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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 April 2010
"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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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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on 30 October 2015
I bought this 'relics of the dead' at the same time and read them both in four days I loved them so much! I have previously read 'death maze' in the same series and much preferred this book. I loved the fast paced nature of the story and truly felt that I was personally travelling through France with Adelia. At the end when I found out who the assassin turned out to be I couldn't beleive it so had to re-read some sections before realising I had missed some carefully placed great clues!
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on 20 April 2013
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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on 18 October 2015
...once again a complex weaving of plots to keep the reader entertained. The central character, Adelia, as an intelligent woman does occasionally irritate because she takes unnecessary risks and stretches incredulity to its limits. Still a good read, however.
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on 13 September 2010
I enjoyed reading Ariana's 'The Assassin's Prayer' and would rate it a good 4 star, so I was really looking forward to 'A Murderous Procession'. Imagine my disappointment when I found out that they are both the same story!!!!!!! What a Swizz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. What a waste of my hard earned cash!!!!
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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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on 14 December 2010
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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on 9 November 2010
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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on 3 December 2015
I have read all of this short series, and enjoy the characters and feel for the period in history. I know purists will be irritated by the up to date feel of language and emotions, but to be honest I couldn't have either read or understood it if Ariana Franklin had written it in the language of the time. I think she has researched enough background detail to make it convincing .
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