This is an interesting story of two time periods that will ultimately converge through the characters. Julia Hamill, newly divorced, has just purchased a new home and is working the garden when she discovers human remains. It's determined that they are over 100 years old. Julia, with the help of the brother of the previous owner, researches old letters that provide a compelling story of Rose Connelly, a young seamstress living in Boston in the 1830s. Rose Connelly's story is the substance of the mystery. She struggles to keep and take care of her newborn niece after her sister dies soon after childbirth. Medical students Norris Marshall and Oliver Wendell Holmes become involved when Rose and Norris both witness the Grim Reaper at separate murderous occasions. Meanwhile, someone has an inordinate interest in finding Rose's niece, Meggie. The transitions between present day and the year 1830 were done pretty seamlessly. Including Oliver Wendell Holmes in this tale provided an interesting medical backdrop, giving us insight into the crudeness of the field of medicine in that era. There are surprising twists that you won't see coming but are completely plausible. The present day story, however, lacks the depth and character substance found in the 1830s story but it doesn't detract from the strength of the book overall. The suggested connections at the end were not sufficient to salvage the one-dimensional aspect of the present day characters. I enjoyed this story made more pleasurable by listening to the audiobook, even with the issues described earlier.