Customer Reviews for

Grave Goods (Mistress of the Art of Death Series #3)

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 82 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable!

    The main character grew on me the more I read the series. Although, I still think she is a freak and could not possibly exist in the 12th century. This one didn't get five stars because it was slightly surreal. I also hate any reference to Arthur and Camelot, one of the most beaten and overdone stories in history.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Excellant Read about Adelia

    For being the third book that encompasses the same main characters, in the same time period, the mid 1100''s in England, it is truly quite good and you will surely enjoy yourself. If you enjoy a book that is a little bit historical with lots of murder, combining a smidgen of funny dialouge with lots of action, i.e. MURDER, (even if you don't too) you will enjoy this book (as well as the previous two books from Arianna Franklin.) The plot of all the books in this series surround a woman in a man's world who doesn't take being bossed around very well. Her downfall and our (the reader's) benefit is she can't say no to a murder.
    Especially one that looks odd. Even though the King of England makes her do his work ('cause he's trying to consolatade and move forward the people/ country after his being blamed for a famous religious figure that had been killed, he needs someone to solve all the "problems" (murders) that are too difficult for most and he also wants secrecy most of the time.
    Adelia is a women from Italy formally traned in medicine but best in medical examining work (as she has cut up cadavers in Italy as one of the best students in the training schools of Italy. The doctors and schools there are in the forefront of medicine), but she is constrained and cannot do anything out in public, all of her work must be done in secrecy because of the role women play in those times so she hides her ablilties and uses another, someone who raveled to Italy with her, a Muslum (otherwise she could be branded a witch). With her best friend and confidante from Italy, a Muslum, whom she has known for years as well as a new friend who she met in England several years and books ago (she's a lower class women she met in book 1 who helps her as well. This women helps to take care of her baby she bore after an encounter with a man who became an archbishop, he is also her lover and one she would marry, but because of many reasons does not.
    She is ordered, by the King, to go to a town and find out if a grave that has been uncovered is really that of the legendary man, King Arthur, she has to solve a mystery but not get killed in the process. Many want it to be King Arthur, but not everyone. There is another secret that lies in the grave that the supposed Arthur lies in. She does a great job of getting the answer and almost in getting killed several times while doing so, and in true Adelia style she reports back to the King of England with her findings and with magnificent flare for the dramatic. But.... there are many twist and turns to this story and it is truly a great read. One that most will love even if you are not a historical lover or a murder mystery lover, it is just extremely well written and told. Ariana Franklin does not bog down the story with lots of facts about Enlish history, nor is it too gory or too complicated... just enough to help ...."tell the tale" Definitely one of my favorites of the year.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Excellent third book in this series.

    Ariana Franklin brings her characters to life once again in a continuing saga of life and death in the 1100's. I enjoy historial fiction and she does a great job of detailing life in the times of church domination and controlling kings. Being in the medical field peaks my sense of medical intrique, along with the investigating that goes into the murders. Of course, the romance is a great twist, too. This book ended with a surprise and I'm now headed back to Barnes and Nobles to pick up book four. Anyone who enjoyed the first two novels will love this third as it takes you deeper into the lives of the characters that have been entwined since book one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Franklin's fictionalized account makes history come alive.

    Franklin makes the 12th century come alive and her Author's Notes are almost as exciting as the story itself. Adelia is a warm, loving and concerned person, but she is also a microscope through which we can view this moment in history, capturing vivid impressions of every layer of society. We see every faction of life from King to the worst riff-raff with clarity and understanding. This is a wonderful follow-up to "The Serpent's Tale" and I look forward to her next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Grave Goods is another Arianna Franklin success

    We continue the story of the King's Death Detective and once again are not disappointed. The story is as intrically woven as her past stories with the characters (as in real life) touching multiple parts of the story. I can't wait for the next installment to this wonderful on going story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2010

    Mary Sue Heroine

    I listen to this series in audio, and it's entertaining for a long drive because the story lines are fairly good. Or maybe I'm just so frustrated with the heroine that I keep listening to see how annoying she'll be next. This series really would have been better as a time travel--if Adelia has to think like a liberal ivy league college professor with access to Google and the Pill, why not just make her one?

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another winner - can't wait for her next adventure!

    As usual, Ariana Franklin delivers the goods - in this case Grave Goods, the latest in her always compelling Mistress of the Art of Death series. This installment reunites everyone's favorite characters and introduces not just one, but two, of her bad guys with their usual loathesome character traits and downright terrifying descriptions. I never tire of Franklin's style and feel as if her characters have become old friends. My personal favorite has to be King Henry, especially when he butts heads with Adelia. I laughed out loud when he first pops up in Grave Goods. My only wish is that Franklin's novels were longer. I devoured this in two days and am impatiently waiting for the next - thanks for another fabulous trip back in time, Ms. Franklin. When can we do it again??

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Is King Arthur Worth More Alive or Dead?

    Adelia Aguilar, Mistress of the Art of Death, has been summoned by King Henry II to perform what seems an impossible task. A dying monk at Glastonbury Abbey has seen a vision during a horrendous earthquake and fire, a sight which he believes is the burial of King Arthur and his Queen Guinevere. A drunken, womanizing ex-monk and bard holds the secret for many years before he saves his life by revealing it to King Henry. For this King such a vision spells disaster as his Welsh enemy believe that King Arthur is not dead but awaiting the perfect time to return and heal England and Wales. Indeed, as Adelia is to discover, vestiges of the Dark Ages loom large at Glastonbury and its neighbor and competitor Wells. Her examination of the burial remains will determine the future of the abbey, its occupants, the town to be rebuilt to support the abbey, the welfare of an inn and most of all the dreams of a nation!

    Adelia was traveling in that direction anyway with her good friend, Emma, whose bastard son is the legitimate heir of the Wolvercote estate. Both women have something in common, giving birth to a child whose father refuses to acknowledge his paternity because of the call of church and state respectively. It's a hard world for such women and children, in a feudal age when class distinctions rule the day and only the word of a King can change the fortunes and future of all concerned.

    Adelia, torn by the disappearance of Emma who proceeded her into the area, arrives and begins to find numerous bodies, secrets galore about residents who have committed unspeakable crimes for supposedly innocent and well-intentioned reasons. The pages fly for the reader as Adelia and her Arab helper, Mansur, find inexplicable evidence of more than just the Arthurian legend and become the target of numerous criminals who seek to murder Adelia. But criminals in this world know the high price of faithfulness, and Adelia's sense of honor, truth and justice help her transcend the most fearful and life-threatening debacles within homes, the gloomy forest and a leper's island.

    Grave Goods is a well-written, thrilling read that is well-researched and tautly plotted with fascinating characters and events!

    Kudos to Ms. Franklin on this splendid read!

    Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on March 28, 2009

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Dr. Adelia examines Arthurian bones

    The legend of King Arthur underpins Adelia Aguilar's third case for England's Henry II.

    It's 1176. An exasperated Henry Plantagenet has just put down another rebellion. In hopes of quelling future unrest he seizes on the story of a dying monk's vision - the burial of King Arthur at Glastonbury Abbey.

    Henry commands Adelia, the Mistress of the Art of Death, to prove the bones Arthur's so that rebellious Celts everywhere will give up the cherished myth that "a warrior from the Dark Ages is going to lead them to freedom. I want Arthur's bones and I want them on display."

    But Adelia arrives to find the Abbey burned to the ground. The mythic bones have indeed been recovered, but there are two bodies in the coffin - one of them apparently female. Guinevere? Worse, the smaller skeleton's pelvic area has been removed, deliberately excised.

    And Adelia's young friend Emma, Lady Wolvercote (from "The Serpent's Tale"), along with her child and bodyguard, have vanished enroute to her nearby mother-in-law's estate.

    Meanwhile, as if she doesn't have enough to worry about, Rowley Picot, the father of Adelia's 4-year-old daughter, now Bishop of St. Albans, arrives to investigate the fire.

    Hidden caves, sadistic brigands, desperate serfs and more dead bodies mix in with the lies, intrigue, romance and humor to keep the various plot lines moving at a rapid clip. Franklin, pseudonym of British writer Diana Norman, revels in the medieval atmosphere, immersing the reader in the details of daily life in all its dirt, damp, superstition, and lawlessness.

    Readers of the previous two volumes will be familiar with the set-up. There is no such thing in 12th century Britain as a female doctor so Adelia, an Italian from Salerno, where women are permitted to study medicine, has developed an elaborate ruse. She poses as a translator for her friend, the Arab castrato Mansur, who poses as a celebrated doctor. His lover, Adelia's companion Gyltha, also travels with her, as does her daughter.

    Although the first in the series remains unsurpassed ("Mistress of the Art of Death"), and the ending of this one is a bit far-fetched, Adelia's lively intelligence and determination and the vivid evocation of the times keeps this series among the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Fu<_>ck

    Sh<_>it bit<_>ch

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Lindsay

    Plz dont go i really love u...plz dont ill do anything..ill even be fine if u go out with kristi or not just plz dont go...i dont want u to leave again plz...ill be devasted again...ive been crying all day all day just plz dont go..u mean a lot to me and i really love u..plz dont go*cries*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Horibble

    Horibble

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    These books stay on my shelf.

    There are very few books that I keep. Ariana Franklin's series of medieval love and murder and history go down for me as classics that I am not lending out or giving way. Rereading is definently in their future and I want them close to my side. Franklin brings to life the harsh realities of lifes lived not so long ago. It is hard for us to contemplate the complete rule that men had at one time over women. Adelia, represents for me, the freedom from the tyranical rule of men and religion that still continues today for so many women. Just yesterday I was told that canning could not be done if a woman was on her cycle ! How rediculous. I, for one will do as I darned well please, avoiding of course deliberate harm to anyone. Oh, how I love that character, her smelly dogs, her for real and honest friends and her bigger than life lover and her ability to think and reason... a quality so lacking in so many, still today . As an aside, I once swore at a man as she did in " Mistress of the Art of Death" and it was so effective that that man has never so much as lifted his eyes to me ever again, whereas before that time he constantly threatened, berated me and swore at me simply because I refused to sell him my adjoining property.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I love this series

    Franklin writes a good mystery with wonderful characters. Unusual plots that can be very intense and a touch of romance thrown in for good measure. I'm not sayin' anything else....just buy the book or get it from the library - but start reading the series from book one....you'll love the plots and characters. In the beginning, there was early forensics...

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    If you like historical fiction AND mystery this book is it!

    I stumbled upon Ariana Franklin in the bargain bin! I love historical fiction especially that set in England, so I picked up the 1st in the series - Mistress of the Art of Death. I was thrilled to find 3 more followed. Grave Goods is the 3rd. I don't think it is my favorite as I found the end mystery a bit of a let down, and I still am not convinced of the motive(s). But overall, it has colorful characters and introduces the reader to history (sometimes too superficially) as well as the infancy of medicine. I would have liked a bit more romance with the main characters - I felt they were out of sync until the last few pages. And I expected more from them AFTER the second in the series. I've just started the 4th installment - so we'll see!

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    Like the topic and time period

    Good storyline, fascinating characters. Good historical novel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Great!!!!!!!!!!

    Ariana Franklin does it once again. This is a must have.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    A great third installment in the "Mistress of the Art of Death" series

    A well written historical mystery, one of my favorite types of books. Characters are rich and full of life. Enough medical info to make it believable, although I know that medical knowledge during that time of history is less than the characters have. I just really enjoyed the whole thing.

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  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One Star Short for Me

    Although I did not enjoy Grave Goods quite as much as Mistress of the Art of Death or The Serpent's Tale, I still would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries with some history thrown in. For me, this book just didn't move along as quickly as the first two in the series. Regardless, Adelia and company are still a great cast of characters, I still like the author's writing style, and I definitely can't wait for the next installment! Without getting specific and into spoiler area, suffice to say that Adelia makes some personal decisions in this book that we don't yet get to see come to fruition and I, for one, can't wait to see if she follows through and what drama it creates in the next book.

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