Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book Review: A Murderous Procession

Title A Murderous Procession (Mistress of the Art of Death)
Author Ariana Franklin
Rating ****

This is the fourth book in Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death series. Franklin is one of my favorite authors of all time and all genres, both for this series and her incredible stand alone novel City of Shadows.

This series is about Adelia Aguilar, who grew up in a golden era in Sicily where it was possible for women to be trained as doctors. Adelia was the adopted daughter of two doctors, and follows in her father's footstep as a doctor and especially a pathologist. In the first book in the series she is sent to England to help King Henry II solve murders that threaten his kingdom. Henry forces her to stay in England, and she finds a lover who can't marry her, being a bishop, and has a daughter by him.

In this book, Henry has a different need for her, to accompany his and Eleanor's 10-year old daughter Joanna to Sicily for her marriage to the king. Adelia is accompanied by her lover Rowley the Bishop of St. Albans, as well as Mansur, the Muslim who has been with her since her first trip to England, but without her daughter and her daughter's nurse. Henry holds them hostage so she will return to England.

Two years before, Adelia was forced to kill the outlaw Wolf. His lover Scarry was thought to have died in the cleaning out of the outlaw's lair, but he survived and now hunts Adelia. Adelia refuses to believe it until after there have been too many deaths.

This may not have been my favorite in the series, but it does not disappoint. Franklin (pen name of British writer Diana Norman) continues to create rich characters and to create a nuanced and complex picture of the time and place that Adelia inhabits.

Publication Putnam Adult (2010), Hardcover, 352 pages
Publication date 2010
ISBN 0399156283 / 9780399156281

Posted via web from reannon's posterous

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