hours of uneven storytelling. I'm guessing not even the best performers could have enlivened Violet.

    I won't read another in the series.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Memphis, TN, United States 07-19-14
    Ellen Memphis, TN, United States 07-19-14 Member Since 2013

    ziasophia

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally absorbing, dark, and quirky!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lady of Ashes to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read print edition, but the narrator on this book added a great deal to the atmosphere and characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Violet...Suzannah...Queen Victoria...who can possibly choose?? Love Violet's plucky attitude, the mystery in Suzannah, and the author's ability to make QV seem like a real person rather than a mere icon


    What about Polly Lee’s performance did you like?

    See above


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    MANY moments that were poignant in terms of what Violet was thinking, as well as the ways in which her perceptions and emotions were so different than those of the other characters during the same event. Especially loved some points when she suddenly realized that Suzannah might be perceiving or experiencing things very differently.


    Any additional comments?

    Not sure why other reviewers have said they got bored at some spots. I found all of the detail enthralling. Kept going back to listen again to some portions to make sure I fully got everything --- not b/c I was bored but b/c the details of life during this period in London are so thought-provoking and I often found myself Googling something to see if it was accurate (seemed to be) or what it looked like (jet jewelry!!!!). I LOVED this book and these characters!!! Wondering if I can wait until I get my next credit to buy the next in the series!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Liskey 08-15-14
    S. Liskey 08-15-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not finish"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story needed more focus. It was diffused by unbelievable detours into brushes with historic figures. I think the story held promise, but it was just too dry for me to finish. I bought this with a hope of distraction, and it felt like work. I liked the main character, and much of the premise, but it kept veering into uninteresting matters (in my opinion.)


    Would you ever listen to anything by Christine Trent again?

    Perhaps


    What three words best describe Polly Lee’s performance?

    Staid, British


    What character would you cut from Lady of Ashes?

    Royalty


    Any additional comments?

    I am not against learning a bit of history while reading, but this one bogged down a bit too much in playing with history for my taste.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristine MADISON, WI, United States 05-05-15
    Kristine MADISON, WI, United States 05-05-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History loaded riveting tale"
    Would you listen to another book narrated by Polly Lee?

    No She tried to change her voice to indicate different characters, but her mean's voice was wimpy and distracting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.