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The Hand Of Justice: 10 (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew)
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I know that historical fiction is not usually at the top of the best seller lists and I guess that it is not really a subject that appeals to the mainstream book reading public, but if ever an author deserved best sellers Susanna Gregory is certainly one of them.

She is not as prolific a writer as many of the authors who write this style of book and the anticipation of waiting for a new title can be quite frustrating for the reader. However the wait is always worthwhile.

I am not sure whether it is Matthew Bartholomew himself, or the setting of Cambridge in the mid-fourteenth century but Miss Gregory's books seem to carry an aura all of their own. Certainly for me and hopefully for other readers as well.

Cambridge 1355, the townspeople and the students of Cambridge are as always at one another's throats. Although the students bring status and wealth to the City the people of Cambridge still consider them louts and trouble makers.

The tension has increased with the return to the City of two well-born murderers. They have been released by none other than the King himself, after he deemed that a Royal pardon was appropriate. The pair are showing no remorse whatsoever and are more than ready to confront the citizens who helped in their conviction in the first place.

In the middle of all this Bartholomew is called to a local mill where two corpses have been found. Is there a connection between the bodies and the release of the murderers. Is anything that simple in 14th century Cambridge.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2004
Susanna Gregory has written nine previous volumes about her medieval sleuth set in 14th century Cambridge, all of them were excellent, this is no exception, except she has excelled herself with characterisation and descriptive narrative.
Historical crime novels seem to be the poor relations when it comes to sales, but Gregory, Bernard Knight, Paul Doherty and Peter Tremayne are every bit as good as the 'moderns' such as Harlan Coben and the like, indeed, I would suggest that more research goes into their books as the settings are acurate for the time periods. So, if you are looking for a crime novel and want to read the best - buy this book and put Susanna Gregory and her medieval world at the top of the best sellers list where she belongs. Oh, and don't forget the other authors I mentioned.
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on 26 May 2015
As the 10th book in a series of twice that number you might expect the stories to have become formulaic but this is clever and intriguing and sheds light on the scandalous business of the medieval church trading on superstition by promoting dubious objects to make money. Talking of which there is the scandal of greedy publishers keeping the prices artificially high in this prolific series. This probably explains why Susanna Gregory does not have the sales ranking she deserves. I see that they have increased the price of this book since I bought it. What a way to attract readers!! I shall be resisting the strong temptation to buy the remaining ten books until the Publishers realise that if best sellers can be sold in huge numbers under the £ 4.00 price mark they are not doing their author any favours by keeing the prices ridiculously high.
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on 16 December 2012
The book arrived well on time in the condition quoted plus it was at a good price. I started to read Susanna Gregory's Mathew Bartholemew series a couple of years ago and found them to be an excellent read. Based around life at Cambridge university around the time of the plague and like Midsomer, dead bodies turn up on a regular basis and Mathew and his Monk friend Michael follow the clues to find the murderer/s. You have to enjoy a Medieval Murder mystery and some information is often repeated across the series but then you have to cater for anyone just 'dipping in'. I find that you get sucked in and want to know the outcome and that's all you want from a good book.
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on 31 July 2013
I am a great fan of the Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles. They all have a beginning, middle and end and are a great read. The characters are all believable and the way Susanna Gregory describes the times you can almost smell the dirt that is lying around in the town of Cambridge. It is also possible after reading just 2 of these chronices to really imagine the charactes and almost feel that you would meet them in the street.

I have all the rest of the books on my Kindle waiting to me read.

I would recommend anyone who wants to read a rattling good story that will, in parts, make you smile if not laugh outright.

Gilly
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I am reading this series of books in order and I wonder at Susanna Gregory's ability to keep the stories fresh and exciting.Taking the real events and people of Cambridge in and around the years of the great plague she weaves tales of murder and mayhem in the young university town of Cambridge.I like the relationship between Matthew Bartholomew a physician and Michael the portly friar who keeps the peace amongst the students.They are deftly weaved storylines and plots and well worth getting to know especially if the medieval period appeals.
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on 16 April 2013
Having read all Gregory's Chaloner books I've been working working my way happily through the Bartholomew Chronicles. But feel utterly disappointed and disillusioned by this one, as Gregory herself inadvertently provides her key murderer with an alibi that makes the 'solution' totally impossible. Also, the chronology of when the key murderer obtained the neccessary poison is logically flawed. Can't believe neither Gregory nor her editor picked up on this. Shan't be reading any more of her books now.
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on 6 August 2013
Susanna Gregory shows once again that she is the master of historical mysteries. This book is well researched and written with a skill that totally absorbs the reader, taking you with her heroes on an adventure in 14th century Cambridge. Twists, turns and the occasional red herring keep the pages turning.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 October 2013
I'm loving this series of books, I literally can't put them down! Susanna Gregory really takes you back to medieval Cambridge, so that you can almost smell/feel/hear the sights & sounds of a time gone by. And the mysteries themselves are true page turners with really likeable &believable characters.
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on 4 June 2013
holidays are coming and I can't get enough of these books. so interesting and being a nosey person I need to know more. the stories are a bit repetitive but you still want to know who did it and its never who you think and right at the end you go 'well I never'
love them
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