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A Bucket of Ashes (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, Book 6)
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A Bucket of Ashes (Nell Sweeney Historical Mysteries #6)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,227 ratings  ·  87 reviews
“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 di ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2010 by Smashwords Edition (first published December 4th 2007)
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Clearly my reluctance to read the final book didn't last very long. But I feel robbed! The book actually ended at 75%, with the final 25% being an extra long excerpt from the first book. Really, we need an excerpt from the first book after reading the last one? This was also the most poorly edited book. The previous books might have had one or two errors, per book. This one had many errors, 'Nell' appeared as 'No', 'one' as 'on', and in one sentence he and his were both used instead of she and h ...more
It was ok... but not quite what I was hoping for in the finale of this series. The mystery was lackluster, with more focus on Nell than the mystery for much of it. Then Nell and Will's relationship took the contrived sort of turns that I dislike in a romance and didn't have as many of the more subtle interactions that I enjoyed in previous books. Until now, their relationship didn't have that 'romance' quality. So unfortunately I find myself disappointed in the resolution of 5 books of build-up. ...more
Wow.. So this is how it ends.

I was so happy with this series all the way that I got absolutely blind-sided by this book!

I have to admit: I skipped a few pages in this one! I skipped a few a lot of pages in this one. I still got the gist of it.

I did not skip pages because I didn't like the book! I think the reason was that there were more words than were necessary on some of the pages. I do like descriptive writing, but sometimes you just have to get on with it!

I do understand the need to bring
V.r. Christensen
I finish on a sigh. This relationship between the hero and heroine is fraught with emotional and situational complexity. The mystery this time was a personal one, dealing with the last of Nell's demons. My only complaint is that it was rather short. I could have read on for quite a lot longer. But then I like long books. The mystery was secondary, but that was perfectly fine by me. The characters were so richly drawn, it seemed natural that their story would take the spotlight. I'm rather sad to ...more
This felt like a shorter book to me compared to the others in the series, but possibly only because of the amount of DRAMA packed into it. Which I loved, obviously. Unlike the previous five books, the romance took a front seat in this one, while the mystery was almost treated a subplot to tie up loose ends. Possibly a bit too perfect of a HEA, but it left me smiling - and this was really a most satisfying series.
Final book in the Gilded Age mystery series and it reads exactly like that -- a series wrap up. The mystery element was almost an after thought. This book was dedicated wholly to wrapping up loose ends on the personal and character front.

Throughout the series, Nell, the main character has been guarding some pretty heavy secrets for very good reason. Only Will, her best friend and the man she's quietly (and sufferingly) in love with knows them all. Well all is revealed in this installment, for th
I was a little disappointed in this last installment. I knew it was short, but when I got to the end and I was only 74% into the book, I got little confused. Then when I realized the last 26% of the book was the first part of Still Life With Murder, I think you could say I was feeling put off. Why would you an excerpt from the first book in a series in the last book of the series? Common sense leads one to believe this is material one is already familiar with. I also thought the story could've w ...more
Edward Beavers
The end of a series

The Nell Sweeney series comes to a conclusion with an endearing finish for romance. Although the conclusion of the tale is sweet it is also sad that Ms. Ryan has not continued Nell's sleuthing. maybe someday Nell will return, we can only hope.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have loved this entire series, and as much as I hate to see the story of Nell Sweeney and Will Hewitt come to and end, the author deserves credit for completing the series arc and not trying to extend to the point where we become bored with the characters. Irish immigrant Nell has overcome her low birth, life in the poorhouse, marriage to a wife-beating criminal and her own petty thievery to become the governess in the home of the Hewitts, one of the richest families in mid-19th century Boston ...more
Deborah A.
Through all the pain and sacrifice, the impossible emerges triumphant

I have greatly enjoyed the Nell Sweeney Series by P.B. Ryan. A web of conflicting and seemingly insurmountable odds keep two star-crossed lovers apart as their lives are drawn into seeking justice in murder investigations that touch upon their lives, especially from the past. Nell Sweeney, Dr. Will Hewitt, even little innocent Gracie Hewitt, Will's 6-year-old daughter, are draped in secrets and inaccurate assumptions. Secrets m
I read all of these books within a week. They were somewhat short, but I read through them so quickly because I really needed to know what happened next! I love a good murder mystery, and each of these contained one, but also had great character building and that sweet anticipation the kept me up at night. I received the first book for free through Amazon, but purchased the other five, one after another, as soon as I finished one book I started in on the next.

A Bucket of Ashes ties everything up
It is with mixed feelings that I write my last P.B. Ryan review. I've loved this series from the beginning so I had high expectations for a great finale. The mystery was good and I was surprised once again by the ending. What was so dissatisfying was the hurried and overly easy way all the loose ends were handled. I thought the writer was capable of much more. It was almost like she ran out of time and had to rush to finish. Finally, editing errors, especially in the closing chapters, were quite ...more
I really enjoyed this book - and the series. I was disappointed that it was over, but I like the way it wrapped up. I found a lot more typos in these last two books -- I would certainly be willing to be one of PB Ryan's proofreaders!!! Even though it was a little slow at times, overall, what a delightful series! Kudos to you, P.B. Ryan - great writing, thorough character development, interesting diction (though I do wonder about a few turns of phrase in that era), and satisfying recursiveness - ...more
When I picked up the first book in this series as a Kindle freebie, I was doubtful that I’d really enjoy it. Although it’s historical, I was not into historical mysteries at the time. But by the time I was done, I’d enjoyed it so much, I not only planned to read the rest of the series but I was suddenly on the hunt for similar historical mysteries! None have been quite as good but a few particular series might suffice as a replacement now that this one is finished.

What was more surprising is th
Christina (AKA Babbling)
Quoted from my review @

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, cardshar
The series wrap up is pretty much that - a wrap up. I was somewhat disappointed with the mystery aspect - it started out well, with Nell finding out about the death of her brother, and that it seems to have happened in shady circumstances. But then as the plot unfolds it seems to become less and less engaging - not a whole lot of intrigue or mystery, just finding out who actually did commit the deed (it was the person they thought it was all along, big surprise) about halfway through, and then j ...more
I found this a very satisfying conclusion to the Nell Sweeney series. Since this is the concluding volume, I will take a few moments to provide my overall impressions of the series, which I would recommend.

--I really liked the character of Nell Sweeney. Great protagonist.
-- I also liked the majority of the supporting characters and found them interesting.
--Well written books, with vivid settings and descriptions
-- Nell and Will's ongoing will they or won't they romance is actually involving
Adrienne Testa
Disappointing... more could have been told of the relationship between Nell and Will. Seems as if the author could only tell half a story in this final story of Nell Sweeney.
Nell and the Hewitt's are spending the summer months on the cape, she learns from Cyril Greaves that her brother Jamie was killed in a fire. His body not correctly autopsied and sold to a medical school.Nell stops the sale of her brother's body and has him properly buried. Slowly Nell learns the truth of what happened to he
I was fairly disappointed with this book. While ecstatic over the ending, I felt like the mystery was lackluster. Furthermore, after the first two books the action was also little tame and this one was no different, with the all the actual crime action essentially taking place in the past tense
I think this might be the last in the Gilded Age series. Ms. Ryan does a nice job of wrapping up the personal stories of all the characters while giving us a good mystery at the same time. Sometimes books giving us backstory or tying things up seem rushed, which is not the case here. Nor am I tired of the characters, which often happens in long series. I hope to visit Nell and Will again, maybe solving mysteries in another location.
I really enjoyed the series up to this last book. It almost felt as if the author was running out of steam and wanted to finish it quickly. Honestly, I didn't care if the book was shorter than the others, it just seemed that all the issues that were happening to the main characters suddenly and magically all worked out. I mean, I like happy endings, but this one just ended a bit too happily.
Lauren Floistad

Great final ending to the series. I highly recommend them. It is not your typical mystery romance book, it focuses more and the mystery as the romance evolves.
So parts of this definitely felt rushed - the resolution of the case and the ending specifically. There were also quite a few typos, too, which made reading a bit of chore.

I really did enjoy how it mirrored themes in the first book and the ultimate endings for the characters though.
I loved every one of the Nell Sweeney mysteries. Fun, well written diversion. If there are more, I will surely read them.
Linda Ruby
Personal loss makes heroine Nell more human. Editing for the entire series needed work...many, many copy errors.
I must say that this entire series was so much fun to read. I'm not sure but I think these books are only available as ebooks (I could be wrong).

This book ended the series perfectly.

I first came to this series because I was looking for some historical fiction about Boston.

I would LOVE to see these books made into movies. My dream cast for main characters would be: Nell = Kate Winslet and Will = Hugh Jackman.

I'm not usually a fan of the murder mystery so I was suprised at how captured I was righ
A fast read with a satisfactory ending to the series. Thank you PB Ryan!
I loved this series and I'm quite happy with how it all ended.
Donna Vallee
I really liked this series, one of the best I've read.
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any more? 1 3 Jun 16, 2013 09:48PM  
  • The Glass House (Captain Lacey, #3)
  • Murder on Washington Square (Gaslight Mystery, #4)
  • Iron Ties (Silver Rush, #2)
  • Where Shadows Dance (Sebastian St. Cyr, #6)

Other Books in the Series

Nell Sweeney Historical Mysteries (6 books)
  • Still Life With Murder (Nell Sweeney Mystery Series, #1)
  • Murder in a Mill Town (Gilded Age Mystery, #2)
  • Death on Beacon Hill (Gilded Age Mystery, #3)
  • Murder on Black Friday (Gilded Age Mystery, #4)
  • Murder In the North End (Gilded Age Mystery, #5)
Still Life With Murder (Nell Sweeney Mystery Series, #1) Murder in a Mill Town (Gilded Age Mystery, #2) Death on Beacon Hill (Gilded Age Mystery, #3) Murder on Black Friday (Gilded Age Mystery, #4) Murder In the North End (Gilded Age Mystery, #5)

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“We have reached a juncture in the path of our acquaintance, you and I, from whence we cannot continue as before, strolling along side by side with no particular destination in mind, at least none of which we dare speak....” 0 likes
“complicated, Nell. People are complicated. If that weren’t so, life would get pretty damned boring.” 0 likes
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