Review: The Mourning Bells Christine Trent

Description (from cover):

‘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 funeral and burials in Surrey. But on the 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…’

My thoughts:

I genuinely have mixed feelings about this series. Either I really enjoy the book or I really don’t. This book was just okay. It was a little long and dry in places and not very engaging. I had a hard time staying focused on the story and I spent a lot of time wondering if I was ever going to make it to the end. This series started off pretty good, but I’ve noticed that the last couple of books or so, have been a little disappointing. This one took the cake though. I was bored. I was wondering why it was Violet’s concern that there were two bodies that were buried alive essentially and why it really mattered. Yes, she is concerned about the other undertakers in the business and their quality of work, but who really cares? It just comes off that she is a pompous know-it-all really.
I am not quite sure if I would label this as a mystery. Yes, someone died, but it was just a hot mess from the beginning to the end. Mostly the story is the reader reading about Violet prancing around London basically telling her colleagues how to do their jobs and making everyone hate her for it. No wonder someone wanted her dead. I would too. It was annoying and I kind of lost respect for the main character. Maybe the next book should have Violet sitting down and have her shut her mouth for once. I don’t think that would get us very far, but it does beat having her being a rude busybody to everyone.
I really felt that this book could have been a lot better. It really fell flat for me and I just could not get into it. It wasn’t as bad that I couldn’t finish it, but Violet’s character in this book seems out of control. She needs to be reined in a whole lot in order for me to even like her again and enjoy reading about her so-called investigations. I sincerely hope that the next book shows improvement because I will not be reading this series anymore if the next one is anything like this one. I am just very disappointed in this book and this series at this point.

Overall Rating: 1.5

Title:  The Mourning Bells
Author:  Christine Trent
Series:  Lady of Ashes Mystery #4
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  March 31, 2015
Pages:  432
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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