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Grave Goods (Mistress of the Art of Death) Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 19, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
If there are more delightful literary characters than Franklin's Adelia, Rowly, and King Henry II, I can't think who they are. I would say that characterization is her strong point; however, her historical research is meticulous (though it never burdens the reader) and her plotting is expert. So what's not to like?
If you haven't read Franklin, by all means start with the first book in the series; the characters actually develop and their relationships change. And keep in mind that Franklin is Diana Norman; the books written under the Norman name are worth a look too.
The story begins in the year 1154 A.D., when a cathedral-destroying earthquake strikes Glastonbury, England, creating a fissure in the earth--where the alleged remains of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere's bodies would be found. Twenty years later, King Henry II fights to gain his lands in Wales--against a people who don't recognize him as King, believing that King Arthur (who lived in the 6th century) is still alive. Henry thus summons Adelia away from her otherwise normal life to investigate the truth of Arthur's bones--and, he hopes, to prove to the Welsch that their so-called King had long ago died.
Adelia is traveling with Lady Emma Wolvercote (the abbey choirgirl in Book II, raped by the late Lord Wolvercote), when the King's men arrive to take her off course.Read more ›
England of 1176 under the rule of King Henry II was not a time when a woman was accepted as a doctor. Consequently Adelia Aguilar kept up the pretense that her Arab attendant, Mansur, was the doctor and she was his translator. Fortunately for Adelia the King had already accepted her knowledge and her vocation and had no problems with calling her in to help solve the mystery of two skeletons found buried in the same coffin. Was it possible that King Arthur and Guinevere had been buried at Glastonbury Abbey? Henry needed for these bones to belong to Arthur and Quinevere to help quiet the Welsh uprisings he was having to fight. Although the king wanted the truth to be found, he certainly would have been pleased to have the truth become a weapon for his political use.
I enjoyed Adelia with her passion for using science and truth to solve mysteries. Even having to hide her abilities because she was a woman did not slow her down for very long and she was adept at turning situations to her favor with her insight into human nature. People wanted to believe that Mansur was the doctor simply because of his gender. Then let them believe that, Adelia would just work around that problem. Perhaps her character was written with just a touch too much "modern" woman for me, but I do understand that she could not possibly perform the functions of the novel's main character without stepping outside her time period in many situations. And besides, how else were we as readers supposed to feel sympathy for this woman while also remaining interested in the perils she was encountering?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Franklin's books, I only wish there were MORE. Well researched, believable, rivetting...characters I enjoy "knowing."Published 4 months ago by Cathy Johnson (Kate)
Ms. Franklin's stories always pull me in, although I'm left dissatisfied at the end somehow. And I still don't care for Rowley. To me, he serves no purpose. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Laura E.
An enlightened view. Captivating historical fiction/mystery that delivers.... if you love the Cadfael series, you'll likely become an Ariana Franklin fan.Published 7 months ago by AFaith
I loved this whole series of books. It's so very interesting especially since I read "The Corpse Reader" prior. I hope Ms Franklin is able to do a few more books. J. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jo Ann Bush
An historical mystery with a unique plot. A forensic female doctor during medieval times, and twists and turns that are not predictable. Read morePublished 7 months ago by JRPinet