A Bucket of Ashes [NOOK Book]

Overview

Governess Nell Sweeney and wounded battle surgeon Will Hewitt reunite on Cape Cod to investigate the death of Nell’s long-lost brother in Book #6 of P.B. Ryan’s bestselling historical mystery series, A Bucket of Ashes. Originally published by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Group, Inc.

Summary: Nell has proven herself a model governess in the years she’s worked for the Hewitts. But now a terrible secret from her past—and the lurking...
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A Bucket of Ashes

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Overview

Governess Nell Sweeney and wounded battle surgeon Will Hewitt reunite on Cape Cod to investigate the death of Nell’s long-lost brother in Book #6 of P.B. Ryan’s bestselling historical mystery series, A Bucket of Ashes. Originally published by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Group, Inc.

Summary: Nell has proven herself a model governess in the years she’s worked for the Hewitts. But now a terrible secret from her past—and the lurking suspicion that she might be carrying Will Hewitt’s child—threaten to rob her of everything for which she has worked so hard.
Comments: Nell has a lot on her plate. Her only surviving sibling, Jamie, is dead. He was a fugitive, wanted for the murder of Susannah Cunningham. Also occupying her mind is that fact that she’s pregnant with Will’s baby and Will is in France. In the previous book, the American ambassador asked President Grant for an experienced battle surgeon, and Will was offered the job. Nell even begins to question whether Will—rootless vagabond, cardsharp, and recovering addict—can ever truly settle down. He didn’t take the teaching job, which he loved. Nell knows he went to France for her sake. However, with a child’s future in question, Nell can’t help but wonder. Regardless of what she thinks of Will, the fact she needs a divorce first, and soon, remains. With so much uncertainty in her future, it is a small relief to know that her mentor and former lover, Dr. Greaves is offering her so much support. He knows that Nell is pregnant and that her heart belongs to Will, even as she questions his reliability. Dr. Greaves is just the type person Nell needs in her life at the moment, especially when word reaches the Hewitts that the American ambassador has “lost” his battle surgeon. Ms. Ryan—thankfully—chose not to heap another heartache on Nell (and her readers) by permanently separating the couple. Will does return from France alive, if a bit worse for wear. Other reviewers have stated that they were disappointed on how easily Nell’s problems were solved. I admit that the book felt rushed, but I thought that the resolution wasn’t as easily wrapped up as it could have been. What I mean by that is the author didn’t take an easy way out—killing off Duncan in a prison fight/riot, for instance—off-screen and no fretting about what the Hewitts will do if and when they find out about Nell’s past. That would have been too pat. Instead, the author makes Nell deal with having to explain herself to Viola Hewitt, and find a way to get a quiet, and quick, divorce.
Favorite Quotes:
“The only reason you feel unworthy of that award is that you’re mired in your old notion of yourself as flawed and undeserving. Frankly, I’m beginning to find that refrain fairly tedious.”
“I’ve never known you to be quiet the pitiless shrew. I find it captivating.”
—Nell, Will
Babbling Book Reviews

“The resolution of the central mystery is almost secondary to the revelations about Nell’s past and the way the author ties up all the loose ends of her present situation. Longtime readers will enjoy this aspect immensely; I know I did. This has been a gorgeously written series, populated with unique and unforgettable characters. I’m truly sorry to see it end, and will, no doubt, be re-reading these keepers.” CA Reviews

“Ryan’s historical atmosphere is spot on. It’s a memorable look into the Gilded Age. I can’t help but recommend this series to those who enjoy cozy type historical mystery series.” MyShelf.com

“P.B. Ryan writes a heartwarming mystery that capture the ambivalence of the rich on the east coast five years after the civil war ended. The protagonist leads a troubled life but she rises above her upbringing to become a solid citizen.... Will comes back from France where he was applying his medical skills and is there for Nell when she needs him most. Readers will care about him because he feels he is unworthy to love someone as pure as Nell.” Genre Go Round Reviews
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Product Details

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Historical Mystery Series

    Nell Sweeney is a girl with a past that must remain hidden. Her strong sense of values and willingness to risk herself to help others make her a likeable heroine. These six novels are a wonderful window into Victorian Boston, and how the people of that era faced problems similar to today's issues - like high unemployment, discrimination, crime and drug abuse. Very enjoyable and unexpected. Highly recommended!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Wonderful, can't wait for more.

    I got hooked on the first P. B. Ryan book of the series, and learned about smoking Opium than I ever wanted to know.

    Historical mysteries are my genre and these are very well written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a heartwarming mystery

    As a child Nell Sweeney lived in the poor house and lost her family to disease and when she got out she made a living working as a pickpocket. Now she has a respectable job working for the wealthy Hewitts as a governess to their adopted daughter Grace. Only she and the family know that Grace is Will Hewitt¿s biological child, born on the wrong side of the blanket. He is unable to care for her because of his opiate and gambling addictions.--------------------------- - When the family goes to Cape Cod for the summer Nell runs into her ex-lover Dr. Greaves who tells her that her brother was murdered after hiding out in a shed that caught fire. He was wanted for the murder of Susannah Cunningham a woman who he worked for as a gardener. Besides needing a divorce because her abusive husband is in prison and will remain so for thirty years, and she is carrying Will¿s baby, Nell with the help of Will and Dr. Greaves investigate the death of James because an autopsy shows he was knifed and did not die from smoke inhalation.---------------- P.B. Ryan writes a heartwarming mystery that capture the ambivalence of the rich on the east coast five years after the civil war ended. The protagonist leads a troubled life but she rises above her upbringing to become a solid citizen who loves the responsibility of caring for her young charge. Will comes back from France where he was applying his medical skills and is there for Nell when she needs him most. Readers will care about him because he feels he is unworthy to love someone as pure as Nell.----------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Excellent series-Nell Sweeney Historical Mysteries

    This is a really good ending to a wonderful series. I read Book #1 free and promptly purchased the other five. Really liked all the characters, the storyline, the mystery solving, the history & actual people featured from the post civil war time period. Well written & very touching.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Awesome

    What a great ending to this series of books. I hope there will be more because im hooked on nell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Great read

    Another great read in this series. Once again, The 'who done it' came as a total surprise!!! This series has been one of the most enjoyable 'who done it' series I have read. It won't disappoint. This deserves five stars, but I only gave four due to a few missed errors not corrected when edited.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Rainfoot

    "I'll be right back." She stayed for a moment then ran off to camp.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Emberstream

    He bit in the badger's neck and crushed the artery, then dragged it back to camp, his teeth red with blood

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Sad it's over........

    I loved Miss Sweeney and Will from the beginning. The storyline felt a little rushed but all in all I'm pleased they got their Happy Ending, it was well deserved. I would love to see more books with them as a husband and wife duo.......

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    The last one in the series. Highly recommend it!

    This last book did not disappoint. It is true that everything was wrapped up quickly, but I liked that. Check out this series starting with the first book. They are in sequence and the characters keep developing in each book.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    A MUST Read!

    If you aren't reading Pat Ryan's books, you should be! If you are - good on ya! This is a wonderful way to end this series (and I personally hope that she is going to bring these characters back for more, because I've become very fond of them!). The world they inhabit is finely drawn, and the characters themselves are multi-dimensional and "dense" with layers of emotion, nuance, and personality. I'm encouraging all my friends to read the books in this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    I absolutely love the Nell Sweeney series!! I read them all with

    I absolutely love the Nell Sweeney series!! I read them all within two weeks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Finally

    Great characters in a good story......

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Great Reading

    Easy reading with mystery and romance

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2012

    Great reading!

    Please, please, keep the story line going!

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    this is an excellent read. Loved the characters who are carried

    this is an excellent read. Loved the characters who are carried on in the entire series. I highly recommend these books. I dont usually read historical fiction but I was puled in from the first book and to know what was next for Nell and Will. I hated to see it come to an end and wish the author would write yet another book to continue on.....

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    A wonderful continuation of the characters we have met earlier

    This book concludes the 6th in the series of the Nell Sweeney mysteries and happily wraps up the series to the readers expectations. The only disappointment is that there doesn't seem to be any more coming and I really enjoyed diving into book after book following this semi-pro detective who usually got things slightly wrong before coming to a better understanding of the facts - so there are always little twists and turns - things are not exactly how you think they are....good reading, good mysteries being solved and good characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    I hate for it to end!

    It did seem rushed in some ways but it was a beautiful end to the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Great

    This series is so GOOD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Great series

    I thoroughly enjoyed this series. I wish it would continue...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews

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