The Death Maze

by Ariana Franklin | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 9780553818017 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingNu-Kneeswing of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on 7/23/2009
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12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, July 23, 2009
I love Medieval novels, I particularly love Medieval murder mystery novels, and several people have told me I ought to try Ariana Franklin's works, so I was delighted to find this one in a charity shop in York yesterday afternoon. As it appears to be the second in a series, it may not be the best one to start with, but I've never had any problem with reading books out of order, so I'm quite happy to try it anyway!

From the back cover: "Henry II's favourite mistress, Rosamund Clifford has been poisoned - and, rumour says, by his jealous wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. If Henry believes the stories, England will be torn apart as King battles Queen.

"In a race against time to prove Eleanor's innocence, and with a dangerous assassin on the loose, Adelia (Aguilar, England's first anatomist) has never faced greater danger. The armies that might cause civil war lie behind her. The icy winds of a dreadful winter blow around her. And ahead she must brave the thorns of the impenetrable labyrinth that surrounds Fair Rosamund's tower, and decipher the mystery of the dead woman who lies frozen within."

Yes, that sounds like my kind of mystery!

Journal Entry 2 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, October 30, 2009
Now that I'm reading a borrowed copy of Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin's first novel featuring Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar, this second one is high on my priority list of books to be read next.
Apparently there are four in this series:
1. Mistress of the Art of Death
2. The Death Maze - also called The Serpent's Tale
3. Relics of the Dead - also called Grave Goods
4. A Murderous Procession - also to be called The Assassin's Prayer, due out in 2010
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Later: I read The Assassin's Prayer and loved it, absolutely loved it, but no link because I read a library copy. Now I can't wait for the presumed Book number 5 :-)

Journal Entry 3 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, November 01, 2009
What can I say? I've discovered a new favourite author. I can't praise this series highly enough. I've loved the two I've read, becoming totally engrossed in the history and the mystery. The rather explicit Prologue to this one meant I identified the assassin's paymaster as soon as he appeared but it took me longer to find the assassin and knowing/guessing didn't spoil the suspense in any way. Well done, AF! (aka Diana Norman, Mrs Barry Norman, film critic-extraordinaire, apparently!)

Journal Entry 4 by wingNu-Kneeswing at York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, November 01, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (11/1/2009 UTC) at York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom

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Given to tree-hugger as an introduction to Medieval murder mysteries, one of my favourite genres. She's been reading Tudor books as part of York's Tudor Summer celebrating 500 years since Henry VIII came to the throne but I don't think she's yet familiar with Henry II. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 5 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, December 31, 2009
Reclaimed from tree-hugger who's overwhelmed with at least two years' worth of books to be read....

Journal Entry 6 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, January 09, 2010
Tree-hugger's visiting us this weekend. She forgot to pack her current book. Guess what she's reading instead? This could get silly .... :-)

Journal Entry 7 by tree-hugger from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, January 10, 2010
I'm staying with Nu-Knees this weekend, and forgot to bring a book!!! This book came to the rescue - plucked from Nu-Knees' shelves. I'm on page 70ish and am enjoying it so far, although as with any second book it's a gallop through what you've missed. It's fun and easy to read and I expect I'll enjoy it.

Journal Entry 8 by tree-hugger from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Thanks for this Nu-Knees. I enjoyed it, and thought the heroine and her love interest were both wonderful characters. I'll get it back to you soon.

Journal Entry 9 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Back from Tree-hugger, thank you, ready to be parcelled up and sent on its travels again....

Journal Entry 10 by wingNu-Kneeswing at Harrogate, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Released 11 yrs ago (1/28/2010 UTC) at Harrogate, North Yorkshire United Kingdom

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Together with Book 3 (Grave Goods), this is taking my very best wishes across the seas to mrsgaskell! Book 1 (Mistress of the Art of Death) is flying on ahead....

Journal Entry 11 by wingrem_CJL-230711wing on Monday, March 15, 2010
It's always delightful to receive a parcel of books in the mail!! And those that come from a special source in Yorkshire are always especially good!! Thank you again, Nu-Knees, for keeping me provided with good reading. I am looking forward to this series and will be starting soon (reading another of your gifts at the moment - The Secret Scripture).

Journal Entry 12 by wingrem_CJL-230711wing on Monday, May 03, 2010
I enjoyed this second volume in the Mistress of the Art of Death series every bit as much as the first!

After successfully investigating a series of child murders in Cambridge, Adelia Aguilar had wanted to return to Salerno but King Henry II refused to let her go. Resented by the medical practitioners of Cambridge, she and her bodyguard Mansur have moved to the fens where Adelia must still pretend to be Mansur’s assistant. A trained anatomist, she is in the process of delivering a baby for the first time when she is again summoned on the King’s business. His mistress, Fair Rosamund, has been poisoned and it is rumored that the Queen (Eleanor of Aquitane) is responsible. If so, the country will be plunged into civil war again. This series has great characters and it was a pleasure to read of their further adventures, as well as to learn more about this period of history.

Thanks for another very good read, Nu-Knees! I wasn't as perceptive as you and I'm afraid I didn't identify the assassin's paymaster until he was revealed near the end.

I have passed on the first volume of this series to gypsysmom, and I think it likely that she will want the second, too.

Journal Entry 13 by wingrem_CJL-230711wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, May 22, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (5/22/2010 UTC) at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

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CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Passed this on to gypsysmom when we met at The Crusty Bun for coffee; they were closing in five minutes but let us stay and enjoy our goodies and coffee while they cleaned up. Thanks for treating me gypsysmom - next time is on me! Hope you enjoy this series - volume 3 to follow in the near future.

Journal Entry 14 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, May 29, 2010
Athough I haven't had a chance to read Mistress of the Art of Death yet I trust Nu-Knees and mrsgaskell when they recommend a book to me. So I'm excited to have this book as a follow up to the other. I think they'll be summer reading and I'm looking forward to them.

Thanks mrsgaskell for the book and the teas and the beautiful Butchart Garden bookmark. It was lovely to see you a week ago and my apologies for taking so long to journal this. I should have done it right away but when I didn't and I found the new BC site was giving some problems I decided to wait. It seems to be handling new JEs now so I think it's safe.

Journal Entry 15 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Monday, January 03, 2011
Bad gypsysmom for waiting so long to read this. I can only plead that there were books on Mount TBR that have been waiting even longer to be read. Having turned my workmates on to this series by passing around The Mistress of the Art of Death I was facing some pressure to pass on the second book in the series. And, I gave my brother-in-law TMOTAOD for Christmas so I'm sure he (and my sister) will be wanting to read this one as well. So I spent the first few days of 2011 with my nose in this book whenever I had a chance. And it was well worth it.

I imagine there are probably people living in England today who think this year has given them the worst winter ever but from the sounds of the winter portrayed in this book they haven't seen anything. Fifteen feet high drifts, the Thames freezing, people dying of exposure--heck, it could be Canada!

Nu-Knees and mrsgaskell have given a fair synopsis of the plot. Anything more I could say would probably include spoilers so I'll just talk about some of the things I found interesting in the details.

First off, I am woefully ignorant about England's geography so I had never realized that the Thames went north from London through Oxford and past. Realizing this makes me want to pull out a book I have on Mount TBR, The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys. So I think that's what I'll be reading next.

Secondly, the details about travelling, whether by horse or boat or on foot before there were good roads made me realize how easy we have it in comparison. I looked on Google Maps how far Godstow Abbey was from Cambridge and it's about 78 miles. Even going a fairly roundabout way by car would only take about 2 hours according to Google. Adelia and Rowley and the crew left at daybreak and didn't get to the bridge outside of the abbey until well after dark.

Finally, the treatment of women in medieval times made me realize we really have come a long way. Adelia still had to pretend to be Mansur's assistant in order to accomplish her work, Emma was kidnapped and married against her will and no-one could do anything once the deed had been done and even, Eleanor of Aquitaine was imprisoned by her husband who was supposedly quite progressive at the time.

Very interesting stuff together with a couple of mysterious deaths to unravel. I can only hope the rest of 2011 proceeds as well as it started out. Thanks Nu-Knees and mrsgaskell for passing this gift on. I'll send it on its way tomorrow.

Journal Entry 16 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, January 07, 2011
Took the book to work the first day back after holidays and my friend PF was very happy to get it. After her it will go to BellBelle and then to my librarian friend. Then probably my sister and brother-in-law will want to read it.

Journal Entry 17 by BellBelle at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Monday, January 24, 2011
Gypsysmom left this book for me at work in case I 'wanted something to read' over the weekend. Started it Fri evening and just finished it this evening (Sun.) Read most of it wrapped in a blanket - yes it was cold here this weekend (windchills of -32C etc.) but on top of that I think that the author's description of cold, snowy England pre-central heating were a bit more realistic than I was counting on. This was the second book by this author that I read and I enjoyed it very much. I did manage to figure out who one of the murderers was but totally missed one of the others until he was 'unmasked'. I do hope that there are more in the series and that Gyspysmom will pass them on to me if they come her way. I think I need to go back to my English history books and read up on the Plantagenets (I'm more of a Tudor buff but think I could be convinced to expand my area of interest - at least as far as historical fiction is concerned). I'll return this book to Gypsysmom tomorrow so that she can pass it to the next eager reader.

Journal Entry 18 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, January 25, 2011
BellBelle brought this to me first thing this morning and I took it down to my librarian friend. She got lots of books for Christmas but when I told her BellBelle had read it over the weekend she got this look in her eyes. I suspect it may take precedence over some of her other books.

Journal Entry 19 by winggypsysmomwing at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Released 10 yrs ago (2/9/2011 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I'm going to take this book to the meet-up tonight. Since we've hooked K-i-s-m-e-t on this series she might take it home. If not, it will be on the OBCZ shelves waiting for a new reader. This release is for the 2011 Never Judge a Book by its Cover release challenge - Week 6 (red printing for author's name or book title).

Journal Entry 20 by K-i-s-m-e-t at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, February 10, 2011
You're right! I'm hooked! :-)
Thanks for passing this along to me! Good timing too...I was just wondering what I'd like to read next. So I'm all curled up with a hot chocolate and two cats to keep me warm and a good book in my hands. I hope it's not a mistake to start reading this on a school night... ;-)

Journal Entry 21 by twiggynomore at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Kismet gave this book to me tonight at the meeting....I have been waiting to read this series but it will have to wait until I finish the book I am currently reading. Thanks for passing it on.

Journal Entry 22 by twiggynomore at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (8/10/2011 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

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Taking this book to our monthly meeting....if nobody takes it home it will be waiting on the shelves for its next journey.

Journal Entry 23 by winggypsysmomwing at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (10/12/2011 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I'll take this book to the meet-up tonight. If no-one takes it home it will be waiting on the OBCZ shelves for a new reader.

Journal Entry 24 by wingwinnipegobczwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, October 13, 2011
This book is currently sitting on the Winnipeg Official Bookcrossing Zone bookshelf in the loft of The Park Theatre & Movie Café, 698 Osborne Street, Winnipeg MB.

It is waiting there for a new reader to take home, read, and release back into the wild!


Winnipeg bookcrossers meet at my location on the second Tuesday of every month at 7pm to chat about books, swap great reads, and release on the OBCZ shelves. Please join us! We love to see new faces! You will enjoy the comfy atmosphere, the fabulous coffees and teas, and the yummy treats!

Journal Entry 25 by judysh at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, February 09, 2012
Brought home from the monthly meetup at the Park Theatre.

Journal Entry 26 by judysh at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, March 15, 2012

Released 9 yrs ago (3/15/2012 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

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Off Calgary bookcrossing - enjoy!

Journal Entry 27 by sing-song at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Oops - I missed recording that I brought this home from the one meeting. Sorry Winnipeg - its turn will be soon!

Journal Entry 28 by sing-song at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Enjoyed this book. Mystery in a historical setting. Adelia is a very interesting heroine and interesting reading about the political intrigue. Thanks to Winnipeg and Nu-Knees in the UK for passing this along.

Journal Entry 29 by sing-song at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Saturday, August 11, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (8/11/2012 UTC) at Calgary, Alberta Canada

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Taking this book to the July meeting at Joshua Tree Cafe. Thanks Winnipeg.

Journal Entry 30 by soccergal at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Saturday, August 11, 2012
Picked up at the August Calgary Bookcrossing Meeting.

Journal Entry 31 by soccergal at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Friday, September 12, 2014
Great story telling. This is the second in the series, so I will be tracking down the first.

Journal Entry 32 by soccergal at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Friday, September 12, 2014

Released 6 yrs ago (9/12/2014 UTC) at Calgary, Alberta Canada

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Bringing back to the Bookcrossing monthly meeting.

Journal Entry 33 by Crossing-Guard at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Saturday, September 13, 2014
As always it was awesome to see everyone at today's meeting. I picked this one up and am adding it to my TBR shelf.

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