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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable
I love a crime story that takes me to an old world, gives me a story I can get into as well as giving me a special flavour that demonstrates that mankind hasn't evolved as far as we think we have. This title by Susanna is well written and whilst the 17th story in the series it's one that you can pick up and enjoy without having read the others. It has great twists, some...
Published on 22 Sep 2011 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deserves pride of place in my list of worst books ever written...
Not only is the story annoying, the characters wooden and the dialogue dire it is also extremely repetitious. I didn't count how many times we were told the same things over and over but had I done so I doubt the count would have been less than fifty times for "Zouche was a good man..." and since nearly all the characters either alive or dead are treated in the same way I...
Published 19 months ago by H. Lacroix


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable, 22 Sep 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I love a crime story that takes me to an old world, gives me a story I can get into as well as giving me a special flavour that demonstrates that mankind hasn't evolved as far as we think we have. This title by Susanna is well written and whilst the 17th story in the series it's one that you can pick up and enjoy without having read the others. It has great twists, some wonderfully deceptive sleight of hand and a mystery that will puzzle and mystify to the end. Great fun all in and one that was a real joy to read. Cracking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mystery in the minster : the seventeenth chronical of michael bartholemew / susanna gregory, 30 Mar 2012
historicaly,politicaly,socialy and religously great, well written with memorable characters and plots would like to have purchased it as a series instead of seventeen individual purchases, why was book seventeen twice the price of the others, should be looked at. ill be reading more of this authors work
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge is dish best served with poison, 2 Dec 2011
Susanna Gregory opens her latest Matthew Bartholomew mystery at the deathbed of Archbishop Zouche in July 1352. He is commending his soul to God and his affairs to nine executors who are commissioned both to say obits to lessen his time in Purgatory and build a Chapel for him. Scamper forward nearly six years and we meet a new Michaelhouse tutor. John Radeforde is a lawyer whose opportune position ensures he joins Michael, Langelee, Bartholomew, and Cynric who all go to York when the Master of Michaelhouse enters the common room waving a letter to claim the parish and Church at Huntingdon. The incumbent priest, Cotyngham, is incapacitated, presumed witless and this has triggered the clause in the Will of the six-year deceased Archbishop Zouche.
After a journey north our Cambridge fellowship meet the vicars-choral of York Minster - represented by Sub-Chanter Ellis and his two assistants, the "henchman" Cave and "pretty" Jafford - who dispute the codicil that grants the Michaelhouse scholars the rights to Huntingdon, demanding they produce it and hiring the odious Carmelite lawyer, Dalfeld to represent them. Fairly swiftly both sides square up, each claiming to have supporters who "heard" about Zouche's real wishes. It means that by chapter Two Matthew narrowly escapes a chicken-fletched arrow that severely wounds Sir William Longton, brother to his more unsavoury brother John, the mayor who is obsessed (like Langelee) with French spies and besting the merchants headed by Gisbyrn.
Gregory has taken us from Cambridge to York and given us a host of new characters to understand. Two plots run through the novel - the first to gain the codicil and thus Huntingdon, the other to locate the French spies. All of this against teeming rain that threatens to flood the city. Against this backdrop we have the nine executors. Neville, Christopher Malore, Welton, Stiendby, Playce, are dead of odd `debilities' such as "spotted liver" before the action of the novel. Two others: Ferriby and Roger Zouche die mid-novel, leaving only Marmaduke - a defrocked priest - still alive with Anketil Malore. The new Archbishop, Thoresby suspects foul murder is afoot and tasks Michaelhouse with finding the codicil, locating the spies, the truth behind both Cotyngham's incapacitation, the disappearance of Zouche's money, and whomever loosed an arrow at William Longton from the decrepit church of St Mary Valveas, little more than a plague pit now.
Not much for Matthew and Michael to sort out, then. They only wanted to claim an inheritance.
The host of characters also feature Outstwyk - a self-admitted gossip; the Benedictine alien house of Holy Trinity lead by Chozaico who is accused of harbouring French spies; the "perpetually suing everyone" Carmelite Order; Prioress Alice; the pious (yet of dubious intellectual ability) Isabella, who is obsessed with putting on a play about `The Conversion of a Harlot'; Zouche's niece, Lady Helen - courted by Frost, who is a client of Gisbyrn the merchant who put the now-dead merchant Myton out of business; the Librarian Talerand who exasperates everyone with his unkempt charge; and last, but by no means least, Surgeon Fournays who Matthew quite seems to like. There are others who provide the glue to this nefarious mire of matters secular and episcopal and the author's command of an array of characters and action is breath-taking at times.
It would take far too long to go through the action and the enjoyment of readers should not be spoiled by revealing what happens. Suffice it to say that we start on what seems an innocuous trip to York where "the notion of a brothel-crawl under the guidance of the Master was an activity none of them had anticipated as being on offer" and end up in a city that is flooding both metaphorically and literally with the medieval warring factions of priests and townsfolk coming to a head. Alliances and allegiances are formed, split, and reformed as Matthew tries to understand those who are mendacious, those who are noble; those who seek personal gain, those who represent a faction. Several deaths occur throughout the novel and Gregory unveils effortlessly her skill at having multiple motives and threads entwining. What makes Gregory so readable is that, after so many novels, a reader - who could reasonably expect to gain a familiarity with the author's plot method - is still confused and surprised at the convoluted twists and turns. What is in plain sight may or may not be true. What is hidden is never quite as it seems.
In this latest novel revenge is dish best served with poison. It is a feast that is started by an innocuous death years ago where those who are left behind fight over a legacy and the best intentions of a kindly man are destroyed by those whose avarice consumes them.
As brilliant as ever, Susanna Gregory. Keep writing for as long as you can.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deserves pride of place in my list of worst books ever written..., 3 May 2013
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H. Lacroix (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mystery In The Minster: The Seventeenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew) (Paperback)
Not only is the story annoying, the characters wooden and the dialogue dire it is also extremely repetitious. I didn't count how many times we were told the same things over and over but had I done so I doubt the count would have been less than fifty times for "Zouche was a good man..." and since nearly all the characters either alive or dead are treated in the same way I quickly lost all patience with this story. It's as if the author thinks her readers suffer with Alzheimer's and need constant reminders of what has already been stated several times. It's not often that you find such a convoluted but at the same time totally uninteresting piece of writing. I couldn't wait for it to be over! I also really disliked the author's clumsy way with adverbs. Each page must have at least one. The characters keep saying things meaningfully or spitefully or threateningly or convincingly or menacingly or grudgingly or just anything ending in ly.As for the ending, yes, there was some surprise in it but the style is so poor it reads like a teenager wrote it. A dire experience indeed!!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bartholomew in york, 17 Sep 2011
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Usual matthew Bartholomew fare,but this time the scholars visit York to claim an inheritence for michaelhouse college.I can't help thinking it's about time matthew's girlfriend mattilde was brought back on the scene,or he got himself a new girlfriend.
There were plenty of murders and the strange characters the author populates her stories with were here in abundance and the ending was particularly interesting.I for one can't wait for the next installment.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Bartholomew, 5 Sep 2014
More wierdness. Why would a group of vicars chorale be renowned for buying shoes? All together? What with? How well were these men paid? And a novice nun behaving in such a manner is not quite believable. She would have remained silent if she was even outside the convent at all; not blaring away at an abbot, his guests and senior townsmen about how clever she is. Too much going on and a lot of repetion
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Minster Crime Scene, 18 Mar 2013
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This story gets more involved and I found it impossible after a time to remember about whom she was writing. There are too many characters and sub-plots. They are written against the background of the Minster as she supposed it to be. As someone who knows the Minster and York well I found the novel irritating . Whilst I persevered I was glad to put it down in the end, full of disappointment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super reading, 28 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Mystery In The Minster: The Seventeenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew) (Paperback)
Couldn't put it down!! The whole series of Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles is the same!! It's 13th century setting is fascinating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!, 22 Oct 2013
By 
SuziB - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mystery In The Minster: The Seventeenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew) (Paperback)
I'm now starting to twitch a little bit as there's only 2 more books left in this series & I'm not sure what I'll do without Matthew Bartholomew in medieval Cambridge to escape to!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bartholomew in York, 19 Sep 2013
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I can only give Susanna Gregory a 5 star again.As a novice writer for me her writing style is to be envied.
She brings her characers to life in a way that you feel you are there with the charcters but like them never know the culprit unitil the end she sends in so many red herrings.
Brother Michael is just as gluttonous as usual even in York. I have read all her Bartholomew books up to the Mystery in the MInster and have now dowloaded the Eighteenth and cannot wait to start reading.
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