Adelia is sent from Salerno to Cambridge, requested by Henry II, and ordered by the King of Sicily, to look into the deaths of several children in med..Show More »ieval Cambridge. She arrives with Simon of Naples, a Jewish fixer and Mansur her Saracen manservant. Adelia is a doctor who "reads bodies." She is strong, straight talking, and devoted to science. She is also broadminded & has a sense of humor. On the road into town she cures a local Prior which gives her the beginnings of support in the town. The support grows as her unique qualities, and those of her companions, attract help from other people in town.
I will not give anything else away.
It's a must read. It combines everything I love in an Audible book: history, mystery, intelligence, humor, characters you care about, an excellent reader, and great writing.
I was disappointed in this second installment. Adelia is a strong female character in the first book, but in this one, she is reduced to whining, comp..Show More »laining, and is constantly fearful. The overall story is pretty fascinating,though, which made it worth it to get to the end. I am looking forward to the third in the series, and I hope that the strong yet socially awkward Adelia is back in full form.
I love this series - this is the third of four, and I almost don't want to listen to the next, knowing that it's the last. The characters are strong a..Show More »nd intriguing, the historical setting and context well explained without being over explained. Henry II is the Plantagenet King of England, and Adelia, a female doctor from Salerno reluctantly agrees to conduct one more investigation into some mysterious deaths for him. Evil outlaws and evil mother-in-laws, mad monks and lepers all play a part in this fine fine mystery. It's also beautifully read, with even the minor characters, men and women from different regions and levels of society, given voices that are distinctive and convincing without falling into irritating stereotype.
I loved this series from the beginning. The first was the best, and this, the third novel, is second. Number two left me unsatisfied.
As..Show More » always, Ms. Franklin's history is well researched, and her people are more real than some of my neighbors. No one is all good or bad. Henry II is an enlightened but manipulative monarch. The Bishop Of St. Albans, Rowley, is as conflicted about his passion for Adelia as before. And Adelia herself is as intelligent, independent & inquisitive as always. Some of the actions might be a bit far fetched to us in the 21st century. I can never get my head around the all encompassing religious faith, laws, and pressure from the Catholic church that was the norm in the 12th century. The Pope had the power to bring down monarchs, and the church could declare a death sentence on anyone it decided was a heretic.
At the end of the book, you know some changes will be made. I hope those changes have King Henry
and Bishop Rowley playing larger parts in book#4.
We'll have to wait now, alas, to see.
I loved all four of the "Mistress of the Art of Death" books and really can't say enough wonderful things about them all. This one was different, as ..Show More »others have stated, and I felt a little thrown off by the change. As for the comments on Adelia's change in focus, I felt like she had decided that she wanted her life to take a different turn than she had been following.
But these books are what I think of as "re-reads" and I'll probably listen to all of them many more times.
Unfortunately, Ariana Franklin (Diana Norman) passed away in January 2011, which makes this book even more poignant. I don't cry over books, but I have to say the end of this one really broke my heart in more ways than one.