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Had Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael been born a few decades later, he might have found a worthy associate and friend in Dr. Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar of Salerno, a short and short-tempered medieval coroner hired in secret by King Henry II to find out who's behind the horrific murders of Christian children in Cambridge, England. Prominent local Jews stand accused; Henry wants them freed, mostly for the sake of their tax revenue. As Adelia examines the children's bodies and gets to know the people of Cambridge, she has no trouble assembling a long list of suspects, but she encounters considerable difficulty trying to narrow it down, a struggle in which the reader gladly joins her. Not all of the plot twists are surprising and the romantic subplot is an unnecessary afterthought, but Franklin (City of Shadows) has developed a skillful blend of historical fact and gruesome fiction that's more than sufficient to keep readers interested and entertained. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this historical crime thriller, Ariana Franklin (the nom de plume for British writer Diana Norman) introduces the compelling Adeliaabandoned as a child, adopted by doctors, trained in Salerno (a center of learning), and now a woman of modern sensibilities. Critics agree that Mistress is an unusually smart and intriguing story. Franklin perfectly recreates the barbarous culture of the Middle Ages and the Crusadesan era of religious persecution and idealism that clashed with the burgeoning importance of science and the rule of law. Grisly forensic details, combined with whodunit suspense, fascinating characters, timely themes, and even a little romance make for an excellent read. Watch out for Adelia's return in next year's The Serpent's Tale.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The first of a trilogy, this novel, set in sexist, superstitious England in the 1100s, supposes how a brilliant medical forensic investigator -- who happens to be a woman educated... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Lifelong Reader
This story has many of my favorite story components - a murder mystery, a setting in medieval England (12th century), and an engaging female protaganist. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Kai Lin
I very much enjoyed this book. It is rare that historical fiction set in the medieval era has well-developed female characters with agency, but this book does. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kristi
Enjoy the historical research the author has done for her books.Published 1 month ago by cheriespencer
Not usually a big mystery reader, but this made me want to read more of her work. She took me away to another time and place. Very enjoyable.Published 2 months ago by Lynn Fleharty
Love early English history? Enjoy a good mystery? A pleasant night's read. Also a satisfying conclusion. On to the next in the seriesPublished 2 months ago by happynana