In Cambridge a child has been hideously murdered and other children have disappeared. The Jews, made scapegoats by the all-powerful Christian clergy, have been forced to retreat into the castle to avoid slaughter by angry townspeople. Henry, King of England, is displeased. The Jews provide a large part of his revenue and therefore the real killer must be found, and quickly. A renowned investigator, Simon of Naples, is recruited and he arrives in town from the continent accompanied by an Arab and a young woman, Adelia Aguilar. There are few female doctors in twelfth century Europe, but Adelia is one of them, having qualified at the great School of Medicine in Salerno. What’s more, her speciality is the study of corpses; she is, in fact, a mistress of the art of death, a skill that must be concealed in case she’s accused of witchcraft.
Adelia’s investigation takes her deep into Cambridge, its castle and convents and in a medieval city teeming with life, Adelia makes friends and even finds romance. And, fatally, the attention of a murderer who is prepared to kill again…
©2007 Ariana Franklin (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
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"An Excellent Mystery"
A rivetting and clever mystery read quite beautifully. One of the best historic murders I have come across. Looking forward to hearing the others in the series.
Mistress of the Art of Death had a great plot with plenty of twists, turns and historical details. I loved the main character, Adelia and the relationships she developed with the people of Cambridgeshire. It kept me up late at night to finish it and I have just downloaded Book 2.
"Excellent Historical Mystery"
This book first attracted my attention because I live in Cambridge. It is a well-researched piece which conveys a strong sense of setting but still engages the reader with a modernly conceived mystery. The characters are wonderful and I loved the way actual historical events are integrated into the plot even if the author had to fiddle a bit in order to make the story work.
"Great story spoilt by wooden, one paced audio"
Rivetting, inaccurate, engaging,
Great plot. Interesting characters.
One paced, wooden speak your weight like performance. Simply awful. I have read the book (some time ago) and was looking forward to the audio version. The audio subtracted value.
I suppose that Diana Bishop has been paid and it is too late to get someone else?!
"Beautifully read with a story rich with imagery."
I felt I was there . I. loved it , especially the heroine Adelia Aguilar.
"Middle Ages Scarpetta"
I thought the story was good. It flowed and the suspense continued until the conclusion.
There were moments of humour, tension, despair all woven expertly into the story.
The panic when the last child disappeared.
Her voice suited the story, especially with a strong female character.
It made me laugh and cry in parts and I enjoyed the mix of emotions.
I have the next in the series ready to read.
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