MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH by Ariana Franklin
Category: New Writer
Read: June 2 - June 10 THIS MADE A HOT REVIEW ON LT!
Four children have been tortured and horrifically murdered. Anytime you see a book that has this premise, you wonder where such a murdering monster hides. This monster is hidden in the folds of history. This book is set in 1171 medieval England, the small town of Cambridge. The townspeople believe that the Jews are responsible and force King Henry I to move all the Jews to protection within the royal castle fortress. King Henry has a vested interest in clearing the Jews because without their money lending and the taxes that they generate, the royal treasuries will be bankrupt.
How will the perpetrator be identified and brought to justice?
King Henry contacts the King of Sicily and asks for his finest master of the art of death, a medieval medical examiner. The doctor selected for the mission is Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar - A mistress of the Art of Death. Adelia and her companions-Simon, a Jew, and Mansur, a Moor- journey to England to uncover the serial killer who committed the Cambridge murders. A few of the problems that restrict Adelia's efforts to solve the murders are the superstitions of the time (women doctors are suspected of witchcraft) and her association with a Jew and a Muslim eunuch - foreigners who are not welcome in England. Adelia teams up with a tax collector, Sir Rowley and together the story evolves.
This book is a combination of Kay Scarpetta,CSI, and Sherlock Holmes. This tremendously well-crafted mystery is interwoven with an unusual love story as well as historical pageantry with multi-faceted characters that come to life on the page. The writing is at times thrilling, and other times humorous. It is amazing that the story can be both frightening and heart-warming.