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Relics of the Dead
Published in the US as Grave Goods
Adelia Aguilar Mystery - Book 3

by Ariana Franklin


Mistress of the Art of Death Adelia Aguilar is summoned to the presence of King Henry II and entrusted with another mission. He believes that the Celts in general (and the Welsh in particular) need subduing, but this cannot be done while they still believe that the "once and future king" Arthur is still alive. During an earthquake some years earlier an old monk had a vision that he saw somebody being buried, and now the skeletons of Arthur and Guinevere have come to light—or have they? King Henry wants Adelia to say that this is indeed who they are, dead and gone forever. But nothing is going to be as simple as he hopes.

If you want something different to the common run of historical mysteries these certainly fit the bill. Combining a narrative style that almost borders on the cozy with events that are anything but, this is a strange mix of humor, horror and mystery. Adelia has to authenticate the skeletons, while hunting down a party of missing people and bringing some old sins with some very long shadows to light. Her characters could do with a little shading, as nearly everybody is either good or bad, with a sharp line dividing the two; and if you are hoping for hardcore history you won’t find it. But you will find something curiously compelling, as this book is many things, but boring is not one of them.

The Book

Bantam Press (Transworld UK)
13 August 2009
Trade Paperback
0593062744 / 9780593062746
Historical Mystery / 1170s / Glastonbury, Somerset, England
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009