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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death stalks the scholars...
I like the Bartholomew/Brother Michael series set in 14th century Cambridge and when I get the latest installment will usually set aside time to read it in a couple of sittings. Susanna Gregory is one of the few writers of the historical mystery/thriller genre whose ability to write complex and entertaining novels weaving in and out of historical events ranks amongst the...
Published on 12 July 2012 by John

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a C.J.Sansom novel but a good read nonetheless
I read this as it was the chosen novel for this years 'York Big Read'-not surprisingly as it is set in and around Medieval York. I have never read any of Susanna Gregory's books before but am a fan of C.J.Sansom.
If you have never read a historical 'whodunnit' and might be intimidated by the physical dimensions of a C.J.Sansom novel then I recommend this book. It...
Published 24 months ago by The Knitting Gnome


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death stalks the scholars..., 12 July 2012
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John "John75222" (Leeds, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Murder By The Book: 18 (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew) (Hardcover)
I like the Bartholomew/Brother Michael series set in 14th century Cambridge and when I get the latest installment will usually set aside time to read it in a couple of sittings. Susanna Gregory is one of the few writers of the historical mystery/thriller genre whose ability to write complex and entertaining novels weaving in and out of historical events ranks amongst the best - Forrester/Harding/Doherty/Davis/Wishart/Peters/Jecks/Tremayne/Saylor/Marston/Knights, being some of the others.

Just back from intrigues and near death experiences in York, Dr B and Brother Michael are in line for more of the same as they are on the trail of the murderers of a number of scholars in the various colleges and hostels of Cambridge. Rather like Dexter's Inspector Morse is to death in modern day Oxford (you wonder who would live there with the expiry rate of the population through unnatural, albeit entertaining means, well above the national average), Dr B and Brother M are in the centre of a body count that if carried on would leave the town empty and it all appears to be over the fairly inocuous donation and foundation of a common library?!

There are several false trails, subplots and intrigues that mean the actual full explanation (as usual with SG) doesn't reveal itself until the last few pages and whilst some of it may be surmised from what's gone before the full explanation adds a couple of devious twists. Gregory paints a less than glamerous picture of the academics and religous of the times, painting them as thoroughly unpleasant; bigoted, prejudiced, scheming and self serving individuals who resort to violence and slander at the drop of a hat to achieve their ends. In fact it helps that you don't really like a number of the characters she paints because that way you don't generally feel much emotional pain when she bumps them off, which she does with regularity throughout the book.

Whilst this can be read as a stand alone (just) it is the 18th in the series and as a result there are references to earlier times and relationships detailed in earlier books that would be lost on someone who's just bought this for a casual read.

As a fan of SG and the characters of Dr B and Brother Michael (and William & Clipsby) I look forward to the next installment - even if the residents (those that are left) of 14th century Cambridge would tremble at the prospect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a darn good tale, 12 Dec 2013
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Susanne Gregory has produced another excellent tale of Bartholomew and his fat, greedy friend Michael, as they join up to solve yet another medieval mystery. Bartholomew can be an irritating procrastinator, unable to make a decision until it is almost too late, but he manages to achieve his objective eventually. Hopefully, he will eventually find his Matilda and propose before she slips through his fingers yet again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great story from a wonderful author, 17 Oct 2013
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Dodster (UK) - See all my reviews
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Eighteen books down and I'm looking forward to next...that should tell you something.
Susanna Gregory is a wonderful author. Her stories are cleverly crafted to keep you guessing to the end. The characters are very well written and based on historical characters and are entirely believable.
This time our heroes, Matthew and Michael, are in league, albeit unwittingly, with the formidable Dame Pelagia (Michael's aunt), to stop Cambridge from being ransacked and set alight by 'wild fire'. A compound Matthew unwittingly created whilst trying to find a new recipe for lamp fuel...Great read. If you like Medieval mysteries this ticks all the boxes.
Murder By The Book: 18 (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deaths in Cambridge, 9 Sep 2012
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C. Wrigley (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Murder By The Book: 18 (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew) (Hardcover)
Susanna Gregory writes very well of medieval Cambridge. She has developed an interesting cast of figures which she deploys as she writes of yet another murder. The death rate per hundred of population is not as high as the villages in the TV series 'Midsomer Murders', but it is getting that way. Her 18th in the series has a good story line.Murder By The Book (The Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew)I look forward to the 19th.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars getting frustrated, 8 Nov 2012
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i have read all the Bartholemew books and i am only halfway through Murder By The Book.i keep expecting Matilde to reappear for Matt.will she ever come back, if not please stop including her in the storyline.i thought i read somewhere that Matilde and Matt married and he left the college to become thelocal doctor, did i dream this?
i have enjoyed all the books and now have the whole set on my kindle.Can`t wait for the spring and a new book.
i am also going to try the Chaloner books. i do enjoy Susanna Gregory`s writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 July 2014
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Exactly as described :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Susanna Gregory books are the best read around, 15 April 2014
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I have all 17 Mathew Bartholomew books of Susanna Gregory up to now and am about to get 18. the one predictable thing about this series is that in a fight mathew and brother michael always run into each other or trip over something so that the killer gets away for a while. A bit like the old films where when a woman ran away she always tripped over a branch. Other than that a cracking read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn., 26 Mar 2014
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Another good yarn. It makes me want to have a peep, only a peep, at medieval Cambridge. I would like to know how the town varies from the one today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 3 Jan 2014
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Bought for my wife who has read all the Thomas Chaloner and Mathew Bartholemew books. She says it was a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read as usual!, 9 Dec 2013
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Wonderful read as usual from a well established author and detective duo. Rich in historical detail, plot line and character it was unputtdownable.
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Murder By The Book: 18 (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew)
Murder By The Book: 18 (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew) by Susanna Gregory (Hardcover - 7 Jun 2012)
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