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The Serpent's Tale (aka The Death Maze) by…

The Serpent's Tale (aka The Death Maze) (2008)

by Diana Norman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mistress of the Art of Death (2)

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1,326805,867 (3.9)205



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English (78)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
This mystery starts with someone hiring a menacing and clever assassin and it becomes Adelia's mission to uncover him and solve the mystery of Fair Rosamunde's death. There are some truly horrible scenes in this medieval mystery, but once again, Franklin has populated her novel with wonderful, interesting characters and the plot twists and turns in all directions. A great read. ( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
The Serpent’s Tail – Ariana Franklin
3 stars
This is the second book of the medieval mystery series featuring Adelia Aguilar, Doctor of Death. Adelia is called out of retirement (in more modern terms, her maternity leave ends) to determine the cause of death of the king’s mistress. She finds herself snowbound in a nunnery with Eleanor of Acquitaine and one or more murderers. Although there is a decent mystery and interesting characters, I have decided that this series is not for me. Adelia and her entourage seemed even more historically unlikely in this book than in the first one. Also, I am not found of gruesome descriptions of decaying corpses. This book made me long for a visit with Brother Cadfael.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I've read the 1st and the 3rd books in this series and I liked them very much. This book, not so much. It was okay but I found this story tedious, being largely about rebellion between King Henry II and his wife, Eleanor of Acquitaine. Additionally, due to broad hints in the beginning, I knew who the bad guy was as soon as he appeared on the scene. Her other books kept me guessing. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
This was an excellent read; well written, interesting & engaging. It was difficult for me to put it down.

This furthers the adventures of Adelia (Doctor to the Dead), Mansur (Saracen bodyguard), Glytha (Adelia's housekeeper), Bishop Rowley Picot, & King Henry II.

Someone has poisoned Henry II's mistress, Rosamund the Fair (even though she was being kept in a maze guarded tower). The blame is placed on Henry II's wife Eleanore of Aquitaine (as she has escaped the prison Henry had her locked in) in hopes that a Civil War will erupt. In addition, Adelia & company have discovered the body of a young man hanged from the Priory's bridge...and later those of his assassins.

Bishop Picot, Adelia, & the Bishop's men are abducted by Eleanore's army of mercenaries as they search for the responsible parties...and in the midst of being transported as prisoners back to the Priory, Bishop Picot jumps ship into the icy Thames...his body can not be recovered, leaving Adelia to fend for herself.
( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
A good second book in the series; I enjoyed Franklin's continued exploration of her rather non-traditional characters. It reminds me a lot of the Brother Cadfael series (for obvious reasons) but with a more interesting protagonist. ( )
  TadAD | Aug 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Normanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frąc, CezaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gębicka-Frąc, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijsewijk, Erica vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmermann, KlausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasel, UlrikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yoshizawa, YasukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Awards and honors
To Dr. Mary Lynch, MD., FRCP, FRCPI,

consultant cardiologist.

My literally heartfelt thanks.
First words
The two men's voices carried down the tunnels with reverberations that made them indistinguishable but, even so, gave the impression of a business meeting.
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
"Dum vivimus, vivamus," he said. "Let us live while we live. I subscribe to the Epicureans." - "Do you know the mortality rate among Epicureans?"
Eleanor leaned forward, cupping her ear again, then stood back. "Demons? Belial?." She turned to her audience. "The woman threatens me with Belial. My dear, I married him."
Henry swived more women than most men had hot dinners. "Literally, a father to his people," Rowley had said of him once, with pride.
Life was sacred; nobody knew that better than a doctor who dealt with its absence.
That didn't get any applause either, but from somewhere deep into the congregation, someone farted. Loudly. The men-at-arms turned their heads this way and that, looking for a culprit. But, though a shiver swept though the crowd, every face remained stolid. How I love the English, Adelia thought.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
aka The Death Maze
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
The Fair Rosamund, mistress of King Henry II, has died a suspicious death -- and the king thinks his estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, may be behind it. If Eleanor really is guilty, the result could be all-out civil war in England. Henry must summon medical examiner Dr. Adelia Aguilar, "mistress of the art of death," out of retirement to uncover the truth.
Haiku summary
Lovely Rosamund
Lies poisoned; did jealous Queen
Eleanor do it?
Doctor to the dead
Adelia must prevent
All-out civil war.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399154647, Hardcover)

Adelia is back in action! Ariana Franklin combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of medieval fiction in this enthralling historical novel, the second in the Mistress of the Art of Death series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Ordered by Henry II to establish the possible role of Eleanor of Aquitaine in the poisoning death of Henry's mistress, a reluctant Adelia Aguilar joins forces with her infant daughter's father, the Bishop of St. Albans, during the investigation.

» see all 6 descriptions

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