Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death #1)
In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town's Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews sacrifice Christian children in blasphemous ceremonies. To save them from the riotin...more
But, without those characters, I'd be even more annoyed (and depressed) by the frighteningly woman-unfrie...more
Adelia Vesuvia, our sleuth, is a forensic physician in a time when I didn't...more
Another case of this:
We have Adelia, the woman doctor (she's blonde, too!), Mansur, the black assistant, and Simon, the Jewish investigator. *exasperated sigh*
At one point at the beginning of the book Adelia does an autopsy on three children and starts dictating her impressions to
The second half of the book was better, but the resol...more
I like THIS. It's a mystery, set in medieval Cambridge; its heroine is a doctor, no, a coroner; there's a big mystery about murdered children (the Jews are being accused!), and also a charming (and unlikely) romance to add to the...more
Set in the Middle Ages as a medieval mystery, our protagonist has been asked to travel to Cambridge (United Kingdom) from the...more
Very interesting setting, mainly compelling because of the main character,a medieval woman doctor. Felt well researched, a serial killer thriller set long ago in a fascinating world. Leans a bit too much in the "womanly" direction sometimes (I felt the romance was a b...more
Mistress of the Art of Death tells the tale of Adelia, a "doctor to the dead" in the 12th century. Dispatched from her academic existence at the University of Salerno to medieval Cambridge to investigate the gruesome death of four
children, Adelia is forced to hide her true identity and attempt to blend in with the provincial English folk. Alternately horrified and fascinated, Adelia struggles to fulfill her mission, dodging danger and deceit at every turn, and maintain her sens...more
Ariana Franklin, however, knows her medieval history. The story is a page-turner as well, and the world Frankli...more
I'm sure this book was originally recommended to me because of the Jewish aspect but although they did provide a little (a lot less than I expected) background colour, for the most part I felt their inclusion was a Macguffin, useful in that the frequent historical Blood Libels gave the author a good excuse for gory child murder.
I also found Adelia's character a little flat and distant. She kept telling me how she felt about things but I rarely...more
I'd looked at it a couple of times and thought it wasn't a book for me. It's a mystery, which I always like, but a woman doctor in the 12th century in England seemed not my sort of thing. But it was! It was totally my thing. It has lush writing and terrific interesting characters and an off-beat romance. The mystery wasn't terribly mysterious, but it was a pleasure getting there.
The characters are well-drawn and sympathetic and the author takes her time introducing them and show...more
Everything after this is a SPOILER. Also, this is not a formal...more
A historical thriller, The Mistress of the Art of Death, will rival modern day forensic medicine novels. The story combines medieval England in the 1200 century, crusader knights, questionable nuns, suspicious monks, and, a sly King Henry II, not to mention, four horribly mutilated dead children and the Jewish community that stands accused of these atrocities. The people of Cambridge believe the Jews have crucified their children in a passover rite. Then, add to this explos...more
This was such a departure from the genre-norm for me, but I am so glad I read it. It is hard to wrap my head around a time when women could not do whatever they wanted; and to such a degree as was portrayed in this book. Adelia being a coroner/medical examiner for her time is akin to witchcraft; so lightly she must tread.
In attempt to find a killer of children, Adelia must deal with the times and the prejudices, not only from men, but women as well. She must find clues where there are no...more
The story takes place in 1170 in Cambridge. (The author uses the modern name for clarity.) Our heroine is a female doctor, something very rare, only practiced in Salerno, and l...more
This one isn't your run-of-the-mill mystery. It's more sophisticated, almost like a classic. Yes, the language does read a bit like that and I surprisingly savored the slow pace and the new flavor (not to say I don't like classics but a good mystery-thriller + good classic-y language = a very good book).
The book was a bi...more
Franklin, Ariana (aka Diana Norman) – 1st in series
Bantam Press, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780593056493
First Sentence: Here they come.
*** A child has been murdered and residents in Cambridge claim he was crucified by the Jews. The Jews provide Henry II with a large part of his revenue and requires that the real killer be quickly found. From Naples come Simon of Naples, an renowned investigator, Mansur the Saracen, and a...more
First of all I was surprisingly pleased about the lack of descriptions of the people in the book. While there were a few adjectives here or there, you (as a reader) weren't bombarded with a complete description of every character from the tops of their heads to their toes. I was delighted to be able to use my imagination for a change. I think the only thing I knew...more
No one expects a female expert, of course, even if Adelia hails from the famous medical school in Salerno. We get to see how medieval Englishmen are even mor...more
Okay, yes, there is some romance in it, but very little and very late in the book. Mostly it' a nice historical novel, with strong, interesting characters, set in a fascinating time. It takes the known facts of some histor...more
Mistress tells the story of Adelia, who as some other reviewers (hi, Anita) have pointed out is a bit too modern. Adelia is to accompany Simon to Cambridge so they can discover who is murdering the children. Normally, they wouldn't want to set foot in England, but they've been orde...more
|What would you consider the greatest flaws of the series?||6||75||Mar 17, 2014 01:50PM|
|Read by Theme: Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin||1||14||Aug 18, 2012 02:45PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: series order for combined translation editions||9||66||Feb 22, 2012 01:10AM|
|Ladies & Lite...: Official September 2011 Read Discussion: The Mistress of the Art of Death||30||37||Oct 29, 2011 01:14PM|
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.