Reading is going slowly so I looked back to an older unposted review by an author I appreciated. I am sad she is gone. I would like to have read more books involving Adelia.
24. - 434.) The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin – Salerno doctor of death, Adelia, is called upon by former lover, Bishop Rowley, to investigate the poisoning of Rosamund, lover of King Henry II. Adelia, in her guise as Mansur’s helper, has become Henry’s secret investigator. The estranged Queen Eleanor is suspected. If she orchestrated the killing civil war is a certainty. A shadowy assassin is involved. To my surprise Adelia has a baby from the liason with Rowley. While not a family it is a rare event in mystery fiction for the hero(ine) to have a child. As Rowley, Adelia, Mansur, Glytha and baby Allie travel to the tower, surrounded by a maze, in which Rosamund lived they encounter a fierce English winter storm (it sounded like a classic Canadian prairie blizzard). Initially they are storm stayed at Godstow Abbey. The murder of a young gentleman on the bridge to the Abbey is another puzzle. An early criminalist, Adelia, seeks to examine crime scenes and bodies before the evidence around them is compromised by other investigators and the curious. The bitter weather, in an era, when winter travel was precarious and dangerous is as much a challenge as the minimal clues. Adelia, following the approach of countless mystery detectives exemplified by Spenser, pokes around until the murderer reacts. The history is interesting. The plot flows well. They are not too many bodies. The characters are not stereotypes (not every bad guy is ugly with a miserable personality). The suspense builds through the book.The solution is credible. Hardcover or paperback. (June 11/08)