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Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana…
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Mistress of the Art of Death (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Ariana Franklin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,1802191,759 (3.96)563
Member:mccin68
Title:Mistress of the Art of Death
Authors:Ariana Franklin
Info:Berkley Trade (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 420 pages
Collections:audio book rental
Rating:****1/2
Tags:England, murder, 50 book challenge (2012), ABR, serial killer

Work details

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (2007)

Recently added byKathyTubb, dorie.craig, shaunesay, HarlotRusse, private library, netedt, Rena37
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Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
This was a great historical mystery set in Cambridge during the reign of King Henry II. The opening is a take-off on Canterbury Tales, where most of the main characters are introduced. The main character is Adelia Aguilar of Salerno, a coroner who has been sent by the King of Sicily as a favor to Henry. She travels with Simon of Naples (an investigator) and her medical assistant Mansur, who is a eunuch. Their task is to try to discover who is killing Christian children in Cambridge. I really loved this novel, it was well written, with fully developed characters. Throw in an unconventional love affair and the historical setting, and I was hooked. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
This book is filled with strong characters, especially the protagonist Adelia who refuses to be anything than what she is: a 12th century forensic scientist. The writing is unique and clear, leaving much to the reader's imagination and interpolation. However, it is not for anyone squeamish about children's murders and mutilation. If you want a good mystery where the "whodunit" is difficult to pinpoint, then it's worth a read. I'm moving on to the others in the series next. ( )
  e2d2 | Jun 2, 2017 |
FATASTIC audio book. I don't even like mysteries most of the time and I'm giving it 5 stars. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Interesting, very, very interesting. Part medieval CSI, part medieval Bones: Adelia - one of the few trained physicians at the time - and her companions-Simon, a Jew, and Mansur, a Moor-travel to England to unravel the mystery of the Cambridge child ritualistic murders, which turn out to be the work of a serial killer, most likely one who has been on Crusade with the king. In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia must conceal her true identity as a doctor in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she is assisted by Sir Rowley Picot, one of the king's tax collectors, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. Rowley may be a needed friend, or the fiend for whom they are searching. As Adelia's investigation takes her into Cambridge's shadowy river paths and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again

It's interesting. I breezed through it at the beginning but towards the middle I just kind of gave it up for reading "Into Thin Air".

I found the idea of trained physicians in the 12th century to be something about history I didn't know. So that was pretty cool. And who know how forward thinking the Italians were to invite women into the university to train them to be doctors? I didn't, so that was cool. But the down side was that because she was a doctor and a woman in the 12th century it was constant commentary on how she needed to protect her knowledge or her position from the crazy English who might string her up as a witch. It just got old after awhile. I'm a feminist, but man, I KNOW already! It's a struggle, it's horrible what they did to women back then but let's move forward and get on with the story.

The other annoying thing was the whole romance issue. Blah blah blah. However, the end of the story, what happens to the killer and the romance is all pretty good. I didn't see it coming.

The book wasn't as dark as the TV series Bones books (the show is super loosely based on the series of books, but they're freaking good books and I like the show too as long as I remember that the two Temperance Brennans are not the same characters.) I kind of wanted more of that. Adelia does remind me of the TV Tempe though - she has little tack and has to be stopped a couple of times from asking people to give her their bodies when they die so she can to an autopsy on them.

If you like crime dramas and historical pieces, you might find this one pretty interesting. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
Interesting take on women and racial tensions in the middle ages.....almost like an Ivanhoe murder mystery. The characters are likable and real. Good series overall. ( )
  Hymlock | Apr 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
What he gets is Adelia Aguilar, a doctor whose independent mind and arrogant manner are as unorthodox as her profession. Adelia is a delight and her spirited efforts to stop the killings, while tending to the sick, making friends and finding romance, add to our appreciation of her forensic skills. But the lonely figure who truly stands out in Franklin’s vibrant tapestry of medieval life is King Henry — an enlightened monarch condemned to live in dark times.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franklin, Arianaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Đurić, MilanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Himmelstoss, BeateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nowak-Kreyer, MaciejTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasetti, Maria ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenbloom, MiriamCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sønsteng, GryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schiøtt, LeneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaleṿ, AyalahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stålmarck, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmermann, KlausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasel, UlrikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yoshizawa, YasukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Helen Heller,
mistress of the art of thrillers
First words
Here they come. From down the road we can hear harness jingling and see dust rising into the warm spring sky.
Quotations
Love, however doomed, had the capacity to attach buoys to the soul.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Ariana Franklin is the pen name of Diana Norman.
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Book description
In medieval Cambridge, four children have been murdered. The Catholic townsfolk blame their Jewish neighbors, so to save them from the rioting mob, the Cambridge Jews are placed under the protection of the king. Henry II is no friend of the Jews -- or anyone, really -- but he believes in law and order, and he desperately need the taxes and loans he receives from Jewish merchants. Hoping scientific investigation will help catch the true killer, Henry calls on his cousin the King of Sicily, whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe, to send a forensics specialist. The Italian doctor chosen for the task is a young prodigy from the University of Salerno, an expert in the science of anatomy and the art of detection. Her name is Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar: the king has been sent a "mistress of the art of death." In the backward and superstitious country that is England, Adelia faces danger at every turn. As she examines the victims and retraces their last steps, she must conceal her true identity in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she's assisted by one of the king's tax collectors, Sir Rowley Picot, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. A former Crusader knight, Rowley may be either a much-needed friend or an ally of the fiend they seek. As Adelia's investigation takes her along Cambridge's shadowy river paths, and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again... (978-0-399-15414-0)
Haiku summary
Mistress of the art
Of death helps to uncover
Cambridge child killer.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425219259, Paperback)

The national bestselling hit hailed by the New York Times as a "vibrant medieval mystery...[it] outdoes the competition."

In medieval Cambridge, England, Adelia, a female forensics expert, is summoned by King Henry II to investigate a series of gruesome murders that has wrongly implicated the Jewish population, yielding even more tragic results. As Adelia's investigation takes her behind the closed doors of the country's churches, the killer prepares to strike again.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:32 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Sent to medieval Cambridge in order to exonerate Jewish prisoners who have been accused of murdering four children, University of Salerno medical expert Adelia discovers that the killer may be a former crusader.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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