I think I mentioned that it wouldn't be long until I posted my review of a Bucket of Ashes, the sixth and final Nell Sweeney mystery. Once I'd finished Murder in the North End, I couldn't help but start a Bucket of Ashes straight away. After being left with a conclusion of sorts to the Nell and Will relationship, which of course was no conclusion at all, and left us wondering what was finally going to happen with them, I of course had to go on and find out.
This book is set only weeks after the end of the last one, so no real time has passed. Nell has joined the Hewitts in Cape Cod, at their holiday "cottage." (Which certainly seems far larger then any cottage I've ever come across before.)
In many ways, this book, being the last is really about tying up loose ends and finishing things off. It does seem quite fitting that it should be set at the Cape Cod house where we were first introduced to Nell and the Hewitt family. It was also the place where Nell's charge, Grace, was born and her link with the family created. In a Bucket of Ashes, Nell finds herself once more in the company of her previous mentor, Dr Greaves, who's own situation has now changed. I'll try again not to give too much away, but in some ways Dr Greaves presence is really only there to add and extra dimension to our Will and Nell story so that things aren't resolved too quickly.
The mystery this time is less of a mystery to solve, than Nell learning the fate of her only surviving relative, Jamie. Although there is some intrigue to this, it's less about Nell finding out what has happened, rather than an investigation as such.
The first time I read the series, I remember being a bit disappointed with a Bucket of Ashes. Not because the story itself wasn't good, and certainly not because I wasn't happy with the ending. I just felt that it was over a little too quickly and of course everything was neatly wrapped up. Having re-read it twice though, I think my complaints were far more to do with the fact that I read it too quickly and didn't want it to be over. Second and third time around I really enjoyed it much, much more. Let's be honest though, I'm always sorry to see a series I love come to the end.