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A Masterly Murder: 6 (Matthew Bartholomew) Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
She is the creator of the Thomas Chaloner series of mysteries set in Restoration London as well as the Matthew Bartholomew books, and now lives in Wales with her husband, who is also a writer.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's November 1353 in Cambridge and Matthew Bartholomew has deaths to investigate as usual. A master from the neighboring (a bitter rival) Bene't College has fallen from some scaffolding and his fellow master John Runham's book bearer Justus has committed suicide - or has he? When Kenyngham, master of Michaelhouse College decides to retire competition to succeed him his rife but his successor Runham turns out to be even worse than anticipated. Then to cap it all Matt's sister thinks it is high time he was married, and what does former unpopular master Wilson and his doings during the Plague year have to do with it all?
After the excesses of the pervious book (A Wicked Deed) I was glad to discover that Gregory has decided not to make this a comedic series after all. The humor is still there - and frequently most welcome, adding a dimension missing in the majority of modern novels - but it does not swamp the story. The plot is convoluted and teasing as a good mystery should be and I certainly didn't manage to guess it all. As for the history it was interesting to discover that many of the characters actually existed (although presumably not exactly as they are portrayed here) but I don't know enough about mediaeval Cambridge to say whether the utter squalor the masters and students are shown by Gregory to live in is authentic or exaggerated. Gluttonous and scheming Brother Michael provides a much-needed foil to the rather colourless Bartholomew and the tale could certainly stand some editing but otherwise the series seems to be back on track and is certainly very entertaining.
The more you get to know these people (and as real people they do feel) the more you start to like them regardless of all their flaws, possibly even because of them. Of course, as in the previous five novels, there's crime and murder galore for Michael to dig into and Matthew to be dragged into.
I'll be very sorry when I get to the end of the last novel in this series!
In this installment, a new master is elected and he sets about knocking Michaelhouse into the institution he thinks it should be. Long serving fellows are summarily dismissed and for those remaining, they are ruled with a rod of iron. Matthews tenure is threatened and only Brother Michael with his religious and political connections seems immune to the new masters rule.
Just when Bartholomew is seriously considering resigning, the new master is murdered and suspicion falls on the fellows who had conflict with the loathed Runham, including Matthew...
Brilliant read and a wonderfully unexpected ending from one of the UK's foremost medieval crime writers.
Did I like it? You bet! I certainly wasn't prepared for some of the twists and turns as the tale unfolded. I'm in the process of firing up the Kindle to get on with episode 7!
Enjoyable but rather long-winded. The atmosphere is good and the sense of a town always on the edge of violence is conveyed well. The why and how aspect of the mystery was tangled as usual. However, the identity of whodunnit was all too obvious to me. After six adventures it gets a little frustrating that Matthew and his colleagues don't seem to have learned from their past experiences in detection. Some instances, it felt that they made almost impossible links in events - while other more obvious clues were ignored or not understood.
So, a good entry overall, good characterisation - especially from the minor players.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As always a great story, well written with good characters.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am really enjoying this series, I suppose because I'm interested in the middle ages. Beautifully researched and written.Published 13 months ago by Rebreezy
wonderful way of discovering about medieval medicine and historical Cambridge!Published 16 months ago by goddess
Good lighthearted read, some very funny moments and good suspense as the regular characters have developed in personality since book 1.Published 19 months ago by Marty