One of Victorian London's most respected undertakers, Violet Harper has the new duty of accompanying coffins from various undertakers on the London Necropolis Railway for respectful funerals and burials in Surrey. But on her fateful first trip, the mournful silence of the train is shattered by the shrill ringing of a coffin bell - a device that prevents a person from being buried alive.
Inside the noisome coffin, Violet finds a man wide-eyed with fear, claiming he was falsely interred. When a second coffin bell is rung on another trip Violet grows suspicious. She voices her qualms to Inspector Hurst of Scotland Yard, only to receive a puzzling reply that, after all, it is not a crime to rise from the dead. But Violet's instincts are whispering that all is not well on the London Necropolis Railway's tracks. Is this all merely the result of clumsy undertaking, or is there something more sinister afoot?
Determined to get to the heart of the matter, Violet uncovers a treacherous plot and villains who will stop at nothing to keep a lid on her search for the truth.