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Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, Bk 1)
Mistress of the Art of Death - Mistress of the Art of Death, Bk 1
Author: Ariana Franklin
A chilling, mesmerizing novel that combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of historical fiction. 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 ceremoni...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780425219256
ISBN-10: 0425219259
Publication Date: 1/29/2008
Pages: 432
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 253

4 stars, based on 253 ratings
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This was a difficult book to read because the killer in this mystery sexually tortures and murders children. Had I known that the book contained such scenes, I would not have read it. However it was almost impossible to put down, and the main characters (not the killer) and setting were so interesting that, in spite of myself, I immediately started reading the sequel. If you can get past the the horrific evil committed by the serial killer in the novel, and you like mysteries and/or historical novels, then I would recommend it.
reviewed Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, Bk 1) on + 412 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I believe this is the first in a new series of historical mysteries featuring Adelia, a female physician trained at Salerno, where such things as autopsies and female doctors were allowed. She is sent by the King of Sicily to investigate the serial murders of several children in Cambridge UK in the year 1137 along with two companions--Simon, an expert investigator, and Mansur, a large Arab man who poses as the doctor with Adelia as his assistant--which would have been acceptable in England at that time. Henry II has also commissioned one of his tax collectors to find the murderer before the English people rise up and demand that all Jews be expelled from England, as they are presently being blamed for the deaths. King Henry needs the Jews' income on his tax rolls and thus can't let that happen. Adelia uses crude forensic techniques to discover clues and soon the suspect list is narrowed down. What she doesn't count on is being attracted to one of her suspects--she, avowed to celibacy, sworn to be a doctor first and foremost above all. While the mystery itself wasn't too hard to figure out, certain aspects of it were surprising. I really enjoyed this book, which is set my favorite time period, and I already feel like I know many of the characters--Adelia as well as the peripheral characters--and do hope it becomes a series!
reviewed Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 6
This is a wonderfully woven tale of mystery and intrigue full of 12th century culture: churches, castles, and chauvinism. Historical fiction buffs and fans of Diana Gabaldon's books will really like this one!
reviewed Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 6
Page turning historical fiction. Children are being brutally murdered in Cambridge, England during the reign of Henry II. Adriane, a "doctor of the the dead", is sent by the King of Sicily to investigate and try to solve themurders. She is accompanied by a male Jew and a male Muslim, since as a woman she cannot travel alone. Additionally, the Muslim must pose as the doctor, since the Church does not recognize female doctors. Many twists and turns. Can be graphically violent in places.
reviewed Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death, Bk 1) on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Mistress of the Art of Death is a gripping story of a serial murderer in Medieval England. Think CSI meets Kay Scarpetta during the crusades.

Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar is the mistress of the art of death; an early day forensic scientist. Educated by her father at the medical school in Salerno Adelia is sent by the King of Sicily to aid his cousin Henry II in finding out who is killing the children of Cambridge. Along with Simon of Naples, a âspyâ and Mansur, an Arab eunuch who acts as her bodyguard, it's their job to find a murderer before he kills again.
This is a well written and well plotted thriller with loads of historical information on early forensics and medieval life in general. I was very entertained and I learned a lot too.
Read All 54 Book Reviews of "Mistress of the Art of Death Mistress of the Art of Death Bk 1"

Book Wiki

Series
Art of Death  1 of 3
Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
People/Characters
Adelia (Primary Character)
Sir Rowley Picot (Primary Character)
King Henry II (Minor Character)
Important Events

Genres: