A Bucket of Ashes

A Bucket of Ashes

4.5 71
by P.B. Ryan
     
 

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"As always, the author excels at setting the scene, evoking the time and place by use of the day-to-day details as well as historical events. 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

Overview

"As always, the author excels at setting the scene, evoking the time and place by use of the day-to-day details as well as historical events. 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." -CA Reviews

Summers at the Hewitts family's palatial Cape Cod "cottage" are always bittersweet for governess Nell Sweeney, for it was on the Cape that she lost all but one of her siblings to disease. Then she married Duncan, a ne'er-do-well charmer who abused her and coaxed her into petty crime before being condemned to spend the rest of his life in prison. Her dark past has been a deeply buried secret for years-but soon she'll learn that it wasn't buried quite deeply enough.

Nell has proven herself an exemplary governess, and she is deeply devoted to little Gracie. But now the possibility that she might be carrying Will Hewitt's child threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard for. Even if she were free to marry, she doubts that Will, a rootless cardsharp and recovering addict, could ever truly settle down. Not that marriage is even an option, since Duncan adamantly refuses to grant her a divorce. When the pregnancy is discovered, she'll be ruined.

Nell is dealt another blow when she finds out that her beloved brother Jamie has been discovered dead in a burned-out farm shed-and that he was wanted for murder. With help from an injured Will and her former mentor, Dr. Greaves, Nell attempts to clear Jamie's name, a mission that takes her from the criminal underworld to the top ranks of Cape Cod society.

Originally published by Berkley Prime Crime. 53K words.

"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 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." -Genre Go Round Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780692217566
Publisher:
Hawkley Books
Publication date:
06/28/2014
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
446,444
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. P.B. Ryan, is the USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including the #1 national bestseller Still Life with Murder. Pat's books have garnered rave reviews and been published in over twenty countries. She is currently writing book 1 of a "spin-off" of the Nell Sweeney mystery series. Visit her at pb-ryan.com.

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A Bucket of Ashes 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
TexasStarVA More than 1 year ago
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!
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this series but should have been made into two books indtead of several with so little pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first Nell Sweeney mystery because it was offered for free from Barnes & Noble as a Free Friday selection. Within the next week I had purchased and read the remaining five books in the series. So beware: if you read one, you'll read them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scam, that is what shorter and shorter stories are when charging full novel rates! And at low cost to publish ebook rates! Kitt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Noooooooooooooo this was the best series ive ever read and its overrrrr but im sooo gappy for nell and poor jamie i literally cried at parts. I meant happy not gappy. Wyndy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read all six books in the series, they are more like short stories but really good stories. Interesting characters, plots, history, and satisfying endings make for light entertainment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barb_in_Chicago More than 1 year ago
I've read all the books in this series (in order), and my biggest complaint is that there are no more to read. I really came to care about the characters and forced myself to read slowly to make this book last longer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good period piece with a mystery.
McDr More than 1 year ago
Last book in a fascinating series. Wish there were more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
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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"I'll be right back." She stayed for a moment then ran off to camp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He bit in the badger's neck and crushed the artery, then dragged it back to camp, his teeth red with blood
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.......