The final novel in the Mistress of the Art of Death series featuring Adelia Aguilar is soon to be released. Death and the Maiden by Samantha Norman completes the series begun by her mother Diana Norman (writing as Ariana Franklin).
The first books are set during the reign of Henry II, and the main character, Adelia Aguilar is a medical doctor trained in Salerno, Italy. In the first books, her friend Mansur takes the role as doctor with Adelia as his assistant. Because she is a woman, Adelia must rely on this subterfuge in order to practice her skills: investigative, medical, and logical.
In Death and the Maiden, Adelia is older and Henry II has died, but Adelia has been training her daughter Allie to succeed her in her medical (and investigative) capacity, and it is Allie who becomes the main protagonist in this book. Adelia and Rowley make welcome appearances, but the story revolves around Allie.
When Adelia injures her ankle, Allie is allowed to go to Ely without her to care for their friend Gyltha, who is ill. As Gyltha recovers, Allie enjoys the sense of independence, but she but she is also concerned about the disappearances of several young women in the area. A handsome young lord from a neighboring estate adds a hint possible romance (which would greatly appease Rowley, who is eager to see his daughter married). But then Hawise, a young woman who has been a friend during Allie's stay, disappears and the suspense mounts.
Hopefully, Samantha Norman will take the opportunity to write further of the adventures of Allie, even if Adelia and Rowley stay a bit in the background.
Read in May. Blog review scheduled for Oct. 1, 2020.
NetGalley/Harper Collins/William Morrow
Historical Mystery. Oct. 20, 2020. Print length: 416 pages.