Mistress Of The Art Of Death

Mass Market Paperback | March 4, 2008

byAriana Franklin

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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. King Henry II is no friend of the Jews—or anyone, really—but he believes in law and order, and he desperately needs the taxes he receives from Jewish merchants. Hoping scientific investigation will catch the true killer, Henry calls on his cousin, the King of Sicily—whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe—and asks for his finest "master of the art of death," the earliest form of medical examiner. 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. But her name is Adelia; the king has been sent a "mistress of the art of death."

In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia faces danger at every turn. As she examines the victims and retraces their last steps, Adelia 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 a needed friend ... or the fiend for whom they are searching. 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...

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From the Publisher

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. King Henry II is no friend of the Jews—or anyone, really—but he believes in law and order, and he desperately needs the taxes...

Ariana Franklin was the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A former journalist, Norman had written several critically acclaimed biographies and historical novels. She lived in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, the film critic Barry Norman. Ariana was the author of the acclaimed, award-winning Mistress of the Art of Deat...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 7.47 × 4.23 × 1.09 inPublished:March 4, 2008Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143053108

ISBN - 13:9780143053101

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read In the fairness of full disclosure I must start off by saying that this not so much a traditional review but an overall recommendation of the entire Mistress of the Art of Death series. If anyone is considering reading this title: do so—immediately. I am a wee bit of a history buff, not to mention a huge historical fiction/mystery fan and despite certain liberties taken in the name of fiction the author, Ariana Franklin (Diana Norman), sprinkles little historical factoids and tidbits throughout the entire series which I found super educating. So, if you’re into history you will most likely enjoy some aspect of these stories. Historical accuracy aside, these books have great mystery and even better characters. I strongly urge you to go out and buy these books—you’ll be hooked! I cannot wait for the fifth book!
Date published: 2010-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Book to Gobble When I can't put down a book, I 'gobble' it, reading until it's done, then sorry when its done. It's rather "Bones" meets "Quincy" in the Middle Ages. If you love thrillers and historicals, this is it; beautifully written, well researched and a satisfying read. The story centers around the horrific deaths of four children in England and the search for their killer by a woman doctor sent by the King of Sicily to find that killer. There is everything in this book, romance, humour, history, friendship......whatever you want in a book. It's a fantastic read with a satisfyingly surprise.
Date published: 2010-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A 5-star +++ read! Ariana Franklin has provided me with the best read yet this year! Medieval mystery, religious 'controversy', women's 'rights - definitely a 5+ out of 5 - have already started The Serpent's Tale as a result. I literally could not put this one down - it is great that I have a metropass, made 2 circles on a certain route because I just could NOT shut this book at that point of the story. My thanks to the Mystery Readers & Herding Cats members for the 3 recommendations of this one - Well worth keeping! Mille merci! NB: have started on the 2nd one - The Serpent's Tale - definitely a Must Read!
Date published: 2009-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent read! This book was recommended to me by several friends and I am forever grateful to those friends for encouraging me to read it. I am now passing on the recommendation to any and everyone!
Date published: 2009-04-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Morbidly Entertaining With this story we are hurtled back in time to Medieval England. This is a morbidly entertaining novel that depicts human cruelty with details of sexual torture and the sacrificing of innocent children. Employing modern narration to weave historical figures and events into the plot, Ms Franklin provides us with a view of how things were in the 12th century during the reign of Henry11. Set against a rich background the story begins when four children are found dead and mutilated casting suspicion on the local Jewish population. King Henry 11 implores the King of Sicily (his cousin) to dispatch one of his most trusted and experienced to solve the crime. Sent to England are Adelia Aguila, a doctor specialising in death, Simon her protector and Mansur her Arab servant, their mission is to find the guilty before they kill again. From the start, the trio struggles to understand the horrors and furies that lie behind the gruesome murders. The author exploits brilliantly the contrast between the 12th century barbaric England and the more modernistic way of thinking Adelia represents. Emotions are vividly portrayed with well-drawn characters. This is a well crafted novel with numerous twists and continuous surprises throughout
Date published: 2009-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG, must read!!! This was so funny! I absolutely loved it!! It was funny, serious, sexy and scary all in one! Read it, you know you want to!
Date published: 2008-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this--plan on reading The Serpent's Tale by the same author This if for all of you lover's of historical fiction but also love a good thriller/mystery. This book has it all. Four children have been found murdered and King Henry II has decided that they need help in finding the killer of Children. He asks from the King of Sicily ,for a Master of the Art of Death--the best that he has---what he sends him is Adelia---the Mistress of the Art of Death. There are no women doctors in medieval England, only men. The mystery of who is killing the children of Cambridge, weaves in and out, surprises at every turn. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan on reading The Serpent's Tale, also by this author with the same character of Adelia throughout. Something for everyone in this fine tale.
Date published: 2008-04-28