The Serpent's Tale The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While it stands alone in terms of plot, I would recommend reading Mistress of the Art of Death first, because the stories are really more about the characters and their world than about the mystery. Like the first book, this one has its gruesome and disturbing moments, and the England of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine is never romanticized. Adelia continues to give us that handy outsider perspective and of course uses her medical knowledge to solve murders that others don’t even recognize as more than accidents, the work of highwaymen, or suicide. The supporting characters always keep things lively, including Adelia’s baby, who is more realistic and fleshed out than most fictional babies. I’m glad I switched to the audio version for this installment, because the reading is really, really excellent – Kate Reading’s voice makes it impossible to imagine any other, and she does fantastic, fairly subtle voices.

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