Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar is a Mistress of the Art of Death. In another word, she is a forensic doctor. Temperance Brennan in medieval England, indeed, with a mouthful of a name! She, unlike Temperance Brennan, though was described as ‘dumpy’ and ‘plain’ yet she is in a way still attractive to men and precious to others around her.
Found on abandoned as a baby on Mt Vesuvius and adopted by doctor parents, she found herself attracted to the medical profession and talented in the forensics side of things. In this first book, she was sent by the King of Sicily to England to assist in hunting down a killer on the loose. Undescribable crimes are being committed against young children and the Jews are being blamed for these crimes. Adelia will need to gather all her strength in examining the remains of these children and also all her courage in facing this ‘barbarian’ world in which a woman with her skills may be condemned as a witch.
I really really like this book. It has a very good balance of mystery, humour, and romance. I was kept guessing all the way to the end. I did expect it to be more gruesome due to some reviews I read so I was prepared but didn’t find it as gruesome as the Brennan series. If however, you are very particular about your history, this book may not be for you as the author has taken some liberties. As I’m not very particular about my history though, this book is just perfect 😉