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A Grave Celebration: A Lady of Ashes Mystery

Ratings:
413 pages6 hours

Summary

Undertaker Violet Harper and her husband are attending the long-anticipated opening of Egypt’s new Suez Canal, which has been masterminded by the brilliant French engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps.  Fireworks, galas, and canal cruises are all part of the planned festivities at stops along the way.

Tensions abound across the various European delegations in attendance.  The Prussians, Dutch, French, British, Austrians, and Russians all have political grievances against each other, made worse by internal struggles inside Egypt itself.

All of this animosity is forgotten, though, in the midst of clinking glasses and deafening cheers.  That is, until someone dies in an accidental fire during a fireworks demonstration…or was the blaze set to cover the death of a seemingly innocent spectator?  When she isn’t permitted to see to the dressing of the corpse, Violet becomes suspicious.

As determined to get to the evil root of the grisly affair as de Lesseps is to keep it out of international newspapers, Violet starts her own subtle investigation and quickly realizes that there are more suspects than there are sails on a royal yacht.  Was the murder a result of political jealousies?  Or is someone conducting a vendetta against the great man de Lesseps himself?  After all, who didn’t have hatred for the French, whose total mastery of the Suez Canal meant they would be controlling canal shipping for the foreseeable future? 

When another man is also found murdered, it becomes obvious that there are malevolent forces among the revelers…who will stop at nothing to keep Violet from discovering the truth.

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