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Death and the Maiden

(Mistress of the Art of Death #5)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  31 reviews
“Medieval-mystery writing at its best.”—New York Daily News

At long last, the much-anticipated final installment in Ariana Franklin’s popular Mistress of the Art of Death historical mystery series, set in Norman England.

England. 1191. After the death of her friend and patron, King Henry II, Adelia Aguilar, England’s vaunted Mistress of the Art of Death, is living comfortabl
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published October 20th 2020 by William Morrow
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Monica Fingers crossed that it is going to be out on Oct 20th. Harpers Collins already has the synopsis out:

England. 1191. After the death of her friend and …more
Fingers crossed that it is going to be out on Oct 20th. Harpers Collins already has the synopsis out:

England. 1191. After the death of her friend and patron, King Henry II, Adelia Aguilar, England’s vaunted Mistress of the Art of Death, is living comfortably in retirement and training her daughter, Allie, to carry on her craft—sharing the practical knowledge of anatomy, forensics, and sleuthing that catches murderers. Allie is already a skilled healer, with a particular gift for treating animals. But the young woman is nearly twenty, and her father, Rowley, Bishop of Saint Albans, and his patron, the formidable Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, have plans to marry Allie to an influential husband . . . if they can find a man who will appreciate a woman with such unusual gifts.
When a friend in Cambridgeshire falls ill, Allie is sent to Ely, where her path will cross with Lord Peverill, a young aristocrat who would be a most suitable match for the young healer. But when Allie arrives, all is chaos. A village girl has disappeared—and she’s not the first. Over the past few months, several girls from the villages surrounding Ely have vanished. When the body of one of the missing is discovered, Allie manages to examine the remains before burial. The results lead her to suspect that a monstrous predator is on the loose. Will her training and her stubborn pursuit of the truth help her find the killer . . . or make her the next victim?
A richly detailed, twisty thriller, Death and the Maiden is historical mystery at its finest—and a superb final episode in Ariana Franklin’s much-loved, much-acclaimed series.

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Terror in the Fens of medieval times!

Young maidens are missing and drowned in the Fens of 1191. No one in authority is putting things together. The Fens! Truly some of my favorite medieval mysteries have been set here!
Adelia Aguilar is not the woman I remembered her to be. Admittedly she is now older and retired, but still as oblivious and yet at the same time as frenetic as usual.
Adelia has been training her daughter Allie in her craft, so when the call comes for help with an old friend's illne
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

I was so excited about this book and couldn't wait to delve in. I read all of the books in the Mistress of the Art of Death series and loved them all. The idea of getting a conclusion to the series left me in great anticipation. Death and the Maiden was not at all what I was expecting however. For that reason, this review is a bit difficult to write.

Franklin's character Adelia is a spitfire. She demands her presence to be known and she's unwilling to let anything deter her from the pat
Kim Bakos
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I was hoping to be pulled into this story, but I found it hard to get into and hard to read. I will admit that I haven't read the ones that preceded this so I didn't have any attachment to any of the characters, which may have been part of the problem.
The first thing that I found difficult about reading this was the language. It is pretty close to trying to read Beowulf in the Old English - tons of lofty, archaic vocabulary. It doesn't keep you from understanding the story but does make you paus
Jan 29, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Is this real!? I need to start my reread of this series! So good!!!
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
I discovered the first Mistress of the Art of Death novel shortly after it was released, and I've followed the series eagerly since then. The series author, Ariana Franklin, died in 2011, so I knew I had no hope of another title. I was grateful for what she had written and resigned that there would be no more. Now, however, there is one more novel in the series, this one written by Franklin's daughter Samantha Norman. I don't know how much of Death and the Maiden is built on material Franklin le ...more
Kim McGee
Aug 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved this series and was very excited to finish the series albeit with another author. The problem is that you want to exact same voice and that was missing for me. The setting is the same with the unusual vocation of Adelia and the relationship between her and Rowley but the tone of the story felt less detailed. One of my favorite things was how Adelia got around the fact that she was an intelligent woman doing men's work and the intricate details of the autopsy or medical knowledge during t ...more
gwendalyn _books_
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Death and the Maiden is last book in Ariana Franklin incredible series.

Written by Franklin's daughter Samantha Norman. This final installment we see that Adelia’s daughter Allie, comes into her own. Allie is a medical examiner is difficult enough without adding in the complication of being a woman.
In a series of events, several young women go missing and turn up dead, Allie has no choice but to risk her own safety to solve the horrible crimes. With engaging twists and turns and a predator at l
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final novel in the Mistress of the Art of Death series featuring Adelia Aguilar is soon to be released. Death and the Maiden by Samantha Norman completes the series begun by her mother Diana Norman (writing as Ariana Franklin).

The first books are set during the reign of Henry II, and the main character, Adelia Aguilar is a medical doctor trained in Salerno, Italy. In the first books, her friend Mansur takes the role as doctor with Adelia as his assistant. Because she is a woman, Adelia must
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thrilled to read more about Allie and Adelia, like the fens country and it's people
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok

I really wanted to love Death and the Maiden. I had read the Mistress of the Art of Death series originally, and re-read them in preparation for reading this. I was so excited about the prospect of a new book in the series!

I came away feeling a little insulted, honestly.

One of the brilliant things about the series is that you get the WHYs. I didn't get that here. I knew pretty early on who the villain was. I am not bothered by that, it happens a lot that you can pick out t
Jean Kolinofsky
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In 2007, Ariana Franklin introduced Adelia Aguilar in Mistress of the Art of Death, an outstanding historical mystery. Several other novels in the series were completed before her death. Death and the Maiden is the final installment in this series written by her daughter Samantha Norman, who had collaborated on the for former novel in the series. From the opening pages, you are drawn back to 1191 and the world of Adelia Aguilar.

Now retired, Adelia has trained her daughter Allie in the healing us
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This marvelous historical mystery series was begun by Ariana Franklin (aka Diana Norman) in 2007 and ends with this book co-authored by her daughter, Samantha Norman. At the time she wrote the first book in the Mistress of the Art of Death, she was 74. She died four years later.

The fifth and last book in the Mistress of the Art of Death series is “Death and the Maiden.” It is set in 1191, and Adelia Aguilar has retired from being the mistress of the art of death and is training her daughter, All
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Death and the Maiden by Samantha Norman & Ariana Franklin (Mistress in the Art of Death #5) 3.5 stars

It has been 10 years since the last Mistress of the Art of Death book - A Murderous Procession, where we find Rowley and Adelia escorting Henry II daughter to her new home. At the end of that book we have Rowley gravely wounded and Adelia trying to keep him alive while making their way back to England.

This book was written by Samantha Norman based on notes left by her mother, Ariana Franklin. It
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC which I was SO excited to win in a Good Reads give away! I love this whole series, and have had this book on my TBR list for months and months. It is filled to the brim with well researched details of the time period and the background history, and being a history nerd, and loving this particular time in history the most, it thrills me to my bones. The mystery was predictable (I knew right away who the "bad guy" was) but the well developed chara ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaway. When I started the Mistress of the Art of Death series I was warned that maybe I shouldn’t start it due to the series ending on a cliffhanger. I read it anyway and was terribly disappointed to be left on a cliffhanger. When I revisited the series this year and stumbled upon Samantha Norman’s upcoming end to the series I was overjoyed then a little discouraged when I read that it picked up years later and focused on Allie. Needless to say, m ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to like Death and the Maiden, but I just felt like there were big chunks of the book I couldn't get into. I don't know if this is because I hadn't read the previous books in the series, or because there were parts that just felt random and unrelated to what I think was the main storyline - which was young women disappearing in the Fens, where Allie goes to provide care to an old family friend. Some of the offshoots can be tied in to building out Allie's character, but the parts strictly ...more
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, and I'm always slightly hesitant when entering a giveaway for a series in progress because I never know in advance whether they can be read as stand alone novels. In the case of this one, you don't need to have read the other two books first, though based on preexisting character relationships, having read others in the series would be more beneficial to the reader. It's a decent little myster ...more
Bobbi Wagner
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this historical story. This is my first book by this author and I look forward to reading more from them. This is a fast paced story that kept me turning pages to the end. I enjoyed being pulled in right from the beginning. I had no issues connecting to the characters as they brought the story to life. This is a story that takes place in 1191 and in England. Allie is a skilled healer and her mother is passing down her skills to her. What will happen when she plans to marry Allie to a m ...more
Daphne Manning
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it
The third in this series finds the Mistress of Death sending her daughter to take her place to minister to Goytha her beloved friend who has fallen ill in the Ferns . The Ferns is a place of mystery and now unexplained missing young girls, who have later been found murdered and left out in the open. These deaths have heightened the tension young Allie finds when she returns to this place that was home to her and her mother in her early years. Adelia’s dealing with an injury , a broken ankle and ...more
Richard Silberg
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Back in 2007, I stumbled onto Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death. This captivating historical novel introduces the reader to Adelia Aguilar, a 12 century forensic pathologist who helps discover who has been murdering children and exonerating the Jews falsely accused of the crimes. Sadly, after a second adventure and the beginning of a third, the author passed away, in 2017, but her daughter has lovingly completed the trilogy with the brilliant Death and the Maiden. Fittingly, the bul ...more
Brenda Haven
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book as an ARC from Goodreads Giveaway. Overall I thought it was a good story however I didn’t feel like it was a conclusion to the Mistress of the Art of Death Series. It felt more like a stand alone novel that had some of the same characters in it. It begins years later when Allie is in her early 20’s and really doesn’t even go into anything that happened in the fourth novel.

Overall I thought the story was well written - there were a few areas where the words and phrases were
Tammy Buchli
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the Mistress of the Art of Death books and so I was excited to see that Ariana Franklin's daughter had written another book in the series. I thought her choice to let a few years lapse and shift the protagonist to Adelia's daughter Allie was a good one. This book features an exciting mystery, was fairly evocative as to time and place (although not quite so stellar in this aspect as I remember the earlier books being), and strong charaterizations. I feel like the pace was just slightly to ...more
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the final book in a series, and I have to admit that I haven't read the earlier books.. Yet. The midieval mystery was well written and plotted but did lack the pacing I felt it needed. There were too many slow parts that bogged down the book as a whole. I didn't dislike it at all - it just didn't grab my attention as I hoped that it would. If you've read the earlier books in the series and enjoyed them, I believe this one will be much more enjoyable for you. #DeathandtheMaiden #WilliamMo ...more
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a fan of the original series, which ended so abruptly with the death of Ariana Franklin. While I understand why some readers have been disappointed that this book focuses on Adelia’s daughter Allie, I think it’s very fitting, since Ariana Franklin’s daughter wrote it. It gives us the continuation of the story that ended on a cliff-hanger, while also bringing something new to the series. As for the story itself, I found it absorbing and vivid, and I love the character of Penda, with her cros ...more
Mary Kearney
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It takes place in medieval England (1191). Adelia is training her daughter Allie pathology, sleuthing and forensics to take over for her eventually. There is a mystery, Allie goes to tend a sick friend and finds that young girls have gone missing and then turning up dead later. This is number 5 in a series but is definitely a stand alone read. I would read the others in this series.
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alas, Samantha Norman is nowhere near as good a writer as her mother, who started this delightful historical series. Aside from an easily-spotted villain, Norman lifts my favorite line from Pride and Prejudice: "That will do extremely well, child. You have delighted us long enough." One glimmer of wit in an otherwise ho-hum story - and it's borrowed, not original.
Bob Berman
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!

Don't be put off by the "Mistress of the Art of Death Series" and even the book's name. This is absolutely an uplifting book. The author does a great job of setting the scene in England, 1191. It's a mystery but also a romance.

I'm sorry that this is the last of this series. I would love to read more and was sorry when the book ended.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
As a long time fan of the series I was very happy to receive a Goodreads Giveaway copy. It is going on my keeper shelf. I was not disappointed at all. I loved seeing familiar characters again. And I am a huge fan of Penda. Thank you.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I won this book on Goodreads. I was very surprised at who the "bad guy" was. This was the final book in a series and I think it would be better to read them all in order.
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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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.

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'

Other books in the series

Mistress of the Art of Death (5 books)
  • 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)
  • A Murderous Procession (Mistress of the Art of Death, #4)

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