Title: The Serpent's Tale
Author: Ariana Franklin
Rating <3 <3 <3 <3
Summary: Ariana Franklin combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the drama of historical fiction in the enthralling second novel in the Mistress of the Art of Death series, featuring medieval heroine Adelia Aguilar.
Rosamund Clifford, the mistress of King Henry II, has died an agonizing death by poison-and the king's estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is the prime suspect. Henry suspects that Rosamund's murder is probably the first move in Eleanor's long-simmering plot to overthrow him. If Eleanor is guilty, the result could be civil war. The king must once again summon Adelia Aguilar, mistress of the art of death, to uncover the truth.
Adelia is not happy to be called out of retirement. She has been living contentedly in the countryside, caring for her infant daughter, Allie. But Henry's summons cannot be ignored, and Adelia must again join forces with the king's trusted fixer, Rowley Picot, the Bishop of St. Albans, who is also her baby's father.
Adelia and Rowley travel to the murdered courtesan's home, in a tower within a walled labyrinth-a strange and sinister place from the outside, but far more so on the inside, where a bizarre and gruesome discovery awaits them. But Adelia's investigation is cut short by the appearance of Rosamund's rival: Queen Eleanor. Adelia, Rowley, and the other members of her small party are taken captive by Eleanor's henchmen and held in the nunnery of Godstow, where Eleanor is holed up for the winter with her band of mercenaries, awaiting the right moment to launch their rebellion.
Isolated and trapped inside the nunnery by the snow and cold, Adelia and Rowley watch as dead bodies begin piling up. Adelia knows that there may be more than one killer at work, and she must unveil their true identities before England is once again plunged into civil war . . .
Review: The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin is the second book in the Mistress of the Art of Death Series, it takes you back into the world of Adelia, who is a young female doctor in England who specializes in the study of the death, and specifically for King Henry the Second, in how they were murdered. In this book she is summoned to find out who murdered the King's favorite mistress "Rosamund the Fair", according to popular rumor it is Eleanor the King's wife who is desperately jealous of the woman, however after closer inspection of the evidence Adelia does not believe this to be true. Adelia's character in this story stay's true to the first book while Rowley is now a bishop, and therefore there love is now difficult, she is still in love with him though and dedicated to their baby though she is dedicated to her profession and still wants no marriage. She is not the historical fiction woman that I am used to reading about, but I do enjoy this series, it is filled with historical detail and very historically researched, and every time she had to give her companion the Moor "doctor" credit for her work because she is a woman in 1100's England i feel bad for her. The book kept me engrossed although I did have to put it down for a few minutes at a time because there are SO many details, and at times my brain got overloaded, I did however finish in a day and a half. If you enjoy a mystery, with a little emotion mixed in then I'd recommend the series, there are only four, sadly the author died, so there will be no more as far as i Know but they are very good books.