Loved this historical fiction mystery series which features sleuth Adelia!
This is a really enjoyable historical fiction series about a medieval doctor solving various crimes under duress from Henry II. The characters are appealing and the description of medieval England fantastic
E-book or large print would be nice.
Ariana Franklin is one of my favorite historical fiction/mystery writers, so given that I devoured her first in this series (Mistress of the Art of Death), I was really looking forward to diving into The Serpent's Tale. And I was not disappointed!
Like a good CSI show, this book keeps you guessing about the guilty party until the end. Even when Adelia figures it out, she doesn't say it (thus letting us readers in) until it's necessary. But beyond the deeper double-mystery driving the plot, there's a delightful attention to detail with the historical fiction side of things. Adelia Aguilar is an exceptional woman- trained at the School of Medicine in Salerno (which did admit female students!) and working in England, she's more analytical and calculating than almost everyone around her. By modern standards, she's an amazing woman. By period standards, she's frightening. But the struggles she must endure, and the broader strokes of church and state power struggles, attitudes toward women, classism, etc. are all beautifully woven into the story, providing an accurate (but not distracting) environment.
In short, I loved it. It was an excellent follow-up to her first novel, and I'm about to dive into the third one (which I think, sadly, is the last Adelia novel). I highly recommend it to fans of Ariana Franklin and the first book. However, if you haven't read the first you can still pick up the second without being lost- there's good exposition in there. If you like medieval historical fiction, strong (intelligent) female characters, good murder mysteries, rural England of the past, political power struggles, the discovery of scientific processes, and good writing....you should definitely pick this one up.
Very engaging tale of forensic detective work in medieval England, with Franklin's lively proto-feminist protagonist. This second book in the series gives us the political turmoil of the reign of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and an especially disgusting decomposing body.
does anyone know if there is the possibility of post mortum publication of somethingthat might have been in the works or if the publisher has contracted a writer to continue the series????
The Mistress in the Art of Death series of four books are really quite good. However, be warned that the author died suddenly after writing the fourth one, therefore we will never know the end of the saga. A great loss.
Love this series!
Medieval mystery with a wonderful heroine, feeling of being present during the era of the crusaders, and historical facts mixed in with the fiction.
Second book in a series. Fascinating historical detail and great characters. Inspired me to google Henry 2nd to find out more about this interesting man and time period. Of course, Adelia is one of a kind!
Adelia Aguilar is a rare being in medieval England. Trained as a medical doctor in Italy, she works for Henry II as his investigator. Factor in her lover and father of the child, Rowley, who's just become a Bishop and you have an interesting cast of characters. Eleanor of Aquitane is a major character in this second installment of the series as Henry's mistress Rosamund is murdered which could cause an uprising against the king.
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