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Topic: Who read Mistress of the Art of Death?

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Subject: Who read Mistress of the Art of Death?
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2009
Posts: 19
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I have it on my wishlist and it just came up but there are a couple other books I am wanting too?  I am new so my credits are limited so I have to be picky lol...Is it a good read?  Is it part of a series?

FYI so you know my tatste some of my favorite H/Fbooks of all time are almost anything by Phillipa Gregory, The Outlander Series, Gone With the Wind, North and South to name a few.


Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I haven't read these yet, but while I hear they are well written she diddles with history quite a bit.

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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I loved Mistress of the Art of Death!  I think it's a good, relatively quick read.  It's the first of a series of three (so far).  The other books are The Serpant's Tale (which I've also read and liked just a bit better than MOTAOD) and Grave Goods, which is on my wish list.  I would think these would be readily available in your library if you don't want to use a credit. 

I will say that the books are  different than the books you've mentioned.  They're historical mysteries, and IMO, relatively light reading.  Certainly not  sweeping sagas like Gone WIth The Wind.  The author's sense of humour comes through definitely. 

Subject: Thanks!
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2009
Posts: 19
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I do enjoy some lighter HF too - I have read all of the Lady Emily series although I didn't love the most recent one.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 43,467
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I have not read it yet. It is on my challenge list for 2010. I have heard lots of good reviews on it.



Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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I read it and loved it.  Serpent's Tale just came up on my WL and I'm hoping to get Grave Goods soon as well.  I loved the little bit of humor in it.  I was surprised to find that my library didn't have any of them.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Thumbs up for this series.

Having a medieval woman forensic expert makes for a unique & interesting series. Cast of supporting characters also adds great depth to the stories. AND, if nothing else the "walk-on" appearances of Henry II are not to be missed!

This artist is also Diana Norman and she has quite a few successful and well regarded novels under that name.

Shelley had a great idea re: the library. While I enjoy these books, they are not keepers for me - so via library or PBS - either one would be good.

Good luck!



Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I really enjoyed it and I'm not a huge historical mystery fan. There are only a couple of H/M series that are must reads for me; this one and the ones by C.J. Sansom. I say request the book!

This is the order:

  • Mistress of the Art of Death
  • The Serpent's Tale
  • Grave Goods
  • A Murderous Procession (Coming soon!!!)

I've enjoyed all three of the books I've read so far and am eagerly awaiting the next one, but it isn't due out until April! Wah.

Frankline also has a book titled "City of Shadows", but I haven't read it yet. Has anyone read it? I'm not even surew if it's a mystery or a novel.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
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I must be one of the few people who didn't like Mistress of the Art of Death.  I started it back in May 2009 and it's laying on the floor of my car.  I read it in bits and pieces when I've got nothing else to read.  The premise is interesting, but I can't put my hand on what it is that I don't like.  It hasn't grabbed me and made me want to stay up all night to finish.

So there's a dissenting opinion.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 6,362
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I read it not too long ago.  Considering it falls into what I call "women wandering around medieval times" books, I thought it was good. 

There were some details that I could have passed on and I don't think I'm that squeamish.  I had no problems finishing it though.

I don't suppose I have to say I'm not an expert in this time period, but the premise seems unlikely but then doesn't that apply to most of the ones with women as main characters?  (Okay, I know this wasn't medieval...)

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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Frankline also has a book titled "City of Shadows", but I haven't read it yet

No, but it's in my TBR pile.  I also have the second of the "Mistress" books, but didn't realize I didn't have the first one (blush)

Subject: So I ordered it!!
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2009
Posts: 19
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Thanks for all of the great opinions!  All I need is another series!!!  Outlander, now Lord John, the Lady Emily and now this one.  Maybe you guys were right, I should get out while I can! ;)

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Well. Not to fan the flames, but if you like Lady Emily you will positively adore Lady Julia Grey (Deanna Raybourn). The first one is Silent in the Grave. Really. How could one resist a book whose opening line is ...

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.

Yep. Welcome to our world ...


Date Posted: 12/10/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Courtenaye -- don't want to say "I told you so" but...

(I did try to warn you)

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Kelly --  That is indeed a great opening line.  I HAVE to read that book!

ETA: OK -- I just ordered it from the library.

Last Edited on: 12/10/09 4:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Big Smile!!! I am sure you will love them. And just to keep adding on, she has a great website - don't you just love it when you can get to know an author a little?


There are only three in the series; however, if I knew where I could get a real Nicholas Brisbane, I wouldn't care about book number four! :P


Date Posted: 12/10/2009 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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I have Silent in the Sanctuary, haven't read it yet.  But now knowing that's not the first in the series, perhaps I should get the first one!

Subject: Oooh, Kelly that does sound good!
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2009
Posts: 19
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Great now I just added to my reminder pile...maybe I should have taken everyone's warnings.  So many books, so little time...oh the pressure!!!!  LOL

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,178
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I am awaiting Silent In Sanctuary,  I ordered it a week ago,  I really liked Silent in The Grave. 

Kelly your right it dose kind of grab you doesn't it?

Subject: !))
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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Courtenaye, We seem to have hijacked your thread (blush). Apologies proffered.

Erika, Definitely wait on "Sanctuary" until you get the first one. I'm rather neurotic about reading series in order, but setting aside my own preferences, this series really  should be read in order! One of the best things about this series is the supporting cast of characters - namely Lady Julia's large and eccentric family. And then, there's Nicholas! The first book sets the stage, introduces us to these wonderful people whom we are glad are not in our family (Wait. Maybe they are!) and gives us valuable background that makes the subsequent books all the more enjoyable.

With all due respect to Lady Emily (Tasha Alexander), I far prefer the Lady Julia series by Raybourn.


Last Edited on: 12/11/09 1:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.

When I first read this line, I was standing in the front of Borders. I roared. There's no other way to describe it. I rarely buy hardcover because I want my books cheap. LOL! But I walked out with that book.

It's a great series. Recommended.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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This last discussion of Mistress of Death series finally motivated me to put it on WL a few days ago, and I was offered it this morning -- Yaaay!!! 

And the TBR grows ...

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 5:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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I agree with Marci; I didn't like Mistress of the Art of Death and will not be finishing the series. I'd bought it brand new on bargain at Borders and then posted it here even before I was finished reading it (wonder if my ex-copy is floating around here still, or if someone kept it!). I couldn't wait to be rid of it. I didn't care for the main character or the supporting cast of characters, and some of the happenings were just a little too "modern" for the time period.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,939
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I loved this entire series and can't wait for the fourth book in April. To me it was so different for a change. I didn't care if she fudged on the historical facts. The mystery aspect was good; the humor was a nice reprieve - all in all, I've enjoyed them.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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Loved the Deanna Raybourn books.  They were awesome.

Mistress of the Art of Death is in the TBR.  Now you all are making me want to read it.  (I have A Serpent's Tale too!)