Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh, the Pain!

Sorry no post yesterday guys and gals. I meant to, I really did. I had a session with a personal trainer yesterday (my gym is actually really cheap compared to others and the training sessions are pretty affordable for someone in a pinch - like me). 

My high school reunion is coming up and I, sadly, have gained since leaving my 8 hours a day on my feet job at the bookstore for a desk job. One would think that since I currently work from home that it would be easier to get to the gym and watch what I eat. And actually, I found out that in the just over a year that I've worked from home, I've not gained any weight (yay!). No, I gained it all in the two years before that (boo!). So I'm maintaining at least. But I want to be in better shape in general and especially for my reunion. 

So, too much information there! I got home yesterday and was already in quite a bit of pain and totally exhausted. No post (yeah, I should have done it before hand). 

Anyway, one of the love/hate things I have about the gym is that I want to actually get some reading done while I'm there. I'm not in my own home and can't choose my tv programming, so I want to read. That's only really possible for me on the stationary bike, though. And the stationary bike, while being a workout, is not as much of a workout as, say, the arc trainers. Ah well, I still do the bike for my cool down and my current gym buddy is Ariana Franklin's The Serpent's Tale. Grave Goods, book three in the series, is due out on Tuesday and I'm trying to catch up. 

So, I already posted about the first in this historical mystery series, Mistress of the Art of Death, and now it's time for book two. (See here for previous post)

In the time since solving the mystery of the murdered children in Cambridge, Adelia and her caravan have been exiled to the countryside (the Fens). Not truly exiled, but in order to escape murmurings of witchcraft and seeing as how her bodyguard is from the dreaded East... In that time, Adelia has also given birth to Allie, her child out of wedlock thanks to her affair with Rowley (now a man of the cloth after the King's promotion). But Adelia, Mansur, and even Gyltha have been living quite happily with their peaceful country life, until Rowley summons. It seems that someone has tried to poison the King's mistress and Rowley fears that the people (and the King) will blame Queen Eleanor who he is sure is innocent. They all pack up, baby included (and Rowley couldn't be happier about his offspring) to Godstow, where they promptly discover their first body. Adelia believes that the body was meant to be found and so, in order to throw off and later unmask the murderer, they obtain permission from the local convent to hide the body in its icehouse. That taken care of, Adelia, Mansur, and Rowley travel to the tower that is the home of the Rosamund the Fair. Having examined the poisonous mushrooms, Adelia has surmised that the deathcap could be responsible and, if so, then Rosamund is done for. And so she is. Adelia's initial examination of the body is disturbed, however, by some very unexpected visitors. After that, all goes to hell in a handbasket, but I'll let you all discover why. 

I just get so excited about a great read and Serpent's Tale is truly a great read! Adelia is a fabulous character and Rowley, well, in spite of his current position, it's clear that Adelia's thoughts about his feelings for her are wrong. And again, Franklin incorporates actual events into her story. Rosamund the Fair, or Rosamund Clifford, was a longtime mistress of King Henry II. She did retire to the nunnery in Godstow (the town in which the story takes place), but it doesn't appear that there was any mystery surrounding her death. Still, the story that she lived in a home surrounded by a labyrinth, and the poisoning itself, are part of popular legend. And of course it makes for a great murder mystery as well. 

For more on this wonderful series, and this title in particular, visit the site at: www.arianafranklin.com

Even if you aren't a big fan of historicals, I think you'll still quite enjoy this series. And who knows, it could lead you to seek out more of this sort as well. I'll keep you posted once I get to Grave Goods, but I'm certain it's going to be just as wonderful. And to wrap up my Ariana Franklin stuff, I'll have to post about City of Shadows one of these days. It was my first and I loved every single minute of it (it's about Anastasia).

1 comment:

Vickie said...

I can empathize, chickie! Have my own self-challenge going to get my butt in gear and slim some of the fluff down..argh....

I have the first in this series/trilogy? and trying to figure out when I will be ready for it. It's on the nightstand, at least.

Thanks for making me look forward to the next one!