Mistress of the Art of Death
A chilling, mesmerizing novel that combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of historical fiction. In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town's Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews... show more
A chilling, mesmerizing novel that combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of historical fiction. In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town's Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews sacrifice Christian children in blasphemous ceremonies. To save them from the rioting mob, the king places the Cambridge Jews under his protection and hides them in a castle fortress. King Henry I is no friend of the Jews-or anyone, really-but he is invested in their fate. Without the taxes received from Jewish merchants, his treasuries would go bankrupt. Hoping scientific investigation will exonerate the Jews, Henry calls on his cousin the King of Sicily-whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe-and asks for his finest "master of the art of death," an early version of the medical examiner. The Italian doctor chosen for the task is a young prodigy from the University of Salerno. But her name is Adelia-the king has been sent a mistress of the art of death. Adelia and her companions-Simon, a Jew, and Mansur, a Moor-travel to England to unravel the mystery of the Cambridge murders, which turn out to be the work of a serial killer, most likely one who has been on Crusade with the king. In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia must conceal her true identity as a doctor in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she is assisted by Sir Rowley Picot, one of the king's tax collectors, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. Rowley may be a needed friend, or the fiend for whom they are searching. As Adelia's investigation takes her into Cambridge's shadowy river paths and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again . .
Publish date: February 6th 2007
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Pages no: 384
Edition language: English
, British Literature
, Book Club
, Adult Fiction
, Historical Fiction
, Historical Mystery
, Mystery Thriller
Series: Mistress of the Art of Death (#1)
As it turns out I couldn´t endure this book any longer (I´ve read 355 pages and after that I started skim reading). It´s Cambridge in the year 1171, a child has been murdered, other children have been abducted and the local Jews are being accused of the crimes. Since the Jews are important for the...
What a fantastic book! I had this in the back of my bookshelf and just kept putting off reading it. Then my mystery book club picked this one to read and I finally made myself read it. I should have done that years ago. I loved the main character Adelia. The mystery itself was horrible. I just can't...
Set in medieval Cambridge, children keep turning up dead. The local Catholics begin to blame the local Jewish community and then the local law must lock up the Jews for their own safety. However, this is not a tenable situation that can last for long. King Henry II wants to continue to receive his J...
Again, another lem for me. :( Got about 20% in and couldn't really continue.This really isn't my month in reading books :(Oh well.
This was my second historical novel, and one again I picked on recommendation. Once again, I was impressed. The story centers on Adelia, a ‘doctor of death’ on a mission from the King of Sicily to uncover a murderer in Cambridge. The idea of the novel is brilliant; Adelia is the ultimate outsider,...