Rated of 5
I absolutely LOVED Ariana Franklin's first book in this series, "Mistress in the Art of Death," and couldn't wait to read "Serpent's Tale." Unfortunately, Franklin's second book is just kind of average. It dithers around a lot without moving the plot along much. There's nothing terribly surprising about the mystery. Many of the non-recurring characters are cardboard cutouts. Too many coincidences occur in the plot (something I've always considered to be sloppy writing). Some of it could be just me; I had big expectations that weren't met. Still, the main characters are very appealing, and I'm looking forward to reading a third - and hopefully better - addition to the series.