Mistress of the Art of Death

Mistress of the Art of Death

by Ariana Franklin

Arlene Almas: Dale, thank you for that recommendation! I loved this book, especially the character of Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar, the most intelligent, rational, compassionate, independent woman to walk the earth in the twelfth century (or probably any century!). And when Adelia falls in love, it's a tough battle between her passion and her intellect. Her mastery of the art of death, making her what we would call a medical examiner or forensic scientist as well as a doctor, allows her to solve mysteries in a manner completely beyond the capacity of the people of her time, although she does get considerable support from her bodyguard Mansur, her housekeeper Gyltha, and others whom she befriends. I have also read the other two books in this series, "The Serpent's Tale" and "Grave Goods," and found them equally delightful
Rating: *****

Dale Israel:I've been in one of those funks where I just can't concentrate to read. I hate when this happens, but eventually I find a book that "jump starts" me back into the reading mode. This book did this for me. I came across this book at a local bookstore on the shelf where staff members write reviews. The review for this book was so intriguing that I had to buy it.

The setting is Cambridge, England in the year 1171. Four children have been found murdered and the Jews are being blamed for them (of course!). Hired by King Henry II, Adelia is a female doctor who travels from Italy to solve the crimes. This book reads like a CSI episode. From the very first page I was carried away and couldn't stop reading it until I had finished it. There were several twists and turns that made it interesting. I must admit, quite often I had to read and re-read passages, but it was well worth it. I enjoyed this book a lot and I'm thrilled that I'm back to reading again!
Rating: ****

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