Susan’s Book Talk: The Serpent’s Tale


I haven’t talked about the books I’ve been reading lately because, frankly, I haven’t been reading much. Between editing, the whole single-parenting thing, and reviewing for the book reviewing people, I don’t have a lot of reading time.

In fact, I’m about to make a big push to catch up on some of the Rock Fiction that authors have been kind enough to send my way.

But first, I wanted to talk about Ariana Franklin’s The Serpent’s Tale. It’s neither a book I was supposed to review, nor is it Rock Fiction. (Not if it’s set in the 11th century or whatnot!)

It was a book club book.

Yeah, you know: that book club I’ve been part of for years now. (Still not sure? Go under Extras above and scroll down.)

We’d read Mistress of the Art of Death as a group and really liked it, so we put The Serpent’s Tale on our list (we also have the other two on it now). And… it wasn’t as good as the first, not by a longshot, but what intrigued me about it was that for part of the book, it became a classic closed-room mystery. You know the type: like what Agatha Christie was known for. Everyone locked in a space together, with no way in or out and a killer among us.

I’d have liked to see Ms. Franklin do more with that structure and let her main character, Adelia, shine within it, but the book wasn’t meant to be that sort of mystery. Still, I wish one of the interviewers who got a chance to chat with her (or the person she was when she wasn’t being Ariana Franklin) had asked about it. Was it a conscious decision? Did she mean to set the characters up this way, or did it happen because the setting demanded it?

Ahh, if only… if only…

But one thing I did find interesting: of all the online reviews I read, I’m the only one who picked up on that. Makes me wonder if I’m seeing something that’s really not there, or if I’m just an overeducated woman with nothing better to do…

Scary thought, either way.


1 Comment

  1. Alice Audrey

    December 10, 2012 1:38 pm

    I suspect over educated. 😀 I assume you mentioned it to your reading group. Did any of them go, “Oh, yeah. You’re right.” ?

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