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Relics of the Dead: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 3 [Paperback]

Ariana Franklin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

18 Mar 2010 Adelia Aguilar (Book 3)

On hearing of this momentous discovery, King Henry II demands evidence that the legendary Arthur is dead.

So he calls upon his Mistress of the Art of Death, anatomist Adelia Aguilar, to examine the bones.

But someone doesn't want the skeletons identified - and is prepared to kill in order to prevent it...

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Frequently Bought Together

Relics of the Dead: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 3 + The Assassin's Prayer: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 4 + The Death Maze: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 2
Price For All Three: 16.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (18 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055382032X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553820324
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ariana Franklin was born in Devon and at twenty became the youngest reporter then on Fleet Street. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Mistress of the Art of Death, The Death Maze and Relics of the Dead, all featuring anatomist Adelia Aguilar.

Photography © Mary Jane Russell

Product Description


"Franklin is one of the very best creators of medieval whodunits writing today" (Guardian)

"Almost indecently thrilling" (New York Times)

"Feisty and delightful series heroine... easy, enjoyable summer reading" (Literary Review)

"An exhilarating whodunit and my favourite book of the year. I'd like to crown Ariana Franklin Queen of the Historical Mystery" (TESS GERRITSEN)

"Thrilling and vividly told, this is definitely one to keep you up all night" (Good Book Guide)


Franklin is one of the very best creators of medieval whodunits writing today
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Thus wrote Brother Caradoc in Saint Michael's chapel on top of Glastonbury Tor, to which he'd scrambled, gasping and sobbing, so as to escape the devastation that God with His earthquake had wrought on everything below it. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor, drama, suspense and a dash of romance 9 April 2009
By L. J. Roberts TOP 500 REVIEWER
First Sentence: "And God was angry with His people of Somerset so that, in the year of Our Lord 1154. pm the day after the feast of Saint Stephen, He caused an earthquake that it might punish them for their sins..." Thus wrote Brother Caradoc in Saint Michael's chapel in top of Glastonbury Tor, to which he'd scrambled, gasping and sobbing, so as to escape the devastation that God with his earthquake had wrought on everything below it.

King Henry II is fighting to suppress the rebellious Welsh, who still believe the Ancient King Arthur will rise up to rescue them. One of Henry's prisoners tells of a vision his uncle had 20 year's earlier of seeing monks bury Arthur at Glastonbury. Henry orders that there be an attempt to find Arthur's bones and sends for Adelia to make the verification.

When an Ariana Franklin book shows up at my door, all other life stops. Franklin is an author from whom I know I shall get a wonderful story. This book was no exception.

With historical mysteries, I always start by reading the Author's Notes. I like knowing what is historically accurate and what liberties have been taken. In this case; there were not many. The depth of research is evident and educational. Herbs, weapons, law, forensic science, and medicine during this period are masterfully woven into the story.

Franklin's writing is so visual; it is as if watching a film. The descriptions are rich and, even when the scenes are unpleasant, so well done. I liked the use of lucid dreams, the inclusion of Excalibur and a very nasty version of Robin Hood and his men.

The characters are wonderful. Adelia is smart, strong and caring.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adelia investigates 24 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Adelia - Mistress of the Art of Death - has been asked to find out whether two skeletons unearthed at Glastonbury are Arthur and Guinevere. Henry wants to convince his rebellious Welsh subjects that Arthur really is dead and not about to come to life and lead them into battle against him. Adelia and her entourage set off towards Glastonbury having joined forces with the widowed Lady Emma Wolvercote and her small son who are travelling in the same direction.

Identifying the skeletons is not as easy as it might have appeared and Adelia must brave many dangerous situations before her task is complete. There are vested interests in Glastonbury who do not want Adelia to find out the truth and Emma and her companions disappear. This is an exciting story which brings the twelfth century vividly to life. There is a useful author's note at the end of the book which explains the changes the author has made to historical fact to suit the mechanics of her plot.

Even if you haven't read the two previous books in this series you can still enjoy this one as each story is self contained. There is some violence in the book but it is part of the story and is not graphically described. In this book Adelia is mainly dealing with skeletons so there is minimal description of decaying bodies.

It's good to see the Bishop of St Albans is still very much alive and kicking and he plays quite a large part in this story as does Henry II himself. I love the characters in this series; even the villains have their good points and no situation is ever black and white. I shall look forward to the next episode.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book was also released with the title "Relics of the Dead".

England of 1176 under the rule of King Henry II was not a time when a woman was accepted as a doctor. Consequently Adelia Aguilar kept up the pretense that her Arab attendant, Mansur, was the doctor and she was his translator. Fortunately for Adelia the King had already accepted her knowledge and her vocation and had no problems with calling her in to help solve the mystery of two skeletons found buried in the same coffin. Was it possible that King Arthur and Guinevere had been buried at Glastonbury Abbey? Henry needed for these bones to belong to Arthur and Quinevere to help quiet the Welsh uprisings he was having to fight. Although the king wanted the truth to be found, he certainly would have been pleased to have the truth become a weapon for his political use.

I enjoyed Adelia with her passion for using science and truth to solve mysteries. Even having to hide her abilities because she was a woman did not slow her down for very long and she was adept at turning situations to her favor with her insight into human nature. People wanted to believe that Mansur was the doctor simply because of his gender. Then let them believe that, Adelia would just work around that problem. Perhaps her character was written with just a touch too much "modern" woman for me, but I do understand that she could not possibly perform the functions of the novel's main character without stepping outside her time period in many situations. And besides, how else were we as readers supposed to feel sympathy for this woman while also remaining interested in the perils she was encountering?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent read
Just like the first two... Couldn't put it down! Can't wait to start the next one in the series, brilliant
Published 13 days ago by Gemma Schonenberger
5.0 out of 5 stars Light but satisfying
I enjoyed the characterisation and the clever twists and turns of the plot. The writer's deft use of language added a whole new dimension to the pleasure of reading this book.
Published 13 days ago by andrew sinclair
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I enjoyed this book
Detail of life in the Middle Ages takes all sorts.I am sure this could happen not over the top.What terrible lives the lower ranks lived and how mobile the upper classes were the... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Sue Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph!
Number three in the series and the quality of writing/plotline/atmosphere and characterisation does not disappoint! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Michael Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Am a fan of Ariana Franklin books and each one has been wonderful am sad there will be no more
Published 13 months ago by G E RINGROSE
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Loved the book! Ariana Franklin really knows how to write a good story with some marvelous history woven into it! We highly recommend this book.
Published 15 months ago by C. P. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars relics of the dead
loved the book, love ariana franklin, so sorry there are no more books about the mistress of the art of death
Published 16 months ago by margaret leo
5.0 out of 5 stars new heroine of the Historical Whodunnit...
Starting with Book One is always best, but in this third offering the characterisation and storyline are as vivid and gripping as ever. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mr. C. T. Brand
4.0 out of 5 stars Relics of the dead
I am particularly interested in this period of history...very enjoyable reading.This is the first time I have read this author.
Published 18 months ago by Eifiona Wyn Parsons
1.0 out of 5 stars Book 1&2 not available on kindle ??
I think the publishers need to go to business school. ? Why on earth would you make the third book of a trilogy available and not the first two ? DUH !!
Published 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
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