The New York Times
Grave Goods (Mistress of the Art of Death Series #3)by Ariana Franklin
England, 1176. Beautiful, tranquil Glastonbury Abbey— one of England's holiest sites, and believed by some to be King Arthur's sacred Isle of Avalon—has been burned almost to the ground. The arsonist remains at large, but the fire has uncovered something even more shocking: two hidden skeletons, a man and a woman. The skeletons' height and age send… See more details below
England, 1176. Beautiful, tranquil Glastonbury Abbey— one of England's holiest sites, and believed by some to be King Arthur's sacred Isle of Avalon—has been burned almost to the ground. The arsonist remains at large, but the fire has uncovered something even more shocking: two hidden skeletons, a man and a woman. The skeletons' height and age send rumors flying—are the remains those of Arthur and Guinevere? King Henry II hopes so. Struggling to put down a rebellion in Wales, where the legend of Celtic savior Arthur is particularly strong, Henry wants definitive proof that the bones are Arthur's. If the rebels are sure that the Once and Future King will not be coming to their aid, Henry can stamp out the insurgence for good. He calls on Adelia Aguilar, Mistress of the Art of Death, to examine the bones. Henry's summons comes not a moment too soon, for Adelia has worn out her welcome in Cambridge. As word of her healing powers has spread, so have rumors of witchcraft. So Adelia...
The New York Times
Set in 1176, Franklin's excellent third Mistress of the Art of Death novel (after The Serpent's Tale) finds Adelia Aguilar, a "qualified doctor from the School of Medicine in Salerno," in the holy town of Glastonbury, where Henry II has sent her to inspect two sets of bones rumored to be those of Arthur and Guinevere. Henry is hoping that an unequivocally dead Arthur will discourage the rebellious Welsh. The bones have been uncovered by the few monks, under the saintly Abbot Sigward, who remain after a terrible and mysterious fire devastated the town and abbey. Adelia's party includes her loyal Arabian attendant, Mansur, whose willingness to play the role of doctor allows Adelia to be his "translator" and practice the profession she loves; and Gyltha, Mansur's lover and the caretaker of Adelia's small daughter, Allie. Eloquently sketched characters, including a ragtag group of Glastonbury men down on their luck, and bits of medieval lore flavor the constantly unfolding plot. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In 12th-century England, a fire at Glastonbury Abbey-one of England's holiest sites-uncovers an ancient box containing the skeletons of a man and a woman. King Henry II calls on his "mistress of the Art of Death," Adelia Aguilar, to identify the bones. The devastated community of Glastonbury, as well as King Henry, would like them to be Arthur and Guinevere. Adelia enlists her regular cadre of companions (Mansur, Gyltha, and daughter Allie) to help her investigate. Franklin's third entry in her medieval historical series (after Mistress of the Art of Death and The Serpent's Tale) re-creates a living, breathing past populated with entertaining characters. This medieval Arthurian mystery is fascinating on many levels and very readable. Franklin, a pseudonym for British author Diana Norman, is a perfect combination of Kathy Reichs and Sharon Kay Penman. The ending leaves an opening for yet another adventure for this cast of characters. Highly recommended for all mystery collections.
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