Coffcat's Reviews > Mistress of the Art of Death

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
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Jan 19, 08

bookshelves: mystery
Read in January, 2008

I really enjoyed reading this book. I'm not normally a big fan of mysteries but since this book seemed so different I gave it a shot.

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 of the main character was that she was short, blond haired, and had horrible fashion sense. Same with the other characters, you had a basic sense of hair color, height and body shape. It was fun :) Unfortunately there has been a tendency, especially with romance novels, to completely describe every stitch of clothing a character was wearing while (in my opinion) just saying that someone was well dressed would have been a suitable alternative. I just don't feel that I need a history of clothing every time I pick up a book.

I also enjoyed the depth of the characters. While I didn't feel like I understood the heart and soul of each person, I felt that the thoughts and emotions of each character were perfectly given for each moment in the book. I never felt like I was guessing. I also liked how the main character stayed true throughout the book, sometimes authors like to change a character midway through a book just for a plot twist. That tends to bug me, makes me feel like I've been tricked with a bait and switch.

The one thing that disappointed me about this book is that the last tiny bit of the book seemed rushed. Everything was tidied up and seemed to leave no chance of a sequel to the story (which I found out later that there is a second book).

All in all though I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a nice solid book to read. The story was good, the characters interesting and the setting unique.
In the mean time if you enjoy this book and would like something similar, you might try a book called Elegant Witch by Robert Neill (the English version is called Mist over Pendle). It's an older book-but of similar vein.

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