×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Serpent's Tale (Mistress of the Art of Death Series #2)
     

The Serpent's Tale (Mistress of the Art of Death Series #2)

4.3 83
by Ariana Franklin
 

See All Formats & Editions

The follow-up to Mistress of the Art of Death- in the national bestselling series hailed as "the medieval answer to Kay Scarpetta and the CSI detectives."

When King Henry II's mistress is found poisoned, suspicion falls on his estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The king orders Adelia Aguilar, expert in the science of death, to

Overview

The follow-up to Mistress of the Art of Death- in the national bestselling series hailed as "the medieval answer to Kay Scarpetta and the CSI detectives."

When King Henry II's mistress is found poisoned, suspicion falls on his estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The king orders Adelia Aguilar, expert in the science of death, to investigate-and hopefully stave off civil war. A reluctant Adelia finds herself once again in the company of Rowley Picot, the new Bishop of St. Albans...and her baby's father. Their discoveries into the crime are shocking- and omens of greater danger to come.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A deliciously dark and effective concoction of historical fiction, suspense, romance, adventure and forensics."
-Miami Herald

"An irresistible novel."
-New York Daily News

"A brilliant tapestry of medieval life and death."
-Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Imaginative."
-Chicago Sun-Times

Marilyn Stasio
This excellent adventure delivers high drama and lively scholarship from its heroine's feminist perspective.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Franklin reintroduces the second coming of Adelia Aguilar, a character who first appeared in Mistress of the Art of Death. Kate Reading captures her brilliantly through a wonderful and eerie reading. She has a voice made for narration; steady and firm in her pitch-perfect delivery, she draws upon the foggy atmosphere created by Franklin and sets the tone vividly with her classical British accent. Reading has such a firm understanding of the story that each word becomes as crucial as the last, creating a dramatic entertainment for the listener. Her characters, including the evil Queen Eleanor, a distressed King Henry II and of course Aguilar herself, are all well-rounded, with Reading perfecting a variety of gritty dialects to fit accordingly. Reading has a knack for this genre of story; with an inherent ability to captivate her audience from start to finish. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 12). (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Medieval forensic specialist Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar returns to action in the second installment in Franklin's historical series (Mistress of the Art of Death, 2007). The proto-feminist "doctor of death" has come a long way. As this enjoyable romp opens, Adelia has settled into life in the fens of East Anglia, practicing medicine and trying to raise her daughter. Her peace is disrupted by the arrival of a messenger with a royal mandate. King Henry II's favorite mistress, Rosamund, has been murdered, presumably with poisonous mushrooms, and his estranged wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, is the chief suspect-Eleanor recently escaped from Henry's clutches and is known to be both wildly jealous and also brewing rebellion. Before civil war can once again tear the country apart, Henry needs Adelia to uncover the truth about Rosamund's death. At first unwilling, but keen on avoiding war, she takes on the challenge and in the process uncovers yet another murder and numerous other foul acts, as well as some unexpected information about decaying human flesh. The careful clinician of the first book has become a passionate woman and worried mother, exoticism and novelty traded for a greater range of emotion. A warm, promising continuation of the series. Agent: Helen Heller/Helen Heller Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425225745
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/03/2009
Series:
Mistress of the Art of Death Series , #2
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
172,211
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A deliciously dark and effective concoction of historical fiction, suspense, romance, adventure and forensics."
-Miami Herald

"An irresistible novel."
-New York Daily News

"A brilliant tapestry of medieval life and death."
-Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Imaginative."
-Chicago Sun-Times

Meet the Author

Ariana Franklin is the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A bestselling author and former journalist, she lives in England with her husband, the film critic Barry Norman.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Serpent's Tale (Mistress of the Art of Death Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
Quirky, absorbing, awesome fun! Armeldia is a modern woman stuck in the dark ages of science and religious horror. Her voice is unique and beautiful as she combats superstition and hatred to practice the calling she loves. She is extremely intelligent and resourceful. Forced by King Henry to solve murders, she risks her life time and again, unable to ignore the voices of the dead.
dragonsscape More than 1 year ago
I just began this lively little historical mystery & although mysteries are not my long suit in reading material, it is a first~rate novel. It is 2d in a series of mystery novels set in Medieveal England featuring a wonderful cast of characters. I think this will prove as pleasant a read as any Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot novel with the added twist of time period and historical background. On that score, Ms Franklin obviously has done significant research into the era and has managed to create a world that is historically accurate even though it is based on a "what if". Once I finish this installment I think I'll want to read another. And, remember, nobody does murder like the English!
TWTaz More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Mistress of the Art of Death, but I actually liked The Serpent's Tale even more. I think I preferred the mystery involved in this book more so than the first book featuring Adelia. It was nice to return to the characters I got to know in MOTAOD and see what had happened to them since the last time, as well as being introduced to some new ones (some quite nasty ones at that). I love what a strong character Adelia is and I feel her frustration as she deals with having to hide her knowledge and bite her tongue because of a woman's "place" in her time period. I can't wait to read Grave Goods next, and I hope there are many more mysteries for Adelia and company to solve in the years to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book. She gives such personality to Henry II that I want to read more about him and his time as King of England. All the characters are wonderfully described and interesting. I ran right out and bought the 3rd book of the series and can't wait for the 4th!
Postrain More than 1 year ago
A great read for that rainy day. The main character is a well trained physician who can not practice her profession due to the superstitions and biases against women at that time. It helps one understand how far men would go to hold women back or perhaps they were threatened by their intelligence. I immediately ordered the sequel and prequel to continue my relationship with this wonderful lead character.
LynnHarnett More than 1 year ago
A mysterious assassin and an agonizing poisoning kick starts Adelia's second appearance - an investigation into the death of Henry Plantagenet's (probably mythical) mistress Rosalind - now reprinted in paperback. Rosalind's horrible death brings Henry's Queen, the elegant, scheming and wealthy Eleanor of Aquitaine, to her hated rival's pillaged estate where Adelia saves her life and is rewarded by being attached, willy-nilly, to Eleanor's entourage. But a massive blizzard intervenes, postponing Eleanor's rebellion, and driving them all to take refuge in a quiet, well-run nunnery where murder runs rampant. Motherhood and the torturous romance with Rowley nearly derail Adelia's determination to expose a ruthless killer (or two) but she perseveres through a maze of clues and misdirection to a climax of high drama. Eleanor is not quite as sharp as Kate Hepburn's portrayal in "The Lion in Winter," but she's younger and possibly more vain. Deliciously ghoulish and blackly humorous, with some vividly miserable winter scenes, this is a perfect novel for a snowy evening when you can thank your lucky stars you're not stuck in a sledge on the frozen Thames or huddled on a bed of straw in a draughty barn.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This should be a bestseller - the detailed research, fully developed characters, insight into the human condition and the romantic relationship between the main characters. I could not put the book down. I want to spend more time with Adelia and Rowley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ggrossman More than 1 year ago
Great follow up to the first book. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved every min of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago