After reading this novel, I think Ariana Franklin (AKA Diana Norman) should be awarded the title “Mistress of the Art of Storytelling”. What an engrossing book! Mistress is a historical mystery which tells the story of Adelia Aguilar who is a 12th century forensics specialist-she “reads” dead bodies to clue her in to how they died. Adelia is brought to England with her friend and fellow investigator Simon of Naples in order to discover who is torturing and killing children in the town of Cambridge. Four children were murdered in the area and it is up to Adelia, Simon, and her eunuch bodyguard Mansur to figure out who is behind these heinous crimes and to exonerate the local Jewish community who stands accused of the crimes.
Honestly there is not one bad thing I can say about this book. The story has many twists and turns that keep you guessing, characters that are interesting, and there is a little romance thrown in too but not enough that it takes away from the book. The author gives so many potential suspects that you will constantly chance your mind about who the villain is and even at the end you’ll be somewhat surprised.
This is the first book in the Adelia Aguilar series. It is followed by The Serpent’s Tale, Grave Goods and A Murderous Procession which is being released in April of 2010. I cannot wait to read these ones as well. I am so glad I stumbled onto this series.