Day 1271: Mistress of the Art of Death

Cover of Mistress of the Art of DeathHere’s another book for the R.I.P challenge with a very appropriate cover!

* * *

I recently realized that of Ariana Franklin’s Adelia Aguilar series, the only book I had not kept was Mistress of the Art of Death, the first one. This realization made me immediately buy another copy, which made a good excuse to reread it.

In 1171 Cambridge, someone is brutally murdering children. The locals have decided to pin these murders on the Jews, despite their having been locked up in the castle for safe keeping after the first death.

King Henry II has asked the King of Naples for help. An investigator is requested, as well as a Master in the Art of Death, a medical doctor who investigates the causes of death, trained by the University of Salerno. To everyone’s surprise and some dismay, along with Master Simon, the fixer, comes a woman, Adelia Aguilar, a doctor trained in Salerno.

Adelia finds herself in a relatively barbaric country where her identity as a doctor must be concealed for fear she will be accused of witchcraft. To be able to treat people, she passes off her Moorish manservant, Mansur, as a doctor, while she pretends to be his assistant and translator.

Her party enters Cambridge in the company of some pilgrims returning from Canterbury. Soon discoveries lead Adelia to fear that the murderer may be among the pilgrims she traveled with.

I think I enjoyed this novel even more this time through. The first time, I was skeptical that there were woman doctors in the 12th century. Now that I know Ariana Franklin better, I’m more confident that she did her research.

Related Posts

Grave Goods

A Murderous Procession

The Serpent’s Tale

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Day 1271: Mistress of the Art of Death

  1. Helen October 9, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    This is the only book I’ve read so far in the Adelia Aguilar series and I remember enjoying it. I must read the other books soon!

  2. Davida Chazan October 28, 2018 / 1:39 am

    Good review, but… I think I’ll pass on this one. Thanks all the same!

    • whatmeread October 28, 2018 / 2:13 pm

      This series is very good, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.