I haven’t posted in a while, because I haven’t been able to get much reading done. I’m just recovering from what seems like my monthly cold. I did manage to finish The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Smith. I picked it up, because I couldn’t resist the cover. There was something about it that would have appealed to me as a kid. I think it reminds me of all the John Bellairs books that I read that had Edward Gorey covers. Anyway. It was a great story about a group of young kids (orphans of course!) who answer an add in the paper seeking out gifted students. After being subjected to a bizarre sequence of tests, 4 children are chosen for a secret mission to save the world. The children each have unique talents and though you are drawn toward Reynard as the reluctant leader of the group, I personally enjoyed Kate the best. Why? She doesn’t go anywhere without her trusty bucket! Did I mention that it’s filled with gadgets? I thought that it was a little dark and sinister for a kid’s book, but given all that kids are exposed to, it probably isn’t. A fun read anyway.
I’ve finally started The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. I’m liking it very much though I’m afraid that it will get too gruesome for me. I know I’m a complete wimp. It’s about a 12th century forensic doctor, who just happens to be a woman. 12th Century? Who new? But it’s a little more complicated then that. The King of Sicily requested that she be sent along with one of his best investigators to England to find out who is murdering children in Cambridge and to clear the names of the Jews who are blamed for the deaths. Henry II has the Jews under his protection until the matter can be resolved.
I don’t know much about the 12th C, so I did a little digging and found out some interesting things. Henry the II married Eleanor of Acquitaine. She had been married to the King of France and they had 2 children, but then they had their marriage annulled. I kind of thought it was a little more difficult than that? Next she married Henry II and they had 8 children, but at some point their marriage hit a snag and Eleanor was imprisoned for 16 years. Okay, that’s oversimplifying things a little, but I love reading a historical novel and then filling in the gaps in my knowledge of history.