Friday, September 13, 2013

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

In Mistress of the Art of Death, a child has been murdered and others are missing. The Jews are being accused of this horrendous act. Simon of Naples, an investigator, and a young female doctor, Adelia Aguilar, are dispatched to investigate. Adelia's speciality is the study of corpses and she's hoping the bodies can lead to the identity of the killer. However, it's the late 10th century in England and females doctors are almost unheard of. Adelia must hide her profession lest she's accused of witchcraft.

I really enjoyed this one. The historical references were terrific. I haven't read too many (if any) books set in this time period, but the author's scene setting and use of language made me feel like I was actually there. I love both mysteries and historical fiction, but it's not often that a book features the best of both worlds. This one was exactly that. A real treat!

I didn't start out loving or even liking Adelia, but she definitely grew on me. At first, she seemed unapproachable, cold, and harsh. After awhile, though, I really started to like her. I don't know if she changed or I got used to her style. I also really liked Adelia's cook, Glytha, and her young grandson, Ulf, who helped out Adelia.

I did have a little trouble following what was going on at times, though, but I usually caught on within a couple of pages, so it wasn't too bad.

I generally keep track of the new words I encounter in books. However, I didn't bother doing that with this one. There were just too many and recording each of the new words would have seemed like work. I'm guessing that most of them were objects or expressions from the time period or region.

Ariana Franklin is the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. It funny that her website (see below) doesn't mention that. That same website also doesn't mention that she died in 2011. The last copyright was in 2010, so I guess it hasn't been updated since then.

Highly recommended. I'm going to keep an eye out for her other books. I'd love to read another one.

This book came to me through my bookclub. The Bookcrossing sticker on the front immediately caught my attention because I was a member of the Bookcrossing community for a long time. However, I haven't been active in many years. If you are interested, the Bookcrossing entries for this book can be found here. And, by the way, here's my bookshelf on the Bookcrossing website.

For more information about this book and the author, please visit the Ariana Franklin's website.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin, Transworld Publishers (Random House), ©2007. ISBN 9780553818000(Trade paperback), 503p.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed Franklin's series! Adelia is an interesting character.


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