"While women from the past may have provided inspiration for Franklin's riveting historical thriller-a satisfying mix of political intrigue, scientific detail, and even romance-it's modern-day readers who will reap the benefits from the inroads they made-and the paths along which the author takes them."
—Kirkus Reading Group Guide
"Thanks to Franklin's research and evocative prose, the reader not only enjoys a good whodunit with exceptionally well-formed characters but also learns much about medieval England . . . Franklin weaves a frightening story of serial killings with a cautionary tale of ethnic and religious hatred."
"A superb job . . . gripping . . . very welcome news that the sequel is planned. I have read many medieval mysteries over the years-this one falls in the very top tier."
—Historical Novels Review (Trudi E. Jacobson)
"Terrific book . . . vivid and engaging . . . fascinating details of historical forensic medicine, entertaining notes on women in science . . . wonderfully plotted . . . a historical mystery that succeeds brilliantly as both historical fiction and crime-thriller . . . terrific story."
—The Washington Post Book World
"An irresistible story . . . a fabulous read."
—New York Daily News
"Smart and sophisticated . . . The charming Adelia is a fascinating creation . . . Mistress is a rollicking microcosm of budding science, medieval culture and edge-of-your-seat suspense."
"A morbidly entertaining novel that outdoes the competition in depicting the perversities of human cruelty . . . Franklin makes a good case for restoring the reputation of Henry II . . . vibrant tapestry of medieval life."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Franklin's amusing period details (herbal remedies, Pythonesque nuns, a colorful string of medieval curses) turn a gory mystery into a bloody good show. B+"
"Franklin delivers rich period detail and a bloody good ending reflecting the savagery of the times."
"Franklin presents a fascinating character in Adelia, who is odd for her era and profession yet familiar in her flaws and complexity. This novel will surely please mystery fans as well as lovers of historical fiction."
"Had Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael been born a few decades later, he might have found a worthy associate and friend in Dr. Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar of Salerno . . . Franklin has developed a skillful blend of historical fact and gruesome fiction that's more than sufficient to keep readers interested and entertained."
"CSI meets The Canterbury Tales. Franklin hits commercial paydirt with this criminal investigation drama set in twelfth-century England . . . [she] has devised an appealing amalgam of genres . . . a potentially winning formula, delivered with panache."
—Kirkus (starred review)
"Ariana Franklin's in-depth research produces a gripping narrative with meticulous detail about everything from the topography of Cambridge to race relations to medical conventions of the era. The issue of religious warfare strikes a particularly modern chord."
"Great fun! Franklin succeeds in vividly bringing the twelfth century to life with this cracking good story. Expertly researched, a brilliant heroine, full of excellent period detail."
—Kate Mosse, New York Times-bestselling author of Labyrinth
"The bold, brilliant heroine of Mistress of the Art of Death is the medieval answer to Kay Scarpetta and the CSI detectives. This is a compelling, unique, and vibrant page-turner."
—Karen Harper, bestselling author of the Elizabeth I mystery series