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The Death Maze: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 2 [Paperback]

Ariana Franklin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 April 2009 Adelia Aguilar (Book 2)

Twelfth-century anatomist, Adelia Aguilar must once again examine the dead as gruesome events are beginning to unfold...

Henry II's favourite mistress, Rosamund Clifford, has been poisoned - and, rumour says, by his jealous wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. If Henry believes the stories, England will be torn apart as King battles Queen.

In a race against time to prove Eleanor's innocence, and with a dangerous assassin on the loose, Adelia has never faced greater danger. The armies that might cause civil war lie behind her. The icy winds of a dreadful winter blow around her. And ahead she must brave the thorns of the impenetrable labyrinth that surrounds Fair Rosamund's tower, and decipher the mystery of the dead woman who lies frozen within.


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Frequently Bought Together

The Death Maze: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 2 + 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
Price For All Three: 16.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (9 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553818015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553818017
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,367 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

Review

"Highly entertaining... Franklin is an adept storyteller who disseminates her research into the period with clarity and lightness of touch" (THE TIMES)

"Franklin is one of the very best creators of medieval whodunits writing today. The snow falls, the death toll mounts... and the Thames freezes over in this wonderfully atmospheric, fast-paced and intelligent recreation of a vanished world" (GUARDIAN)

"Captivating... this excellent adventure delivers high drama" (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

"It's as original as its prize-winning predecessor: a real treat" (LITERARY REVIEW)

"Mesmerizing... A colourful cast of characters, both good and evil, enhance a tale that will keep readers on edge until the final page" (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)

Review

Highly entertaining...Franklin is an adept storyteller who disseminates her research into the period with clarity and lightness of touch

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - A very good historical mystery 6 Aug 2008
By L. J. Roberts TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
First Sentence: The two men's voices carried down the tunnels with a reverberation that made them indistinguishable but, even so, gave the impression of a business meeting.

King Henry II refused to let Adelia Aguilar return to her home at the School of Medicine in Sicily so she is living in the fens with her baby daughter Allie, companion and baby's nursemain Gyltha, the Saracan Mansur, who poses as the doctor allowing Adelia to treat patients without being named a witch, and her new dog Ward.

King Henry's mistress, Rosemund, has been poisoned and his wife, Queen Eleanor is being accused. Adelia, recruited by Rowley, must prove Eleanor's innocence before the country is brought to civil war.

In some ways, this seemed a much bigger story than Franklin's first book (Mistress of the Art of Death) because of the themes.

Franklin presents a very real, unromanticized look at the time and the people in it, including Thomas Beckett and Queen Eleanor. She clearly illustrates how difficult it was to be a woman during the time as well as what life was like during civil war for those not of the ruling class.

Her descriptions are extremely visual and sometimes quite unpleasant but very effective. Although I had read the first book, I appreciated the way Franklin provided a recapitulation of the plot and the character's backgrounds sufficient to bring readers up to current to this book. It's not all politics and description.

The plot is fascinating with good intrigue and suspense with bits of romance and humor. Yes, there are anachronisms, but they are small and I've willing to forgive them when viewed against the strengths of the story. In all, it was a fascinating book and a thoroughly good read.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second book in the Adelia Aguilar Series 12 May 2008
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
First, let me warn the reader that this book is also published under the title The Serpent's Tale.

Ariana Franklin is the pseudonym of a well-known author of historical novels, Diana Norman, wife of the film critic Barry Norman. She is a former Fleet Street Reporter and lives in Hertfordshire.

I thoroughly enjoyed the author's first book Mistress Of The Art Of Death, finding it well researched and very well written, so of course I was delighted when I saw the Serpent's tale in the bookshop. Sometimes in these circumstances the reader feels let down, either because the second book is not as good as the first or more likely the reader's expectations are too high. No such thing with this book, it is equally as good if not better than the first, particularly as the main character of Adelia Aguilar is now familiar to those who have read the first book.

In the first novel, Adelia initially came to England at the request of Henry I who asked his cousin the king of Sicily to send him a "Master of Death" an early version of our present medical examiner in the hope that a scientific examination would be able to exonerate the Jewish community and save them from the rioting mob who believe that the Jews sacrifice Christian children. 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.

In the Serpent's Tale Henry II is now on the throne and his mistress Rosamund Clifford has died a painful death by poisoning. Henry's wife Eleanor of Aquitaine is the number one suspect.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Mark 2 18 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
Dark events surround the courts of Henry II and Queen Eleanor as jealousy accompanied with murder threatens to spark a civil war!

The unusual female protagonist was a refreshing change in a genre where male detectives tend to dominate an author's attention. In this book the author has skilfully woven a twisting tale where an independent forward thinking woman utilises her skills and education in a society where women were definitely seen as second class citizens by men and the established Church.

Such is the appeal of this unusual combination of characteristics surrounding Adelia, that you can't help willing her to succeed and strongly empathise with her at key moments of the story.

The plot is certainly deceptive! Just when you think you have learnt all there is to know about the crimes and expect the author to wrap the story up, along comes a massive surprise - throwing a proverbial spanner in the works!

Unique, appealing and engrossing are labels that best describe this book. If you enjoy books set during the early medieval period and with a `fictional crime thriller flavour'; then buy this one and delve in!

Be aware however, that this is book two and there is an initial instalment in the series.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Second Book in the Adelia Aguilar Series 26 April 2008
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Ariana Franklin is the pseudonym of a well-known author of historical novels, Diana Norman, wife of the film critic Barry Norman. She is a former Fleet Street Reporter and lives in Hertfordshire.

I thoroughly enjoyed the author's first book The Mistress of the Art of Death, finding it well researched and very well written, so of course I was delighted when I saw the Serpent's tale in the bookshop. Sometimes in these circumstances the reader feels let down, either because the second book is not as good as the first or more likely the reader's expectations are too high. No such thing with this book, it is equally as good if not better than the first, particularly as the main character of Adelia Aguilar is now familiar to those who have read the first book.

In the first novel, Adelia initially came to England at the request of Henry I who asked his cousin the king of Sicily to send him a "Master of Death" an early version of our present medical examiner in the hope that a scientific examination would be able to exonerate the Jewish community and save them from the rioting mob who believe that the Jews sacrifice Christian children. 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.

In the Serpent's Tale Henry II is now on the throne and his mistress Rosamund Clifford has died a painful death by poisoning. Henry's wife Eleanor of Aquitaine is the number one suspect. Henry feels that this could well be the start of a campaign by Eleanor to discredit him and take the throne either for herself or her son's. Civil war could soon break out and Henry needs an answer to the crime and quickly. Henry immediately sends for Adelia is Mistrress of the Art of Death, who is less than pleased to be brought from retirement in the country where she is spending a carefree life attending to the needs of her little daughter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb page turner!
This second book by Ariana Frankin did not disappoint.
If anything the plot and characterisation were even better than her first book and the pace of the narrative kept the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Michael Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Relics of The Dead Mistress of the Art of Death 3
I have read this before but couldn't find my copy so bought it anew . It is an excellent story, well told and the author really knew the period
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. T. J. Tomkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good story
Although I think the first book was better, this is still very well researched. The historical facts are subtly woven into the plot, and Miss Franklin does a good job of keeping... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Steve Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Please try you will not be disappointed.This is the second book of a trilogy.I am hooked.I have passed this on to friends and family.
Published 13 months ago by Deb
4.0 out of 5 stars death maze
Not my favourite book but still enjoyed reading about Henry and Rowley and the usual cast. I did not grip you as the others in the series
Published 16 months ago by margaret leo
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Loved this 2nd book .She keeps you guessing right 'til the end! i really enjoy reading historical novels Bernard Cornwall, C. Read more
Published 20 months ago by T. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Yarn
This is a nice, atmospheric historical whodunnit. Particularly refreshing in that the main protaganist is female. I did find my concentration wandering throughout this read. Read more
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by pigsmayfly
2.0 out of 5 stars Watered down historical novel
I came across this book on a boat, so having finished my own book, I was looking for something pleasant to read. Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by F. S. Carr
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent on period detail, but sadly unsatisfying
I love historical thrillers and good writing, and they're best represented - for me and I think many others - by CJ Sansom's Shardlake books. Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2011 by utility dog
5.0 out of 5 stars A clever and highly original page-turner
Set during the reign of Henry II, we are introduced to Adelia Aguilar, a doctor and anatomist from Sicily but now living in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire with her baby daughter,... Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2011 by Petra Bryce
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The Maze of Death is the UK title for The Serpent's Tale 0 12 Dec 2007
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