And on to A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin, the final book of the Mistress of the Art of Death series. Except that it isn't. Or shouldn't be. Or wasn't supposed to be. And I really don't want it to be. Perhaps I should explain. Ariana is the pen name for Diana Norman, a British author and journalist. After the above book was published and before another installment in the series could begin, Ms. Norman passed away. While of course this is a sad fact for Ms. Norman's family and friends, her devoted readers are also grieved that such a wonderful talent has been taken from us. I have loved reading these books and I looked forward to discovering what would happen to the characters next. Adelia has learned so much and grown to love so many. And the people Adelia loves, the reader loves. These personalities are funny and smart and charming and I'm not yet ready to let them go.
When Adelia is angry with the man with whom she is in love:
He says, "'Not forgiven me yet, then?''
'You will. I'm too charming to withstand for long.' He winked at her and walked off to talk to Lord Ivo.
The trouble is you are, Adelia thought."
He has charmed Adelia and the reader as well.
Later when the time comes for Adelia to move from one place to another, she is sorry to have to say farewell to a new, but close friend.
"Dear God, but she would miss Fabrisse, who had become her twin. When it was time for the two of them to say good-bye, they clung to each other, rendered almost inarticulate by a parting that would inevitably be permanent."
Perhaps that was a bit of foreshadowing because I am so sorry to say good-bye to these books. And can I tell you the most frustrating thing about this novel? It ends in a cliffhanger.
Normally, I'm not a big fan of cliffhangers anyway because I rarely need such a push to continue a series, but I'm really not a fan in this case. There will be no more series. There will be no final conclusion, no resolution to the story. I suppose the benefit in that is that I can finish the series in my head just the way I prefer. I've done it before when book doesn't conclude like I think it should.
I do have a very dear friend who contacted the publisher to extend her condolences upon learning of Ms. Norman's passing and they were able to tell her a little about what they believed the author intended for the series. If you read all the books, I will pass that little tidbit of information on to you. I have truly enjoyed these books and I will still recommend them to anyone who likes a good juicy mystery. They get me every time- I never know "who did it" even when I'm really trying to figure it out.