The Mourning Coffee

NO CURE FOR THE DEAD is Available For Pre-order

I wanted to send you a special note to let you know that NO CURE FOR THE DEAD, the first of the new Florence Nightingale Mysteries, is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

This is my tenth book, and will be my first hardback release. It is currently available in hardback and e-book, but stay tuned for details on No Cure for the Dead coverpaperback and audio releases.

I’m also quite pleased to share the cover with you here. I would be thrilled to hear from you on your thoughts on this cover, which is quite a departure from my Lady of Ashes covers.

The book releases May 8, 2018, from Crooked Lane Books.

When a young nurse dies on her watch, Florence Nightingale must uncover the deep-hidden secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

It is 1853. Lady of the Lamp Florence Nightingale has just accepted the position of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Temporary Illness in London. She has hardly had time to learn the names of the nurses in her charge when she suddenly finds one of them hanging in the Establishment’s library. Her name was Nurse Bellamy.

Florence’s mettle is tested by the dual goals of preserving what little reputation her hospital has and bringing Nurse Bellamy’s killer to justice. Her efforts are met with upturned noses and wayward glances except for her close friend and advocate inside the House of Commons, Sidney Herbert. As Florence digs deeper, however, her attention turns to one of the hospital investors and suddenly, Sidney becomes reluctant to help.

With no one but herself to count on, Florence must now puzzle out what the death of an unknown, nondescript young nurse has to do with conspiracies lurking about at the highest levels of government before she’s silenced too.

For fans of Anne Perry and Laurie R. King comes No Cure for the Dead, the rich and enthralling series debut from Christine Trent.

I hope you enjoy this new series as much as you’ve enjoyed Violet Harper’s adventures. And don’t be surprised to see a young Violet appear in NO CURE FOR THE DEAD!

Podcast Episode 11: Sidney & Elizabeth Herbert


In the 1850’s Sidney & Elizabeth Herbert were the political power couple of their time.  Sidney was the Secretary of War during the Crimean War, and Elizabeth was his ardent supporter.  Together, they brought forward a young nurse named Florence Nightingale to rescue the Crimean debacle, and the course of nursing was changed forever.  Sidney died young, but Elizabeth spent the remaining 50 years of her life as a controversial social figure.

Podcast Episode 10: The Exeter Theatre Royal Fire



Perhaps the most disastrous theatre fire in Britain’s history occurred in 1887 when Exeter’s Theatre Royal—built to replace another theatre that had burned down just two years earlier—burnt down during an evening performance.  Around 200 people were killed and about 100 children were orphaned. Many of the victims were from the city’s poorer areas and had bought reduced price tickets for the second half of the play only.  This podcast examines the circumstances behind the fire, as well as the positive safety changes that were made to theatre design after the tragic events of September 5, 1887.

Podcast Episode 9: When Albert Met Victoria


Albert and Victoria are renowned as one of the greatest royal love matches in history.  But was it really love at first sight?  And was their relationship—despite the nine children the couple produced—always one of great harmony and joy?  This podcast examines the 21-year marriage of the queen and her prince consort.

Podcast Episode 8: Victoria, Princess Royal


Queen Victoria and her husband had 9 children.  The eldest was named Victoria, known as Vicky.  Vicky’s marriage at age 17 to Prince Frederick William of Prussia would be the start of Queen Victoria’s diplomacy-through-marriage strategy that would make her known as the Grandmother of Europe.  The similarities between mother and daughter were striking—starting with Vicky’s own love match in marriage and concluding with a family of 8 children—although Vicky did not enjoy as long a life as her mother.  This podcast examines Vicky’s interesting, but mostly tragic, life.

Podcast Episode 7: Magnificent Seven Cemeteries


By the early 19th century, London’s churchyards were filled to overflowing with coffins—some buried up to six deep.  Something had to be done, thus was the idea of a “garden cemetery” born.  In 1832, Parliament passed a bill that would establish several private cemeteries outside the existing London city limits.  By 1841, there were seven of these purpose-built cemeteries to alleviate the overcrowding of churchyards.  This episode will discuss the design and quirks of each cemetery.

From Keyboard to Editor

correctingIn a previous blog post, I discussed how I come up with book ideas and form them into a coherent plot. Once the writing of a book is done, I am still some distance from getting it turned in to my publisher.

As with book plotting, I work with a small group, which I call my Beta Review Team. The team is comprised of family members, much like my plotting team is: my husband, my brother, and a sister-in-law.

Each member of the Beta Review Team has what I consider a “specialty” with my manuscript. My brother goes through it a very high level for picking out plot and character inconsistencies. Fortunately, he usually has solutions to go along with what he perceives as problems!

My husband goes a little deeper on plot, and is much more attuned to timeline inconsistencies. He, too, usually has suggestions for fixes.

My sister-in-law is my line editor. She pores over every single page and fixes my awkward grammar. Her work is so meticulous that by the time I am done making her changes, I’ve typically added another 2,000 words to my manuscript!

They say you should never hire with friends or relatives, but my family comes around me to form a team that is tough to beat. My editors typically comment on how “clean” my manuscripts are when they are delivered, and that is all due to my loved ones who make sure I stay out of editorial trouble!

Podcast Episode 6: Punch Magazine


Punch Magazine, which ran from 1841-2002, was a British humor and satire magazine.  Known for its wit and irreverence in its coverage of both politics and cultural trends, the magazine introduced the term “cartoon” to refer to comic drawings in 1843.  It became an institution in the Victorian era, and today’s podcast explores the long and fascinating history of this publication.

Podcast Episode 5: Queen Victoria’s Coronation


In this episode, we explore the magnificent pomp and circumstance surrounding the ascension of the second-longest reigning monarch of Great Britain, Queen Victoria. By the time she assumed the throne at the tender age of 18, she had overcome a stifling and lonely childhood, and was ready to wear the specially-made crown worth around $85M in today’s dollars.

Join us as we discuss the eye-popping State Coach, the masses of honored guests, and the meaning behind the various implements the queen was given during the ceremony.

Take Violet on Vacation


I know you’re a reader and that often means you’re reading anywhere, whenever your time permits. (I do this, too.) I want to see where you take Violet Harper on vacation over the coming months. So, I’m asking a teeny favor, share your photos with me.

Show me where you can be found reading one of the Lady of Ashes books. Extra points for reading in unique locations. I’m interested where Violet will turn up. Could it be the beach, the park, the doctor’s office waiting room, the museum, or a concert? Or perhaps Violet will be in front of your state or city’s welcome sign or in town square? I truly want to see where Violet will travel and the more unique the locations the better. (Plus, it gives me a glimpse into seeing some great locations across the states…or internationally – who knows where Violet will travel.)

Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy vacation planned just take out your camera or phone and snap a photo of one of the Lady of Ashes books – your pick, a physical book or on your eReader – and send it to us.

My assistant will be collecting the photos and adding them to a dedicated photo album on Facebook. The photos will be added within days after they are submitted so begin NOW.

At the end of August, I will choose my favorites. Who knows? I may even surprise my top pick(s) with a hand-selected gift from me. We’ll see how many photos are submitted. (Psst – please do take at least one photo, if not more, and send them to my assistant to keep her busy.)

Here’s what to include with your photo:

  1. Your name
  2. Where the photo was taken. (Tell us either city/state or if in front of a specific place then share that. Such as “at Gettysburg National Battlefield.”)
  3. Which Lady of Ashes book title you’re sharing in the photo.

That’s it. Super simple and easy to do.




If you’ve bought some Lady of Ashes products from our store and want to add a photo of your Violet swag, send it along. We’ll add those types of photos to the album as well.

Flat Stanley is often found in unusual places but Violet can be, too, right? Some may wonder “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” but I am wondering where a Lady of Ashes book will be seen next? Thanks in advance for playing along. I can’t wait to see all of your photos. Keep watching my Facebook page. And do invite your friends to join in this vacation fun. The more the merrier.