A Virtuous Death (Lady of Ashes Series #3)

A Virtuous Death (Lady of Ashes Series #3)

4.6 18
by Christine Trent

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Queen Victoria, still mourning her long-dead husband Prince Albert, has found solace in John Brown, an enigmatic palace servant who dabbles in the occult and keeps the grieving queen entertained with his tarot card readings. Undertaker Violet Harper is invited to attend one of Mr. Brown's infamous readings, during which he implies that Buckingham Palace will soon

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Queen Victoria, still mourning her long-dead husband Prince Albert, has found solace in John Brown, an enigmatic palace servant who dabbles in the occult and keeps the grieving queen entertained with his tarot card readings. Undertaker Violet Harper is invited to attend one of Mr. Brown's infamous readings, during which he implies that Buckingham Palace will soon be shrouded in death's dark veil. Well acquainted with death, Violet shrugs him off as a charlatan—until his sinister divinations begin to prove true. . .

Violet wonders if something foul is in the cards when the aristocratic young friends of the queen's daughter begin to die under mysterious circumstances. Her suspicions only grow when one of London's "moralists," a group bent on repealing the law that forces prostitutes into hospitals, suffers a similar fate. The deaths merely buttress the queen's enthusiasm for Mr. Brown's ominous talents, and, concerned by the fortuneteller's influence, Violet races against time to unearth the truth before the killer strikes again. But as she closes in on a murderer with an unearthly motive, Violet realizes she may be digging her own grave. . .

By turns heartwrenching and hopeful, A Virtuous Death is a gripping tale of fortitude besieged by vengeance inside the extraordinary world of Queen Victoria's court.

Praise for Lady of Ashes

"Rich with historical incidents and details." —Publishers Weekly

"A book you can sink your teeth into, with characters you'll fall in love with."—Mystery Scene Magazine

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The cards say murder in Queen Victoria's court. Undertaker Violet Harper's help with several past mysteries (Stolen Remains, 2014, etc.) has made her a favorite of the queen. Now Victoria has called upon her to attend a tarot reading by her favorite outdoor servant, John Brown, who claims the cards reveal a dangerous plot against someone in Buckingham Palace that only Violet can thwart. Violet's American husband, Samuel, is in Wales promoting Alfred Nobel's wondrous new invention, dynamite, to mine owners when he witnesses a massacre of innocents in a mine dispute. Samuel's absence gives Violet, a guest of the queen, plenty of time to uncover the supposed palace plot. When several highborn ladies are found dead in mysterious circumstances, Violet discovers some tiny marks on their bodies, along with small pieces of odd-smelling cloth in two of their mouths. No believer in spirits, she's certain that Brown's séances are rigged but knows she must continue her investigation. The newly widowed husbands are prime suspects. So is a palace footman who's an adherent of Karl Marx. Meanwhile, the free-spirited Princess Louise and her friends have gotten embroiled with a group fighting to repeal an unfair law that punishes prostitutes but not their clients. Any number of people learning of her involvement might have marked her for death. As she uncovers more information, Violet is attacked and narrowly escapes her own demise. Filled with informative historical tidbits on some of the less salubrious aspects of Victorian times and plenty of red herrings but sadly in need of some judicious pruning.

Product Details

Publication date:
Lady of Ashes Series, #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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A Virtuous Death 4.6 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 18 reviews.
tracier More than 1 year ago
Levet can be my Book Boyfriend any day! Ah Levet, for those who are familiar with Alexandra Ivy's Guardians of Eternity, Levet needs no introduction. He is a three foot gargoyle you can't help but fall in love with as soon as you meet him, with his quick wit and ability to aggravate the strongest of breeds and still survive Levet will always leave you loving him a little more. Levet is off to visit Salvatore and Harley for Christmas but someone has other plans for him and Levet takes a journey of a very different kind. Join Levet and find out why it is important he fills the request made of him and what it will mean for those he loves.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
tigerlilly_liz More than 1 year ago
~ 4.5 Levet Christmas Stars ~ A sweet and wonderful novella! I enjoyed A Very Levet Christmas. Levet is feeling down this Christmas holiday, since he has been left out of the celebration of the birth of Harley’s new pups. Levet is adorable as every and takes us on an adventure to protect the were’s and set one on a new path. The characters come to life and even if you have not read the Guardians of Eternity series before the author gives enough background to get you hooked and enjoy this novella. It was a very sweet and wonderful novella to read in the Guardians of Eternity series focusing on the wolves, Levet, and A Christmas Carol twist. It can be read anytime of year, but if you are looking for a Christmasy story to read, then this will get you into the Christmas spirt.
IAmy More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review. Perhaps a little early for a Christmas story, but hey I don’t get to pick the release dates or when they show up on Net Galley. This is one of the authors I enjoy and own most of her books. This was a sweet little addition to the series and the novellas that center around Levet are always such fun. He is the much-needed comic relief in a world that could become much too serious and heavy with out his quirky personality. As with the other novella centered around Levet, this in not a love story for him. The story is the bringing together of Damon and Gia. Ivy has cleverly shared this story as a tribute or in the spirit of the Christmas Classic by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. This will be a lovely tale to read around the holidays on a cold winter’s evening, perhaps when you are stuck at home during a storm. It is quite short, only 55 pages for the story itself, and I was able to finish it in a couple of hours. We get to see a glimpse of character’s from past novels in this world and are there to welcome Salvatore and Harley’s new family to the world. The story while fun on its own, is probably going to be appreciated by fans of the series more than those who are new to the series. There isn’t much back story, so new readers might not know much of what is going on or the context of the events taking place. Still a fun read, and I’m thankful for having been granted to privilege to read and review it before its release. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in this series. The author comes up with some great characters. It really makes the books fun. Jennifer
gaele More than 1 year ago
Why has no one TOLD me of the wonderfulness that is Levet? Seriously! Alexandra Ivy has done a wonderful story of her gargoyle Levet, and given it A Christmas Carol twist that integrates a Dickensian feel to her Christmas tale.  Levet is alone, banned from his friend’s Hailey’s gathering to celebrate the birth of her new pups, alone at Christmas was not in his plans.  Discouraged and depressed, and not above a bit of self-pity, he encounters a Christmas Angel with her foot trapped in a portal.  It falls to Levet to make a ‘Scrooge-like’ pilgrimage through past, present and future to save Hailey’s pups, indeed save the world.  Levet is adorable, his little word-tangles and frustration with the situation and his worry about the unknown have him anxiously leading this trek as he tries to puzzle out the why. Damon is the son of the former were king, believing in his guilt and early stories that HE must battle the new King of Weres and take the crown for himself.   We are led through Damon’s past, regrets, present and a battle that provides all of the tension and angst anyone could ask for before we finally know if Levet will succeed in his hand-me-down quest.  The writing is tight and clever, the characters come to life with enough background information for a new to the series reader (like me) to understand what is happening without feeling lost or overwhelmed with information.  I loved this little story – the perfect Christmas tone that will be sure to be on my list for Santa (with all of the others in this series.  I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
Levet, Savior of theWorld and Knight in Shining Armor, at your service... It was his duty as a card-carrying Knight in Shining Armor to answer the call of a woman in distress. Okay, he didn't actually have a card, but still... A VERY LEVET CHRSTIMAS by Alexandra Ivy is a perfect paranormal holiday tale! I completely enjoyed this darling tale even though I'd never read any of the author's Guardians of Eternity series. In the series, it's installment 11.5 and a quick read at only 77 pages. You will definitely want to read this in one sitting. A VERY LEVET CHRISTMAS is a magical retelling of Charles Dickens' well-loved classic, A Christmas Carol, with a Christmas past, present and future that I won't soon forget complete with a mischievously sassy and sweet Christmas angel, a tiny, good-looking gargoyle who will steal your heart, and powerful weres and vamps! After reading this, I've made an early New Year's resolution to check out the rest of this series! My full review has been posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club..  4 1/2 Wine Glasses!  
mamaw1999 More than 1 year ago
Wow wtg Levet!!!!!! 
angelblue-240 More than 1 year ago
My favorite matchmaking gargoyle is back in this fun PNR twist of the story of A Christmas Carol. Levet stumbles upon a Christmas Angel in need of help after being told that he is not allowed to see his friend Harley's newborn were pups. He is feeling understandably upset and unwelcome when the angel tasks him with the job of saving the pups father, Salvatore, who also happens to be the King of Weres. Damon is another pureblood were who plans on challenging Salvatore for the throne. Levet must convince Damon to choose his love of his mate Gia over his desire for revenge, by taking him on a journey through his past, present and potential future. I LOVE Levet and Alexandra Ivy's Guardians of Eternity series, it's one of my go to series because I know I will always get a great read. A Very Levet Christmas was a delightfully fun story, perfect for the holidays. *I received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
cutiephinphin More than 1 year ago
This book was a surprise as I wasn't expected it to be about Weres, Vampires and a cute tinier than normal Gargoyle. I've not read any of the books in this series but there wasn't any issues in understanding the story. If I didn't remember wrongly, this is also my first book by Alexandra Ivy. I must say if Levet wasn't a gargoyle, I'd have thought of him as the cutest fairy like creature. He's funny, charming, intelligent and oh so loyal. After being kicked out of the party by the very people he loves, Levet was wandering alone when he stumbled upon a Christmas Angel, Sera who was trapped between 2 worlds. Sera entrusted Levet with a task that must be done before midnight and that is to stop a challenge which will happen between Salvatore (the King of Weres) and Damon. This is the very first of such Christmas themed story that I've read and it was really enjoyable. It felt as if I was watching a movie as Levet met with the long suffering Damon and the scenes moved to Damon's past, present and possible future with the help of the magic wand. And despite how Levet was treated earlier, Levet works hard in helping Damon see the errors of his ways, proving himself a worthy gargoyle through and through. Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's Christmas Eve and Levet has been tasked with stopping Damon, a were who believes he is the rightful King of the Weres, from challenging Salvatore.  Levet takes Damon on a journey into his past, present and future with the hopes of deterring him from his path of self-destruction, and quite possibly a world threatening menace. Levet is a funny and compassionate gargoyle and that really shines through, especially when he's not being picked on by vampires and weres.  While helping Damon, Levet also learns a few things about himself and what family really means. I love it when Levet takes center stage in this series!  His misused slang always makes me laugh and being a pain in the butt to the vampires and weres is always a delight to read.
2_PMVH More than 1 year ago
Ms. Ivy brought a lot of the gang together for the Christmas celebration for the birth of little bundles of furriness! That's right Harley & grumpy Salvatore had their adorable litter of babies! Salvatore did make sure the little, annoying & unwanted gargoyle, Levet, off the guest list. Levet is pissed that the wet-fur-smelling King of the Weres lock him away from Harley & her pups, but he is just super jealous that all women love him! Levet being his same old troublemaking self, soon finds himself in magical trouble. Ms. Ivy grabs you by the hair & pulls you into read with a little help from a trapped Christmas Angel, a mystical out-of-control wand, another Pure Blood Were flexing his muscles, some magically Scrooge action, dark evil swirling about & a itsy bitsy, magically challenged gargoyle. I can't really call this a romance because no actually romance happened, but it was hilariousness on steroids! Levet is such a ladies man & all the females embrace his quirky, kooky & totally cutie pieness, but all the males hate him! I can't give Ms. Ivy my top score for a romance, but she threw in Firefly (a most excellent scifi TV show) reference, showed the King of Weres humbling himself to the tiny gargoyle, brought the next generation of Weres with the furry babies & even gave Levet (behind closed doors) some much needed Christmas action, so she earns my score of 4 fingers up & 8 toes! NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Is it that time already, time to start seeing Christmas based new releases for 2014? Apparently it is, I happened to grab Alexandra Ivy’s release of A Very Levet Christmas. Although the story even titles Levet, it is more the story of Damon and Gia finding love. Don’t worry Levet is a major player, he just once again doesn’t get the girl. In the spirit of A Christmas Carol, Ivy gives us a highly entertaining paranormal Guardians of Eternity twist on the well loved classic.  The story is pretty short but still manages to give great storytelling. I know I appreciated this story more since I am a series fan…and well it had Levet...and who can resist Levet. I think of this story more as a teaser, giving fans just enough of past characters with a bit of a new story to make us want more. Fast, fun and packed with paranormal holiday cheer, A Very Levet Christmas hits the festive seasonal spot. 
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
Sweet Christmas Tale: A VERY LEVET CHRISTMAS is the latest novella in Alexandra Ivy’s Guardians of Eternity paranormal romance series. This is a short story featuring the little gargoyle known as Levet-the savior of the world-and a supernatural creature that only wants to be needed and loved. Hoping to celebrate Christmas with his ‘friends’, Levet is once again turned away by the very people he loves and protects. A VERY LEVET CHRISTMAS is a storyline that finds Levet on a mission to stop a challenge for supremacy between Santiago (King of the Weres) and Damon –a pureblood Were whose heritage is rife with betrayal and mistrust. All of his life Damon has been pushed to destroy Santiago and everything he represents but when the opportunity presents itself, he will be blindsided by a small gargoyle who helps Damon see the error of his ways. When the Christmas Angel becomes trapped between worlds, she commissions Levet to carry out her duties that must be completed by midnight. Following the same path as Charles Dickens’s –A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Levet takes our long suffering Were on a trip through his past, his present and the possible future if Damon were to succeed in his quest for the throne. As Santiago and the supernatural community celebrate the birth of his ‘pups’ they are unaware that their safety has once again been reassured by the action of a misunderstood little gargoyle. A Very Levet Christmas is a sweet story that takes another look at a small gargoyle’s attempts to be noticed. The Guardians of Eternity series finds Levet continuously on the receiving end of disrespect and distrust but he will continue to prove himself worthy one step at a time. In A Very Levet Christmas, Levet once again, saves the day, although no one is aware of how close they came to battle.