The Serpent's Tale (2008) Hearing the phrase "forensic whodunit in medieval England," you might think Ariana Franklin's The Serpent's Tale will read like "Er, I fink he got hit… 2008-01-31 Fiction Mystery and Thriller Putnam
Book Review

The Serpent's Tale (2008)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Jan 31, 2008; Writer: Ariana Franklin; Genres: Fiction, Mystery and Thriller; Publisher: Putnam

Hearing the phrase ''forensic whodunit in medieval England,'' you might think Ariana Franklin's The Serpent's Tale will read like ''Er, I fink he got hit in the head wiv a shovel...mystery solved!'' But this second outing of Dr. Adelia Aguilar — scholarly Italian expat and gifted coroner — is an impeccably researched tapestry of murder most foul, regal intrigue, and heady feminism. King Henry II's mistress is dead and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine is being framed for the deed, so Adelia must clear her name to avert civil war. While Tale gets a bit sluggish in the middle, it's a refreshing take on a well-worn genre.B+

Originally posted Jan 25, 2008 Published in issue #976 Feb 01, 2008 Order article reprints