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A Murderous Procession (Mistress of the Art of Death, #4)
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A Murderous Procession (Mistress of the Art of Death #4)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  4,614 ratings  ·  606 reviews
Adelia is back in this thrilling fourth installment of the Mistress of the Art of Death series.

In 1176, King Henry II sends his daughter Joanna to Palermo to marry his cousin, the king of Sicily. Henry chooses Adelia Aguilar, his Mistress of the Art of Death, to travel with the princess and safeguard her health. But when people in the wedding procession are murdered, Ad
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Putnam Adult (first published 2010)
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The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
65th out of 1,014 books — 2,705 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
41st out of 678 books — 671 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jamie
I liked this very much, even though the book ends with a wrenching cliffhanger and the author has died, so there will be no resolution. We are left with some of our characters achingly separated from the others, and with one character in the process of bleeding to death. I'm sure the author didn't intend to die before she could write another book, but I dislike such cliffhangers in general.

Otherwise, this is an odd story, but enjoyable. Adelia accompanies the king's young daughter Joanna to her
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LJ
First Sentence: Between the parishes of Shepfold and Martlake in Somerset existed an area of no-man’s-land and a lot of ill feeling.

Dr. Adelia Aguilar is thrilled to learn Henry II wants to send her to accompany his daughter Joanna’s wedding procession to her home of Sicily. Her feelings change to anger when she learns Henry is keeping Adelia’s daughter in England to ensure Adelia’s return. With them, and well concealed, will be Arthur’s sword, Excaliaber, as a gift to the bridegroom. Danger a r
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Lauren Fidler
ok, i love this series, but overall, i felt very...conflicted...after this installment.

i have NEVER loved rowley, he is not my first choice for adelia. he's sort of like "mr. big" to adelia's medieval carrie. only, in the case of the television show, i LIKED mr. big.

i don't know. the premise here is that scarry (whose name i agonized over pronouncing. i have some bizarre totally connotation-created mental picture of him as a cross between one of richard scarry's plucky animal-people and simba'
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Ellie
A Murderous Procession is the fourth installment in the medieval mystery series, The Mistress on the Art of Death series, by Ariana Franklin (who sadly passed away in 2011). The series features Ariana Aguilar, a medically trained doctor from Salerno (at this time-the 12th century-women were allowed in Salerno to become doctors) and her assistant, the eunuch Mansur. Adelia is forced by King Henry II to accompany his 10 year old daughter, Joanna (the titular "procession") who is on her way to marr ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.75* of five

The fourth "Mistress of the Art of Death" mystery in the ongoing series, this book was a grave (!) disappointment. To my *intense* irritation, Franklin chose to reveal the identity of the murderer for sure and certain on p19.

I ask you...page nineteen...what in Satan's name (appropriate to the case, here, as Scarry-the-Satanist is the killer) possessed her to do that?! And what addlepated editor thought it was a good idea?!

One whole star off for that.

I was still reeling from
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MB
Wow! That was an intense book! I had to stop and take a break mid-way because the suspense was getting to me. The book ends on somewhat of a cliff-hanger with lots of loose ends for the next book, or books. I'm not sure how I feel about the way the story was left. But it certainly builds my anticipation for the next Adelia story.

I found myself thinking throughout how Adelia's troubles and interactions with the male-dominated Catholic church of that time were so pertinent to what I've been readin
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Barbara
This 4th book featuring Adelia Aguilar is a very mixed bag. Henry II insists that Adelia(and most of her household) accompany his young daughter Joanna on Joanna's bridal journey to Sicily. Henry wants someone who really knows medicine along to keep his daughter healthy. And to insure Adelia comes back to England, Henry arranges for Adelia's daughter to "stay" with Eleanor of Aquitaine while Adelia is away.
So the bulk of the story involves the trek from England to Sicily. And it looks like someo
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Kathy
What a joy and delight that the fourth book in a series is as wonderfully written as the previous three! In fact, it may even be my favorite one yet. Of course, having just finished it gives it an advantage over the others. The character of Adelia Aguilar is simply one of which I can't get enough. Franklin lets Adelia continue to grow and evolve as the events around her places her in the middle of history and danger. The relationship with Rowley (who doesn't love a forbidden love?) also continue ...more
Lori (Hellian)
I've read a whole bunch of books over the last few months and this series is the only one I remember enough to rate, so that says something. Nothing brilliant here, but intelligent fun in the medieval world. King Richard! I love her take on this king, how he's been pretty besmirched in history and yet he is responsible for bringing some of the earliest laws of justice for all. And a different take on Eleanor of Aquitaine, and all their pesky children. The characters are great. It has a modern ou ...more
Gary
Getting a bit 'samey' now. Predictable and nothing like as enjoyable as the first couple of books. The info on the Cathars was interesting but on the whole I think the series has run it's course. I won't be getting the next, if there is one.
Bill
I've mixed emotions about this one. I love the series and wanted it to go on, but with the death of Ariana Franklin a few years back, this is the last book in the Mistress of the Art of Death series. I'm so glad I discovered the books, each one was better than the previous one. I've grown to feel a sentimental, personal attachment to the characters; the lovely, independent Adelia Aguilar, the Mistress of the art of death, who is confined to England by the King Henry II; her lover, Bishop Rowley, ...more
Nancy
The 4th book and I was hoping to see some character development but it seems that the main characters are trapped by the plot demands including more personal danger for Adelia. However, Ulf was a pleasure and Boggart as well, but no Gyltha, although I am glad that someone is willing to teach her daughter some social skills. There was a lot of religion which got a bit slow and draggy in the middle, with lots of travelling side trips that didn't really move the main story along.

Personally, I think
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Ravin Maurice
The fourth installment of the Mistress of the Art of Death series did not disappoint.
Ariana Franklin (may she rest in peace, the world lost a brilliant voice) has a way of turning the medieval world into a place that you feel like you know really well, like you've lived there your entire life. Her characters are well rounded, even the ones that have small parts (I'm speaking of Fabrisse in this particular book), and her plotting is brilliant, a true mystery that keeps you up at night so you can
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Gena
This is the fourth in Ms. Franklin’s “Mistress of the Art of Death” series and sadly, due to her passing away, it is the last. In this book King Henry II forces Adelia Aguilar to accompany the Princess Joanna to Sicily for her wedding. Adelia is the only real medical authority he trusts to watch over his ten year old daughter on the long and arduous journey.

Adelia is slightly reluctant about making the trip even though it is to her homeland but after nearly ten years in England she has grown to
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Felicia
UUUGH

Ok still great time era, research, details etc. But my least favorite of this series.

Adelia and Rowley: I'm a fan but treading water a LOT in this relationship. Also Adelia was particularly whiney here to me.
Ulf; Love seeing him back!!!
Scarey: UGH I HATED HIM! I was so mad he wasn't resolved last book, and here he is, we know who he is most the book, he talks in italics, UGH I HATE HIM.

HEY THIS BOOK SHOULDN"T HAVE HAD A CLIFFHANGER BECAUSE THAT ISN"T HOW THIS SERIES GOES AND BY THE WAY SAD
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Dorie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
While worth reading, this is not the strongest entry in the series. Adelia Aguilar, mistress of the art of death, has been an enjoying a quiet life in the countryside with her daughter, Allie, although she wants nothing more than to return to her native Sicily. Then King Henry II demands that she accompany his daughter Joanna to Sicily for her marriage, but he keeps Allie with Queen Eleanor to ensure that Adelia returns. However, a series of murders in the procession soon point to a killer who i ...more
Maya
For some reason, picked this up despite not having read #2 or #3 of the series, and proceeded to be utterly sucked in to the next slice of Adelia's most unusual life.

This author makes history truly come alive for me like few others; as I read about the latest developments in Adelia's personal life and those of her close companions, I felt desperately sad that it seems that with the author's recent passing, readers will learn no more about this unique cast of characters.

Perhaps because of that
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Nicole
As I was looking at book summaries on Ariana Franklin's website to remind myself of past book events, I came across the sad news that she (real name Diana Norman) had passed away earlier in the year. Enjoying the Adelia books as I have, I found this news quite sad and was determined to savor this last of the series. I was still sad, then, to find that I enjoyed it the least of the 4 books. It took me a while to put my finger on what dissatisfied me. At first, I thought it was merely the rambling ...more
Peisenberg
This series has been one of my favorites, and I was so sorry to read that the author has died. Although this is not the best in the series, still there are some fascinating things to learn about life in the early middle ages. The main character in this series is a female forensic medical examiner who has to pretend that her manservent is actually the doctor, lest she be killed as a witch. In this book, she is to accompany the King of England's daughter to Sicily, where she is to marry the king o ...more
Bridget

Adelia is known as the Mistress of the Art of Death. Some call her a witch because of her healing abilities, some are aware of her talent but others would be more than terrified of this strong-willed woman. She has to perform her art craft under the guise of a translator. It's tough but Adelia makes it seem effortless.

When King Henry II wants to send his daughter to marry, he chooses Adelia to make sure that his daughter arrives safely. Once they set off, people seem to be dropping dead all arou
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Ken Kugler
A Murderous Procession, by Ariana Franklin, is the story of the journey from England to Sicily of Joanna¸ the 10 year old daughter of Henry II. It is a marriage, as usual, of power and to solidify kingdoms and unions.
Adelia is to accompany the huge procession as the interpreter of Mansur, a Arab who pretends to be the doctor that Adelia really is. This is a real hardship for Adelia because to ensure that she returns to the court and stay in Sicily, the king holds on to her daughter Allie.
Stalkin
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Sarah Lawrence
So I didn't realize until I found it on GoodReads that this is a middle book a series. Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy to just jump into as Murder in Chinatown , so I'm giving up.

That said, I absolutely loved the opening. It started out with an intense free-for-all soccer/football/rugby game that everyone got wrapped up in. It was a great scene! There also was a pretty good diverse cast of characters--the main character was a Sicilian woman, her partner-in-medicine was an Arab eunuch, and ther
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Monty
As I listened to this intense recorded book, I found myself feeling more and more sadness because I had learned that the author was dead, and there will be no more books in this series. I even felt a greater loss when the book ended with many loose ends untied. In any event, I feel enriched for having read this series: it is well written and appears to be well-researched. If you like historical mysteries, then start with the first book in the series--The Mistress of the Art of Death.
Sarah
I couldn't finish this book. Perhaps it's because it was the latest in a series I haven't read (which I didn't realise when I rented it from the library), but I couldn't seem to get into the story. Perhaps because I don't know the character as well as I would have had I read the other three books, the idea of someone trying to bump her off didn't really grip me, and other than sporadic forays into the 'killer's' mind, there wasn't much action happening in the part I read (I've returned the book ...more
HBalikov
This book took forever to get going. Maybe it was the baggage from the three previous novels. The author, Diana Norman writing as Ariana Franklin, has so much detail of 12th Century Europe which she delights in laying before us.

Among the elements are:
The trappings and rituals of royalty;
The skills of the medicant, herbalist and surgeon; and,
The time of heretics: Cathars, Jews, Saracens, and the role of priests.

This novel takes a long time to get going, particularly for a reader of the previous b
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Simon
I liked the series, which will never be completed, as Franklin passed after writing this one. That's unfortunate, because this book needs a sequel --- although the reader is perfectly free to complete it in his or her head. The very odd final chapter has the main characters fleeing the Middle Ages en masse, and if that sounds strange, read the book and you'll see what I mean.

The mystery itself is terrible, and the plot is far more a picaresque novel than a strict candidate for the "who did it?"
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Hannah Cobb
Adelia, a medieval "mistress of the art of death," finds herself dragged into another disastrous quest when Henry II commands her to accompany his daughter, Princess Joanna, to her royal wedding in Sicily.
If you read the rest of Franklin's excellent historical mystery series, you'll be sucked into Adelia's traumatic conflicts with the Church (all too eager to find a reason to label Adelia a heretic); the man she loves (now a bishop); and the murderer who is hunting Adelia from town to town and n
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Mike Shoop
Franklin's last book in this series is every bit as good as each of the previous books. It has characters the reader can get involved with, an interesting setting, a puzzling mystery, and a good thriller element. So sorry that Norman's death has put an end to the series; I'll miss Adelia and Rowley and all the supporting players that I've come to know and care about.
Susan Morrison
I had so enjoyed the first book in the series but found this one forth in the series less inspiring. The story line revolves around Adelia being sent by Henry 11 to watch over his daughter who travels to marry the king of Sicily. I had some serious issues with some minor aspects such as the suggestion that Queen Eleanor was not Henry's equal. The facade around protecting Adelia as a doctor, female doctors being forbidden, was lame as was the romance between Adelia and her lover the Bishop. I was ...more
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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.

Note:
The Death Maze (UK) is published as The Serpent's Tale in the US.
Relics of the Dead (UK) is published as Grave Goods in the US.
The Assassin'
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More about Ariana Franklin...
Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, #1) The Serpent's Tale (Mistress of the Art of Death, #2) Grave Goods (Mistress of the Art of Death, #3) City of Shadows Winter Siege

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