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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as her previous novels...
"A Murderous Procession" is Ariana Franklin's fourth novel in her Adelia Aguliar series. Franklin is the pseudonym of British author Diana Norman, and she has published one stand-alone novel as Franklin, set in Berlin in 1922.

"Procession", like its three preceding novels, is the story of Adelia Agular, a Sicilian-trained doctor who had come to England during...
Published on 18 April 2010 by Jill Meyer

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars please be fair Amazon
The star is not for the book but for the fact that Amazon don't make it clear that the English and American editions of these books have different titles. Be warned - read the synopsis before ordering!
Published on 9 Nov. 2010 by David Arturovitch


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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as her previous novels..., 18 April 2010
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
"A Murderous Procession" is Ariana Franklin's fourth novel in her Adelia Aguliar series. Franklin is the pseudonym of British author Diana Norman, and she has published one stand-alone novel as Franklin, set in Berlin in 1922.

"Procession", like its three preceding novels, is the story of Adelia Agular, a Sicilian-trained doctor who had come to England during the reign of Henry II to help solve a crime and then had basically been held - loosely - by Henry, unable to return to her home in Sicily. She falls in love with a warrior/churchman and bears a daughter out of wedlock. During her eight year forced stay in England, she has preformed many tasks for Henry and his court and solved crimes using the forensic methods she was taught in Sicily. In addition to her daughter, Allie, she lives with a Saracen, who had originally accompanied her from Sicily, pretending to be the doctor of the duo, and she merely the "interpreter" of his medical methods, as well as several English companions who make up her household.

In this book, Adelia is "requested" by Henry to accompany his daughter Joanna on a long, arduous trip over land and by sea to Sicily, where the child of ten is to be married to William, king of Sicily. To make sure Adelia makes the trip and then returns to England, Henry holds her daughter in a benign captivity. Among others in the hundred-person procession are Rowley, her lover, and various other nobles and workers, including an elusive personality who has sworn to murder Adelia in the foulest way he can think of. He remains so elusive that his identity is not revealed til the end.

As the reader soon learns, life in a medieval procession bears resemblance to a traveling village. With so many personalities in the procession, jealousies, crimes, and personal perversions soon reveal themselves. Deaths begin to happen; deaths both natural and murderous, and Adelia is called into both healing the sick and solving crimes. The book, however, has a slightly frenetic feel to it. Too many characters and too many crimes and too many locations on the long road between London and Sicily make this book feel "cluttered".

It's a good read, but it just isn't as good as its predecessors. If you've read and enjoyed the three previous novels, I'm sure you'll like this one. I just can't quite recommend it as a first Adelia-novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - Only the ending kept it from being 5 Stars, 7 July 2010
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
First Sentence: Between the parishes of Shepfold and Martlake in Somerset existed an area of no-man's-land and a lot of ill feeling.

Dr. Adelia Aguilar is thrilled to learn Henry II wants to send her to accompany his daughter Joanna's wedding procession to her home of Sicily. Her feelings change to anger when she learns Henry is keeping Ariana's daughter in England to ensure Adelia's return. With them, and well concealed, will be Arthur's sword, Excaliaber, as a gift to the bridegroom. Danger a rises from an old foe out to steal the sword and looking for revenge against Adelia.

There was a different feel to this book than those previous. Whereas before, Adelia seemed very much in control and strong, here she was in situations completely beyond her control and, at times, in great peril. While some readers might not care the change this wrought in the character, I liked that it showed her vulnerability and weaknesses, as well as the human failing that when the truth is too frightening to accept, it is denied.

There is a progression in the lives of the characters with each book, which is important to me. Some readers have criticized the coup de foudre felt by the O'Donnell for Adelia. Having personally experienced it--although it didn't last--I didn't find it unrealistic. I did enjoy that we meet Adelia's parents in this book.

As always with Franklin's book, I learn so much history. Henry's daughter, Joan, was known to me, but not in any detail nor her role in history. Of late, I've read more books that deal with the Cathers, and I find them fascinating. I certainly knew nothing of the history of Sicily and found it significant that she shows it to us at a turning point in its history.

Perhaps I'm obtuse, but I did not figure out the identity taken by the villain until it was revealed. What I did not like, was the ending. It seems more authors are doing cliff-hanger endings and it's a trend I dearly hope will end almost immediately. Write a good book, I promise to read the next one without being tricked into so doing.

I very much enjoyed the story and only the ending prevented my rating it as "excellent." For readers new to the series, I recommend starting at the beginning. For me, I am ready for the next book.

A MURDEROUS PROCESSION (The Assassin's Prayer) (Hist. Mys-Adelia Aguilar-England/France/Italy-Middle Ages/1179) - VG+
Franklin, Ariana - 4th in series
G.P. Putnam's Sons, ©2010, US Hardcover - ISBN: 9780399156281
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as her previous novels..., 9 July 2010
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
A Murderous Procession" is Ariana Franklin's fourth novel in her Adelia Aguliar series. Franklin is the pseudonym of British author Diana Norman, and she has also published one stand-alone novel as Franklin, set in Berlin in 1922.

"Procession", like its three preceding novels, is the story of Adelia Agular, a Sicilian-trained doctor who had come to England during the reign of Henry II to help solve a crime and then had basically been held - loosely - by Henry, unable to return to her home in Sicily. She falls in love with a warrior/churchman and bears a daughter out of wedlock. During her eight year forced stay in England, she has preformed many tasks for Henry and his court and solved crimes using the forensic methods she was taught in Sicily. In addition to her daughter, Allie, she lives with a Saracen, who had originally accompanied her from Sicily, pretending to be the doctor of the duo, and she merely the "interpreter" of his medical methods, as well as several English companions who make up her household.

In this book, Adelia is "requested" by Henry to accompany his daughter Joanna on a long, arduous trip over land and by sea to Sicily, where the child of ten is to be married to William, king of Sicily. To make sure Adelia makes the trip and then returns to England, Henry holds her daughter in a benign captivity. Among others in the hundred-person procession are Rowley, her lover, and various other nobles and workers, including an elusive personality who has sworn to murder Adelia in the foulest way he can think of. He remains so elusive that his identity is not revealed til the end.

As the reader soon learns, life in a medieval procession bears resemblance to a traveling village. With so many personalities in the procession, jealousies, crimes, and personal perversions soon reveal themselves. Deaths begin to happen; deaths both natural and murderous, and Adelia is called into both healing the sick and solving crimes. The book, however, has a slightly frenetic feel to it. Too many characters and too many crimes and too many locations on the long road between London and Sicily make this book feel "cluttered".

It's a good read, but it just isn't as good as its predecessors. If you've read and enjoyed the three previous novels, I'm sure you'll like this one. I just can't quite recommend it as a first Adelia-novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Murderous Procession, 26 May 2010
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As with all Ariana Franklin's books it engrossed me from start to finish; a wonderful story which left me impatient to read the next in the series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars please be fair Amazon, 9 Nov. 2010
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The star is not for the book but for the fact that Amazon don't make it clear that the English and American editions of these books have different titles. Be warned - read the synopsis before ordering!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder writing at it's best., 20 Jan. 2013
By 
JJ "Jackie J" (Colchester England.) - See all my reviews
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I greet each new book by this author with great joy. This particular tale takes the reader across parts of Europe and describes the dangers of travelling, medieval medicine and the truly frightening scourge of Christianity, which echoes down the ages to present time. It is a murder mystery inasmuch as there are murders and you have to work out who the perpetrator is, with several red herrings along the way. But as always, this author shows that human intolerance, ignorance and abuse of power are the true root of evil in the world. A great set of characters, a story well told, though a little uneven in places as new places and characters are introduced and altogether enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite series, 20 April 2013
By 
Kathryn Nicholl "Katin" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Assassin's Prayer: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 4 (Paperback)
I loved Diana Norman's Fitzempress Law and King of the Last Days which she wrote back in the 80s. They were set in the time of Henry 11 - a favourite period of mine - so I was delighted when I discovered her Adelia Agular series set in the same period but written under the pseudonym Ariana Franklin. Adelia is a Sicilian-trained doctor who is excellent at discovering how people have been murdered - yes, women could qualify as doctors back in the 12th century, in Sicily. She arrived in England in the first book, Mistress of the Art of Death, and Henry insists she stays. However, she has to pretend that her Saracen guardian is the doctor, she his interpreter because the English, particularly churchmen, would think her a witch. Over the years she has acquired a lover - who has become a senior churchman, a daughter, Allie, and some faithful friends/servants. In this, the fourth books, Adelia is "persuaded" by Henry to accompany his daughter, Joanna, to Sicily, where the child is to be married. Initially delighted to be going home, she is horrified when she discovers that her daughter is to remain in England - clearly a hostage for her return to England. Rowley, her lover, is also to accompany the princess but unknown to any of the other travellers there is one among them who intends to murder Adelia if he can and Franklin holds the tension beautifully and keeps the reader guessing as to who the killer is. She also beautifully realises what it must have been like travelling as part of a cavalcade that has knights, churchmen, servants, pampered ladies-in-waiting, all of whom have to be fed, watered, bedded. The deaths begin in fairly short order, and sickness and witch-hunting. Pretty well non-stop action! While this can be read on its own, give yourself a treat and read the other 3 novels first. Romance is never underplayed - but nor does it get in the way of the crimes, which is just how it should be!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and fast-paced but no real mystery, 29 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Assassin's Prayer: Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar series 4 (Paperback)
The previous books were set in various parts of England (Cambridge area, Thames valley and Somerset levels) but this traces a route through France and Italy to end up in Sicily. Adelia has to accompany a young princess travelling to her wedding at Palermo. Among the large retinue lurks an old enemy determined to murder her but also keen to cause her a great deal of trouble first.

As with the other books this is to a large extent a comedy. Light on history and with rather cartoon characters - but it is fun all the same. Several of the usual crew turn up for the long trip (including the smelly dog) plus a set of new oddities to help and hinder. We meet the king's foolish sons, a downtrodden maid, some unpleasant churchmen, an Irish pirate and Cathars depicted (following a popular misreading of Montaillou) as a medieval hippy commune. Norman Sicily is shown as an enlightened state where different religions co-exist though dark clouds are gathering to destroy the idyll. Pleasant myths but a pinch of salt is needed.

Two main problems. Compared to the previous books this one does not have a real mystery. There are bodies but the journey keeps moving the characters on, leaving any chance of detection behind. The threat is to Adelia herself which robs her of the distancing that a good fictional detective needs. The other difficulty is the abrupt and partly unresolved ending.

The same book is also published under the title 'A Murderous Procession'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Assassin's prayer, 16 Aug. 2013
By 
Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Adelia from Sicily is sent back there by King Henry, mostly overland, but her little daughter is kept in England. Henry trusts Adelia to guard his princess daughter until she is married in a political alliance. The characters are many and varied, and you would do well to have read at least one previous book. Also if you've read Kate Mosse's books about Carcassonne you'll be able to picture the landscape and persecution of Cathars by the Church, though Mosse is not referenced by Franklin at the back.
Not all characters make it through the tale and frankly I thought Adelia had herself to blame. If you've been in danger for months you stick with bodyguards and safety. The tale of the journey would be interesting enough but the author has added a madman who hides among the group and causes occasional ruin to someone. Now we can't account for all, but this man is supposed to be acting in revenge, and really at that time people died so frequently and for so little reason that the idea was a nonsense to me. Everyone accepted that women died in childbirth and men died of violence, accident or sepsis.
The attitudes of churchmen to medical procedures and cleanliness are well highlighted and racial intolerance is spreading. Ariana has to hide the fact of being a female doctor and that she can carry out autopsies to determine causes of death. As always this is well researched and entertaining but I found it less good than the first in the series.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Assassin's Prayer = A murderous procession, 14 Dec. 2010
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I fully agree with other reviewers. It is a terrible habit of publishers to release the same book in US and Europe with two different titles. The only reason I can see is attempted rip off.
One way to combat this is boycotting the authors and publisher who do this. Although admittedly authors claim to have little say I cannot believe them to be completely powerless in that regard.
In this case we are talking about Putnam and Bantam Press. Watch out for those and avoid their books. Maybe this way they will learn that there is little to be gained by cheating.
I am not sure what Amazon can do about it but think they should use their considerable power to try to do something about it.
It is indeed very frustrating.
So, help us all by naming and shaming those who try to trick us into buying the same book twice.
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