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The Death Maze by Ariana Franklin
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The Death Maze (2008)

by Ariana Franklin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mistress of the Art of Death (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,535877,540 (3.89)218
Henry II has his wife Eleanor, imprisoned for fear she and their sons will overthrow him. When his mistress is poisoned he sends for Adelia Aguilar to investigate the murder. Eleanor has escaped from prison and someone is trying to frame her for the murder. Adelia saves the queen but learns that she is trying to overthrow the king.… (more)

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» See also 218 mentions

English (85)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin
Book #2 in the Mistress of the Art of Death
4 Stars

Synopsis:
A forensic scientist in medieval times, Adelia Aguilar finds herself embroiled in another case of murder and politics when King Henry II's mistress is poisoned. Adeila must discover the murderer's identity before she and her loved ones are caught up in the civil war that threatens to break out between Henry and his rebellious wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Review:
Gets off to a slow start but increases in pace and tension and packs a huge wallop at the end. Adelia is one of my favorite characters. Her intelligence and fierce independence are awe inspiring and I really enjoy reading about her love/hate relationship with Rowley Picot, now the Bishop of Saint Albans.
The political machinations that constitute the basis for the murder plot may be a little confusing at times, especially for those unfamiliar with English history in that period. Nevertheless, the basic motives of greed and ambition come through quite clearly. I must say that the identity of the assassin caught me by surprise. He turns out to be the one character I never suspected.
Recommendation: An interesting and entertaining read. I am eagerly looking forward to the next one. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
This barely squeaked buy with 3 stars. I'm being a little generous really. Quite a disappointment after her first book. The plot of this one was kind of slow and plodding. Not much happening - you kind of feel like you and the main character spend much of the book just sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for something to happen. Oh, but then the author decides to go ahead and fill the reader in on what she had been doing behind the scenes. I hate that!! I hope the third book in the series is better. ( )
  catzkc | Mar 23, 2018 |
Entertainly gripping. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Book on CD performed by Kate Reading
3.5***

From the book jacket: Rosamund Clifford, the mistress of King Henry II, has died an agonizing death by poison—and the king's estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is the prime suspect. Henry suspects that Rosamund's murder is probably the first move in Eleanor's long-simmering plot to overthrow him. If Eleanor is guilty, the result could be civil war. The king must once again summon Adelia Aguilar, mistress of the art of death, to uncover the truth.

My reactions
There are several things I like about this series. I love a strong, independent, resilient and resourceful heroine. Adelia Aguilar is all these things, and then some. Her personal life is more complicated now that she is a mother, but this also adds interest.

I like the return of certain characters (even if I don’t necessarily like all of them): Mansur (Adelia’s Arabic manservant), Gyltha (their housekeeper), Sir Rowley Picot (Bishop of Saint Albans), and King Henry. And I loved her smelly little dog!

Franklin does a lot of research and it shows in the way she sets the tone and describes the landscape and relationships in 12th century England. Book two in this popular series includes much more actual history of the period, though Franklin takes liberties in imagining this plot. The plot is intricate, and had more than one surprise for the reader.

Kate Reading is fast becoming a favorite narrator. She has great pacing, and is a talented voice artist, able to give the many characters unique voices. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jul 14, 2017 |
This book was a solid follow-up to “Mistress of the Art of Death”. As the book begins, King Henry II’s mistress Rosemund is poisoned and his estranged wife Eleanor is suspected. Fearing a civil war, Henry calls for Adelia’s services in uncovering the murderer. This requires Adelia to reunite and travel with Rowley Picot, a bishop now and the father of Adelia's child. This book was a bit different than the first in that there is quite a bit of traveling done, but most of the important characters were all present. The only disappointments were that Ulf didn’t appear in this one (I love his character), and the fact that Adelia still has yet to be able to make more than a cursory examination of a body. I would love to see her be able to conduct a full autopsy. Small nitpicks, as overall I enjoyed the book a lot. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franklin, Arianaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frąc, CezaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gębicka-Frąc, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Himmelstoß, BeateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Himmelstoss, BeateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijsewijk, Erica vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmermann, KlausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasel, UlrikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yoshizawa, YasukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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
US Title: The Serpent's Tale
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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?
(passion4reading)
Doctor to the dead
Adelia must prevent
all-out civil war.
(passion4reading)

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