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The Serpent's Tale


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About the Author

Ariana Franklin is the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A bestselling author and former journalist, she lives in England with her husband, the film critic Barry Norman.


Set in 12th-century England, Franklin's mesmerizing second historical delivers on the promise of her first, Mistress of the Art of Death (2007). When Rosamund Clifford, Henry II's mistress, is poisoned, Dr. Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar must draw on her formidable forensic skills to try to uncover the killer. The prime suspect is Henry's estranged wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who once plotted to overthrow the king. Adelia reunites with Rowley Picot, now a bishop as well as the father of Adelia's child, and the two set out on a dangerous journey, during which they brave a blizzard and Eleanor's band of ruthless mercenaries. Franklin, the pen name of Diana Norman, brings medieval England to life, from the maze surrounding Rosamund's tower to the royal court's Christmas celebration, with ice skating on the frozen Thames. A colorful cast of characters, both good and evil, enhance a tale that will keep readers on edge until the final page. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Mistress of the Art of Death, Adelia Aguilar is back after a rousing debut. Now she's investigating the poisoning of King Henry II's mistress-which gets her in big trouble with the chief suspect, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"A deliciously dark and effective concoction of historical fiction, suspense, romance, adventure and forensics."
-Miami Herald

"An irresistible novel."
-New York Daily News

"A brilliant tapestry of medieval life and death."
-Richmond Times-Dispatch

-Chicago Sun-Times

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