The year: 1171. The place: England, or, more specifically, the road
between Canterbury and Cambridge, as a party of pilgrims travels
home from visiting the newly sainted (and recently murdered) Thomas
a Becket's shrine. The setting for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales?
Perhaps. But it's also the backdrop for the opening of Ariana
Franklin's superb new thriller, MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH.
If you've read Chaucer's tales, you know that pilgrims weren't
necessarily the pious types you might expect. Far from it, in fact.
And so it is among Franklin's pilgrims, although in this case,