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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.
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 4 days ago by Kristi
Enjoy the historical research the author has done for her books.Published 7 days 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 28 days 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 1 month ago by happynana
An intriguing (though short lived) series about a 12th century female forensic doctor who is removed from her beloved Salerno, Italy to Cambridge, UK to help catch a child killer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lisa Rabey
Pros and cons abound. I loved the character of Adelia. I hated how she was repeatedly referred to all five of her names. It smacked of arrogance. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Laura E.
Loved the action, suspense, romance ,etc. I think I empathized to closely with the children Uncomfortable in spots, but overall excellent plotting, writing, characterizations,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Delano Bradford