Liked the premise and the characters a great deal. The mistress of the art of death was like a 12th century Kay Scarpetta. I like stories in which I learn new things--in this case, you can learn a lot about 12th century England without the author behaving like a show off. I enjoyed the beginning and the end the most. The middle was a little soggy, and the reveal of the murderer flashed by so quickly that as a plot point it was really not fulfilling though there were a few good red herrings along the way. The book forfeited its earlier robust storytelling to become an indictment of the Catholic Church. I didn't really believe a character like Adelia would speak to the King of England the way she did. I did however really enjoy the notes at the end, where she explains why certain anachronisms were used because it made for better storytelling. Overall, a worthwhile read.