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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Christine Trent (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    46
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    24
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    68
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    6
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    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    49
  • 4 Stars
    41
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    26
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    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, narration is annoying

Right out of the gate let it be noted that I really enjoy Ms. Trent's writing. Her main character is a great product of a gifted author's wonderful imagination; a female undertaker who is also an amateur sleuth. Great idea! The time and setting are also perfect for my taste - England, 1800s. A set-up for a great listen. Right? Sadly, wrong.

While Ms. Lee's voice is very pleasant when she is speaking the 'perfect King's English,' when she is trying to ape an American accent (complete with Southern accent no less), things go awry. And, there is more than one character that requires this. It just didn't work for me. Also, the style and speed of her reading seems 'off' somehow. Maybe too slow? Maybe without enough emotion in many circumstances? Many too automated? Unsure exactly what the problem is.

I really wanted to recommend this book heart-and-soul, but found the narration too annoying to get much through more than half.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Never disappoints...

I've enjoyed all of these novels. Great series. It's a combination of Sherlock meets Nancy Drew (Carolyn Keene's originals, of course).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Strange appeal of this series

Would you listen to The Mourning Bells again? Why?

I don't know if I would listen to this one again. But I have been listening to the series and find it strangely appealing. Perhaps it is the weird subject of Victorian England and learning about the strange world of the undertaker. After all,it is Halloween. Perhaps it is the sometimes soothing, but sometimes amazingly awful, accents and voices of Polly Lee. She has a great British accent, the pace is soothing, she's easy to understand and hear, - but every voice that is male is awful.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the Victorian setting and the history of the setting. I also liked learning about the death rituals of the era, which I have only seen in art works from the time. I liked the historical aspects of the book.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Male voices. Her male voices are so awful as to be laughable. They make the characters totally unbelievable.

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

This book was the least moving of the 4. Nothing particularly moved me in this one. I listened to it for the entertainment only.

Any additional comments?

Violet is an interesting character, especially in the first 2 books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Never has death been so interesting!

I really love this series. The story lines are interesting and the details about Victorian Funerary customs are fascinating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Bad But Not Enough to Continue with Series

Would you try another book from Christine Trent and/or Polly Lee?

Probably not. I didn't realize this wasn't book one of the series but I'm not going to read more anyway.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Make the characters a bit more multifaceted. They didn't have much depth. And some of the stupid things the undertaker did were not very believable.

Any additional comments?

I liked the overall premise but it felt like literature for a younger audience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing!

The suit on was apparent within three chapters and our heroine flails about for the rest of the book making unfounded accusations ad nauseum . Mrs Harper has also become quite priggish and very judgmental about everyone but herself making her rather unpleasant. I do enjoy the historical details and customs.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Poor and rather too gruesome for my taste.

Would you try another book from Christine Trent and/or Polly Lee?

No...sadly too disappointing.

Has The Mourning Bells turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes...and indeed it has.

Would you be willing to try another one of Polly Lee’s performances?

No....unlikely, even if it were free.

What character would you cut from The Mourning Bells?

It's not about which character.

Any additional comments?

Very disappointed.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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0 of 20 people found this review helpful