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Death and the Maiden  By  cover art

Death and the Maiden

By: Samantha Norman,Ariana Franklin
Narrated by: Kate Reading
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Publisher's Summary

"Medieval-mystery writing at its best."—New York Daily News

At long last, the much-anticipated final installment in Ariana Franklin's popular Mistress of the Art of Death historical mystery series, set in Norman England.

England. 1191. After the death of her friend and patron, King Henry II, Adelia Aguilar, England's vaunted Mistress of the Art of Death, is living comfortably in retirement and training her daughter, Allie, to carry on her craft—sharing the practical knowledge of anatomy, forensics, and sleuthing that catches murderers. Allie is already a skilled healer, with a particular gift for treating animals. But the young woman is nearly twenty, and her father, Rowley, Bishop of Saint Albans, and his patron, the formidable Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, have plans to marry Allie to an influential husband . . . if they can find a man who will appreciate a woman with such unusual gifts.

When a friend in Cambridgeshire falls ill, Allie is sent to Ely, where her path will cross with Lord Peverill, a young aristocrat who would be a most suitable match for the young healer. But when Allie arrives, all is chaos. A village girl has disappeared—and she's not the first. Over the past few months, several girls from the villages surrounding Ely have vanished. When the body of one of the missing is discovered, Allie manages to examine the remains before burial. The results lead her to suspect that a monstrous predator is on the loose. Will her training and her stubborn pursuit of the truth help her find the killer . . . or make her the next victim?

A richly detailed, twisty thriller, Death and the Maiden is historical mystery at its finest—and a superb final episode in Ariana Franklin's much-loved, much-acclaimed series. 

©2020 Samantha Norman (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Death and the Maiden

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Wanted to love it

A last hurrah for the beloved characters we know so well, now aged and passing into the next stages of life. The characterization was well handled, true to their previous incarnations while showing growth. The plot felt like it was spinning its wheels, ultimately finishing with a whimper. The reveal was not surprising in the least nor was it fleshed out to give a character study of the obvious suspect's motivations and clues to their guilt. There were too few hints at the potential guilt of various suspects; in fact, other than three new characters and the "old" cast from previous books no one was sufficiently characterized. There are great strong female characters with surprisingly little agency. The plot mostly staggers from one Deus ex machina to another. Ultimately, the basis for the plot could have been interesting and with more writing and a lavish editing it could definitely have been a satisfying conclusion to the series. As it is, I don't recommend this book even to fans of the series. Nothing was really concluded in a way that lets you guess at what their lives will be like moving forward. It's full of odd choices for a series finale.

4 people found this helpful

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fantastic!

I'm so sad this is the end. A brilliant book. No matter how I have looked, i feel like i wont ever find a story like the one told in this series. Read from the Mistress Of The Art Of Death and fall inlove like i did!

4 people found this helpful

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Not up to the standard of previous books

The writing was hackneyed and full of cliches. I'm so disappointed; I wish I hadn't wasted a credit.

4 people found this helpful

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Too easy.

I always loved these books in their ability to keep me guessing until the last possible second... this book was a bit disappointing by comparison. The difference in writing style between Ariana Franklin and her daughter Samantha Norman is quite obvious in this book. This felt like a watered down "Hallmark Mystery " version of this series. The historical fascination and realism drowned out, and watered down by a drama that left it wanting.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointed with this storyline

I don't know what to say. I loved the first 3 books and the tangentially related book The Siege Winter but this one and the last book were anticlimactic and it was hard to like Adelia. I also didn't connect well with Ally either. I liked Howisa and Penda though so that was nice. the finish to the Adelia Aguilar series just felt like it fizzed out and it felt unfinished.

2 people found this helpful

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Good but predictable

I was so glad to read the last in this Ariana Franklin series. It was good but the story was lacking in depth and very predictable. Still it was a nice read.

2 people found this helpful

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I Love Ariana Franklin

But this isn't her work. I have to admit I didn't finish it and I'm asking for a refund on my credit from Audible. The historical anomalies are just too glaring and blatant to ignore.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Final in a Great Series

I’m so sorry this series is over! I must admit that I was initially suspicious of this book when I saw the dual authorship. But wow! Well done ladies!

I felt a whole new yet familiar relationship with our new heroine and love the way the story and mystery unfolded.

I’ll add a note about the first book in the series: the narrator was superb, not that Kate Reading isn’t brilliant as well, but the main reason I decided to continue the series was because of the narrator. I’m glad I stuck with it, and again wish it hadn’t all ended.

Let’s hope Ms Norman continues to delight with her own historical novels.

1 person found this helpful

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  • NL
  • 10-27-20

Twisted

I'm a bit slow so it took me until the third or fourth chapter to figure out this book ties into the Siege Winter. I do love the tie in.
Just when you think you know who the bad guy is, you feel it's someone else until you find out who the murderer really is.
The story ends somewhat abruptly and doesn't answer all your questions, but it's a good listen. Well worth the credit.

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There's a book missing #4 this book is 5th

Although I went on and read this book because well I couldn't help myself. I wish I'd known this was the 5th and you can't get 4th book through Audible. I would suggest you read 4th book if you can find it. I HAVE to do audio books due to eye issues. But it's still a GREAT read if you're an Ariana Franklin Fan as I am

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miss st Clair
  • 05-13-22

Oh Dear

Not a patch on previous novels. How I miss hearing Diana Bishop narrating. The difficulty with accents was off putting. There were some iffy plot moments, as well as some iffy time line issues. I kept listening but near the end was willing it to be over. Very sad.

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  • L. Mash
  • 04-10-22

Predictable

The originals are a real guilty pleasure for me so I was excited to see another one that would tie up some loose ends. What I liked about them was that the murderer wasn’t immediately obvious. This book plods along in quite a 2D way and I guessed the murderer the moment we met them. Then it ends suddenly like it just gave up. This book ties the characters up but in a really boring way that just left me feeling a bit disappointed. It just justified the writing of the prequel by Samantha Norton that wasn’t very interesting and a bit disjointed. I wasn’t that into the narrator either. If the narrator is going to change then I think they should pronounce the names the same at the very least.

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  • sea squirrel
  • 05-01-21

fabulous read

I have enjoyed all the mistress of the art of death series but this was the best...sadly there will be no more.