Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book Review: Serpent's Tale

Title: The Serpent's Tale (Mistress of the Art of Death)
Author: Ariana Franklin
Rating: ****1/2
Tags: mystery, series, historical mystery, women, doctor, henry ii, england, eleanor of aquitaine

Second in the mystery of the art of death series. Adelia, a woman doctor who specializes in the causes of death, is still being held in England by King Henry II, who finds her too valuable to part with. She has found a great love. They have parted, but she is left with a baby daughter she adores.

Henry's mistress, Rosamund, has died from eating deadly mushrooms. His wife Eleanor is blamed for it, and the country is again on the brink of civil war - not good news in a country that endured 13 years of such a war less than twenty years previously. Adelia must find who killed Rosamund and quickly. Meanwhile the country is undergoing the most severe winter weather in memory, and it strands Adelia in Godstow Abbey with Eleanor and her fighters... and one among them in the murderer.

I adored the first book, and this one is also excellent. The only reason I didn't rate it quite as highly is that the first volume had the added value of novelty. But the second book absolutely does not suffer the "software slump" syndrome in which an author's second in a series disappoints after a great first volume.

More, more, I want more!

Publication Berkley Trade (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 416 pages
Publication date 2009
ISBN 0425225747 / 9780425225745

No comments: