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Starred Review. Set in 1176, Franklin's excellent third Mistress of the Art of Death novel (after The Serpent's Tale) finds Adelia Aguilar, a qualified doctor from the School of Medicine in Salerno, in the holy town of Glastonbury, where Henry II has sent her to inspect two sets of bones rumored to be those of Arthur and Guinevere. Henry is hoping that an unequivocally dead Arthur will discourage the rebellious Welsh. The bones have been uncovered by the few monks, under the saintly Abbot Sigward, who remain after a terrible and mysterious fire devastated the town and abbey. Adelia's party includes her loyal Arabian attendant, Mansur, whose willingness to play the role of doctor allows Adelia to be his translator and practice the profession she loves; and Gyltha, Mansur's lover and the caretaker of Adelia's small daughter, Allie. Eloquently sketched characters, including a ragtag group of Glastonbury men down on their luck, and bits of medieval lore flavor the constantly unfolding plot. (Mar.)
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Rich period detail supersedes suspense in Franklin’s second historical novel to feature twelfth-century forensic investigator Adelia Aguilar. A graduate of the Salerno School of Medicine, Adelia is one of the few female doctors of her era. But her professional efforts are often thwarted by those who believe her to be a witch. King Henry II isn’t one of them. When Glastonbury Abbey, one of England’s holiest sites, is burned to the ground, Henry summons the “Mistress of the Art of Death” to identify two skeletons found among the rubble. Could they be the bodies of the legendary King Arthur and his Lady Guinevere? King Henry hopes so. News of King Arthur’s demise would help him snuff out the rebellion in Wales for good. With the help of her Arab assistant, Mansur, Adelia picks through the bones in pursuit of the truth. But her obstacles are many: wary villagers, enigmatic men of the cloth, and a monster lurking in the woods. Plenty of dark cellars and caves add a whiff of Gothic to this engaging entry. --Allison BlockSee all Editorial Reviews
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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month ago by JRPinet
Third in the Mistress of the Art of Death series.
Also published as “Relics of the Dead.” Adelia is sent by King Henry II to investigate the fire that destroyed the ancient... Read more
Enjoyed this one in the series the most. Loved them all. Want another onePublished 4 months ago by Isaiah Hinds
Right on the heels of The Serpent's Tale, I was lucky enough to read the third in the Mistress of the Art of Death series, Grave Goods. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Beth Wade