Grave Goods: Book summary and reviews of Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin

Grave Goods

Mistress of the Art of Death series

By Ariana Franklin

Grave Goods
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2009,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

Combining the best of modern forensic thrillers with the drama of medieval fiction, New York Times–bestselling author Ariana Franklin returns with the third title in the Mistress of the Art of Death series.

England, 1176. Beautiful, tranquil Glastonbury Abbey— one of England’s holiest sites, and believed by some to be King Arthur’s sacred Isle of Avalon—has been burned almost to the ground. The arsonist remains at large, but the fire has uncovered something even more shocking: two hidden skeletons, a man and a woman. The skeletons’ height and age send rumors flying—are the remains those of Arthur and Guinevere?

King Henry II hopes so. Struggling to put down a rebellion in Wales, where the legend of Celtic savior Arthur is particularly strong, Henry wants definitive proof that the bones are Arthur’s. If the rebels are sure that the Once and Future King will not be coming to their aid, Henry can stamp out the insurgence for good. He calls on Adelia Aguilar, Mistress of the Art of Death, to examine the bones.

Henry’s summons comes not a moment too soon, for Adelia has worn out her welcome in Cambridge. As word of her healing powers has spread, so have rumors of witchcraft. So Adelia and her household ride to Glastonbury, where the investigation into the abbey fire will be overseen by the Church authorities—in this case, the Bishop of St. Albans, who happens also to be the father of Adelia’s daughter.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Eloquently sketched characters, including a ragtag group of Glastonbury men down on their luck, and bits of medieval lore flavor the constantly unfolding plot." - Publishers Weekly.

"The ending leaves an opening for yet another adventure for this cast of characters. Highly recommended for all mystery collections." - Library Journal.

"A well-researched, colorful, sometimes comical and often engaging mystery, although the series is beginning to show more signs of familiarity than freshness." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Plenty of dark cellars and caves add a whiff of Gothic to this engaging entry." - Booklist.

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Author Information

Ariana Franklin Author Biography

Ariana Franklin, author of City of Shadows, is the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A former journalist, Norman wrote several critically acclaimed biographies and historical novels.

After working on local newspapers in Devon and the East End of London, Diana Norman became, at twenty years of age, the youngest reporter on what used to be Fleet Street. She married the film critic Barry Norman, and they settled in Hertfordshire with their two daughters. Her first book of fiction, Fitzempress's Law, was chosen by Frank Delaney of BBC Radio 4's Bookshelf as the best example of a historical novel of its year.

She died on 27 January 2011.

As Ariana Franklin she wrote:
City of Shadows (2006)
The Mistress of the Art of Death (2007) - her first book featuring ...

... Full Biography
Link to Ariana Franklin's Website

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