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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mistress of the Art of Death


by Ariana Franklin

Oh, how I hope that this is the first book in a series. I want to read more by this masterful storyteller and more of the adventures of the mistress of death, Adelia.

In the time of Henry II three children had been hideously tortured and murdered and the murders blamed on the Jews. Henry sends to Italy for a doctor to the dead (forerunner term for forsenic scientist) to help solve the crimes. Little does he realize that the school of doctors would send a woman.

Mistress is a suspense/thriller with a convincing historical feel. The occasional 'laugh-out-loud' moments further endeared me to the story. I enjoyed it immensely - better than The Thirteen Tale.

12 comments:

Literary Feline said...

This does sound good, Booklogged! I'm adding it to my wishlist.

Marg said...

This is a really good read, and yes, it is the start of a series!

The second book is due out early next year, and she has just signed for the third book!

By the way, did you know that this is a pseudonym for Diana Norman who writes excellent historical fiction.

Susan said...

I really liked this one as well. I need to check out the Dinana Norman ones, too. So excited that it's part of a series :)

Stephanie said...

Sounds like an interesting read! Thanks for the recommendation.
Stephanie
www.thewrittenword.wordpress.com

SuziQoregon said...

Nice to see positive reviews - I've seen this one in the bookstore, but was hesitant. Your review made me add it to my TBR list!

Framed said...

I added this to my list a few months ago because it sounded so interesting and such a different premise for a change. Are you going to be mooching this?

Gentle Reader said...

This sounds really interesting--another book I've been hearing a lot about lately. I'll have to add it to my list. Thanks for the review!

Eva said...

I read this one, and I thought it was pretty good.

The scene close to the end, when she goes after the killer, is sooo creepy! I think the cover's disturbing too, because the way the woman's hands rest on the skull reminds me of the way pregnant women rest their hands on their bellies.

iliana said...

I enjoyed this one a lot too. I am pretty sure it's a series so it'll be interesting to see what happens next. And, I totally agree, it was better than The Thirteenth Tale.

Carrie K said...

This looks interesting! I love that time period too.

jenclair said...

I really liked this one, too. I loved the comic bits interspersed with the genuinely creepy. I'm so glad you liked it! Waiting eagerly for the sequel...

Peter said...

Mistress of the Art of Death impressed me to no end, especially since I’ve always been apprehensive about historical crime fiction. But Mistress … does a neat job of keeping itself accessible to contemporary sensibilities while remaining a plausible take of 12th-century England. I’d call that quite a feat, and I look forward to reading the second book in the series.

The romance was not my favorite part of the novel, especially since romance is not my genre. But I will give Ariana Franklin credit for having some fun with it. I rolled my eyes when she made it appear that Adelia was going to find and marry her Shining White Knight. Then I rolled my eyes again when Franklin had Adelia turn him down, because I thought I was running into a bit of feminist tendentiousness. But I smiled when Franklin came up with a happy medium between marriage and refusal!

There might be a small anachonism in the book, other than the ones that the author herself acknowledges in her afterword. I'll investigate, but the book still gets a big thumbs-up from me.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com