Recent winner of the CWA’s Ellis Peters’ Historical Dagger award, a tale of murder in mediaeval Cambridge. A very special book for although I did pick out the killer and his helper about half way through, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment – besides I had to find out if I was right! In Cambridge someone is kidnapping and killing very young children. Help is summoned from Italy to attempt to solve the crimes. The Jewish community is suspected and the investigators include a female doctor who has to be very careful not to be accused of witchcraft. Bringing this dangerous period very much to life, this is a brilliantly researched historical thriller that draws you into its malicious world effortlessly. I am delighted to discover that it is the beginning of a series.
In Cambridge a child has been hideously murdered and other children have disappeared. The Jews, made scapegoats by the all-powerful Christian clergy, have been forced to retreat into the castle to avoid slaughter by angry townspeople.
Henry, King of England, is displeased. The Jews provide a large part of his revenue and therefore the real killer must be found, and quickly. A renowned investigator, Simon of Naples, is recruited and he arrives in town from the continent accompanied by an Arab and a young woman, Adelia Aguilar.
There are few female doctors in twelth century Europe, but Adelia is one of them, having qualified at the great School of Medicine in Salerno. What’s more, her speciality is the study of corpses; she is, in fact, a mistress of the art of death, a skill that must be concealed in case she’s accused of witchcraft.
Adelia’s investigation takes her deep into Cambridge, its castle and convents and in a medieval city teeming with life, Adelia makes friends and even finds romance. And, fatally, the attention of a murderer who is prepared to kill again…
|Publication date:||5th May 2008|
|Publisher:||Transworld Publishers Ltd|
|Primary Genre||Thriller and Suspense|
'Entertaining, well researched and well written.' Joanne Harris
'...a morbidly entertaining novel that outdoes the competition.' NY Times
'Terrific... Wonderfully plotted. It's a historical mystery that succeeds brilliantly as both historical fiction and crime-thriller.'
Diana Gabaldon, WASHINGTON POST
'Great fun! Franklin succeeds in vividly bringing the 12th century to life with this cracking good story. Expertly researched, a brilliant heroine, full of excellent period detail.'
Kate Mosse, author of LABYRINTH
Ariana Franklin was born in Devon and, like her father, became a journalist. Having invaded Wales dressed in combat uniform with the Royal Marines for one of their military exercises, accompanied the Queen on a royal visit, missed her own twenty-first birthday party because she had to cover a murder, she married, almost inevitably, another journalist. At this point she decided that staying married was a good idea so she abandoned her career in national newspapers and settled down in the country to bring up two daughters, study medieval history and write. Ariana was the author of the acclaimed, award-winning ...More About Ariana Franklin