A Murderous Procession is the fourth in Franklin's A Mistress of the Art of Death series. Henry II has ordered Adelia Aguilar to accompany the procession that will take his ten-year-old daughter Joanna to Palermo for her wedding to William of Sicily.
Adelia is frustrated and angry because Henry had ordered that she leave her daughter Allie behind with Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry's imprisoned wife. This leaves an interesting opening for the next novel which will, I hope, spent a little time on what Allie learns under Eleanor's tutelage.
The difficulty of Adelia's relationship with Rowley has annoyed me in the past and is not resolved...although there are a couple of twists in their relationship that occur in this novel that I would not have expected.
The long and difficult journey to Sicily is full of danger. A character from a previous novel has joined the procession intent on destroying Adelia, association with the Cathars threaten Adelia and others, accusations of witchcraft are hurled, and even in tolerant Sicily, ignorance, prejudice, and superstition are having their tragic consequences.
As usual, Franklin does an excellent job of incorporating historical characters and events, giving the reader insight into the medieval period in which Adelia's story takes place.
Fiction. Historical Mystery. 2010. 352 pages.