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 wish Audible would put these in order, though. The first in the series is Mistress in the Art of Death. Second is The Serpent's Tale; third is Grave..Show More » Goods; fourth is Murderous Procession. The books, consumed in the correct sequence, develop the main characters quite well and each story line is totally satisfying.
I loved it. A few inconsistencies here and there, and yes, I anticipated most of the plot moves but who cares? The dialog was spot on, the characters ..Show More »well rounded and real. The reader, Kate Reading, was terrific. Her voice brought the various people alive. She is surprising adept at male voices. Am I the only person who hears her Henry speaking the words of the author, Franklin, and sees Peter O'Toole? Adelia's insight into the nature of the men who turn out to be her friends and saviors is wonderful to listen to. This was one of those books I couldn't wait to hear the end of, yet I did not want it to end. I can't wait for more!
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 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.