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FREE PDF ⚤ Mistress of the Art of Death ⚢ A chilling, mesmerizing novel that combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of historical fiction In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered The crimes are immediately blamed on the town s Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews sacrifice Christian children in blasphemous ceremonies To save them from the rioting mob, the king places the Cambridge Jews under his protection and hides them in a castle fortress King Henry II is no friend of the Jews or anyone, really but he is invested in their fate Without the taxes received from Jewish merchants, his treasuries would go bankrupt Hoping scientific investigation will exonerate the Jews, Henry calls on his cousin the King of Sicily whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe and asks for his finest master of the art of death, an early version of the medical examiner The Italian doctor chosen for the task is a young prodigy from the University of Salerno But her name is Adelia the king has been sent a mistress of the art of death Adelia and her companions Simon, a Jew, and Mansur, a Moor travel to England to unravel the mystery of the Cambridge murders, which turn out to be the work of a serial killer, most likely one who has been on Crusade with the king In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia must conceal her true identity as a doctor in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft Along the way, she is assisted by Sir Rowley Picot, one of the king s tax collectors, a man with a personal stake in the investigation Rowley may be a needed friend, or the fiend for whom they are searching As Adelia s investigation takes her into Cambridge s shadowy river paths and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again F, is for Franklin 3 StarsOkay, let s get the trash out of the way first, shall we Ms Franklin By which I mean, I would like you to go through your novel and remove EVERYTHING which is not important to the story you are telling cough stupid romantic sub plot cough Now, to be fair, it is VERY romance light and what is there doesn t rear its ugly head until about 3 4 of the way through the novel, which is GOOD but I found it unnecessary and frankly annoying Romance shouldn t blee F, is for Franklin 3 StarsOkay, let s get the trash out of the way first, shall we Ms Franklin By which I mean, I would like you to go through your novel and remove EVERYTHING which is not important to the story you are telling cough stupid romantic sub plot cough Now, to be fair, it is VERY romance light and what is there doesn t rear its ugly head until about 3 4 of the way through the novel, which is GOOD but I found it unnecessary and frankly annoying Romance shouldn t bleed into thrillers or suspense stories unless it is UNAVOIDABLE I hate it, I hate it, I hate it And over, I felt like this novel should have ended when the STORY in it ended Right Am I crazy Most of the last chapter is entirely unnecessary What IS that Onto the actual story It was said in the school s mortuary that Adelia was interest in you only if you were dead.I thoroughly enjoyed Franklin s writing style, I thought her way of showing the essence of a woman struggling within herself to exist in a man s world was exquisite The plot was interesting and compelling if a bit slow in getting itself actually started I quickly became invested in Adelia s struggles both as a woman and a foreigner I bled for the murdered children and ached to figure out who the murderer was so that I could bring him her to justice I longed to free the Jews trapped by bigotry in the towers of the castle And I broke for a woman pursuing a career she would never truly be able to take credit for As I said, I thought the story ended when the killer was brought to justice erm, is this spoilery Probably but only in a minor way but Franklin kept writing, and what came after was just, well, unnecessary for me Overall, yes I DID enjoy this story but it s unlikely I will read the next in the series Logic played no part in it the Jews were feared because they were different and, for the townspeople, that fear and difference endowed supernatural ability. Being a feminist reader of historical fiction is to invite inner turmoil Excessively plucky female characters seem inaccurate Some are constantly winking at the reader, as if to say, after graduating with my degree in women s studies, I opted to spend a few months time traveling so I could offer enlightened commentary on unenlightened times I hope you appreciate my presence in your book But, without those characters, I d be evenannoyed and depressed by the frighteningly woman unfrie Being a feminist reader of historical fiction is to invite inner turmoil Excessively plucky female characters seem inaccurate Some are constantly winking at the reader, as if to say, after graduating with my degree in women s studies, I opted to spend a few months time traveling so I could offer enlightened commentary on unenlightened times I hope you appreciate my presence in your book But, without those characters, I d be evenannoyed and depressed by the frighteningly woman unfriendly times, and probably stop reading historical fiction all together.Such was my struggle with this book The highly independent, spirited female lead doesn t really belong in her backwards setting On one hand, that s the point, to see how far she is ahead of her time On the other hand, she probably would have been burned as a witch if she had actually showed up in medieval England as an autopsy specialist Not to mention the whole notion of independent female is pretty harshly undercut when she and a token handsome young man fall in love he even rescues her from mortal peril Unnecessary romance in mysteries is a literary pet peeve of mine that I needn t explore further here But anyway, as a mystery, this book is both typical and satisfying You meet a bunch of suspects, investigate the crime scene, endure some twists and turns, and then find out whodunit in an action packed climax In the book s favor, the bloody murderer is a believable surprise, which is the best resolution to a mystery In summary, I d recommend this book for a plane ride where you can focus on the plot and not get bogged down in the greater implications of feminism vs history vs fiction I m always looking for excellent historic fiction There s so much around and not all books are best quality.Likereaders here, as I understand it, I had trouble getting into this one, not an easy read, but once I got past that barrier, it was good and getting better and better An intelligent medieval murder mystery, solid historical background, Plantagenet period Henry II , interesting Not really an easy read for me, so I had to stay focussed, which is okay, because it was good Wi I m always looking for excellent historic fiction There s so much around and not all books are best quality.Likereaders here, as I understand it, I had trouble getting into this one, not an easy read, but once I got past that barrier, it was good and getting better and better An intelligent medieval murder mystery, solid historical background, Plantagenet period Henry II , interesting Not really an easy read for me, so I had to stay focussed, which is okay, because it was good Will certainly find the sequels to this series of Adelia Aguilar, Mistress of the Art of Death.Recommended for those who like historial fiction Solid 4 stars 1171 Adelia Aguilar is a rare thing in medieval Europe, a woman who has trained as a doctor Her speciality is the study of corpses, a skill that must be concealed if she is to avoid accusations of witchcraft But in Cambridge a child has been murdered, others are disappearing, and King Henry II has called upon a renowned Italian investigator to find the killer fast What the king gets is Adelia, his very own Mistress of the Art of Death You know what I have really missed in my life A Librarian Not a librarian, small l, but a Librarian that mystical, magical woman who watches what you read, and what you check out again and again, and who one day says to you You know what I think you d like THIS I like THIS It s a mystery, set in medieval Cambridge its heroine is a doctor, no, a coroner there s a big mystery about murdered children the Jews are being accused , and also a charming and unlikely romance to add to the You know what I have really missed in my life A Librarian Not a librarian, small l, but a Librarian that mystical, magical woman who watches what you read, and what you check out again and again, and who one day says to you You know what I think you d like THIS I like THIS It s a mystery, set in medieval Cambridge its heroine is a doctor, no, a coroner there s a big mystery about murdered children the Jews are being accused , and also a charming and unlikely romance to add to the fun It s not Literature, and doesn t pretend to be but I LIKE IT It s a lovely read, nicely done, and I look forward to other mysteries featuring Adelia and Rowley I m hoping for some stuff about the Black Plague I love the Plague Of course, the time frame is a couple of hundred years too early I must resign myself to disappointment I have the feeling this author is too conscientious to go down Anachronism Avenue