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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Scholar
I have faithfully followed through all the books featuring Bartholomew and Michael noting how their characters have developed and so naturally needed to continue the saga.
Susanna Gregory never hesitates to kill off primary characters throughout her novels and here we see the demise of Matthews brother in law.each novel is compelling but the older novels either had...
Published 2 months ago by A. A. Harvey

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I've been awaiting this latest book
I have not read any Susanna Gregory's books for ages. It was good to get back to her Mathew Bartholemew novels. A good read.
I love hearing about the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge colleges all those cent ries ago that still carry on today.
Published 2 months ago by Allybags


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Scholar, 22 Jun 2014
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A. A. Harvey (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death of a Scholar: The Twentieth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Kindle Edition)
I have faithfully followed through all the books featuring Bartholomew and Michael noting how their characters have developed and so naturally needed to continue the saga.
Susanna Gregory never hesitates to kill off primary characters throughout her novels and here we see the demise of Matthews brother in law.each novel is compelling but the older novels either had more intrigue or I am getting used to the ploys used or the edge has left these later novels,
I enjoyed the book because it encapsulates the period so well and gives a useful picture of the Universities at this time and the idiosyncrasies of the various heads of the Universities.
Unlike Barnaby Susanna Gregory does bring back older characters and in each book I await the reappearance of Matilda .Until she appears I can expect another book to read and enjoy
Another cracking read.I am never disappointed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death by cake, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Scholar: The Twentieth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Kindle Edition)
Gregory’s twentieth Matthew Bartholomew mystery is titled “Death of a Scholar” but it might be better to call it “Death by cake” given the pastry murders that abound her. She has us back in Cambridge in the autumn of 1358. A triple prologue gives us the death of Matt’s brother-in-law, Oswald Stanmore; the rapid foundation of the ninth and newest college, Winwick Hall; and the ‘resurrection’ of master felon, John Potmoor. Add to that the opening scene of the death of the titular scholar, Geoffrey de Elvesmere in a latrine and we’re at a sprint. By the end eight more corpses, a riot, and more convoluted intrigue than you’d expect will make any reader’s brain hurt.
Matthew and Michael are back from Peterborough to find a new college rising out of the mud of Cambridge with unseemly haste. Sherriff Dick Tulyet is out of town; de Stannell, his deputy, in charge. John Winwick is determined to make a name for himself and has sponsored the expansion of the scholars of Cambridge in a manner that has got the rest of the intellectuals grumbling into their Agatha-brewed potage. Of course, this gives Gregory a chance to allow a host of new characters into Matt and Michael’s lives. The new fellows at Winwick comprise Provost Illesy and the tutors Ratclyfe, Nerli, Lawrence, and Bon. There’s a new apothecary in town, Eyer, plus the new vicar of St Mary’s, Heyford. A new college has meant a flood of matriculands, headed by the obnoxious Goodwyn, egged on by the ever more surly Richard Stanmore who is fast becoming a chore to both his mother Edith and his uncle Matt. Dozens more inveigle their way into the mystery, the author handling them with the literary deftness that is her hallmark.
This mystery is particularly confounding, the lengthy riotous denouement revealing a host of nefarious characters and motives who literally bring the house down. Matt’s trysts with Julitta continue in this novel, Michael has to deal with the penurious state of Michaelhouse after a robbery (in fact seven hostels, three Colleges and a Priory are robbed with several town houses), and there is a series of debates on the theological concepts of apostolic poverty – which is compounded by a ludicrous yet heretical text the ever-dirty William pens to the delight of a blackmailer. Not much to solve in a week before the inauguration of the new College. All of which has Matt forced to indulge in a bit of human dissection to prove how people have died. As Michael encourages him:
“What is not right is failing to do all in our power to clear his name and ensure he lies in the grave he deserves. I am not happy with desecration either, but I am prepared to set aside my aversion for the sake of justice.”
At the heart of this novel is greed and personal advancement. Selfishness abounds, prosperity is desired and “it is common knowledge that if you want a college to prosper, you should appoint a villain to mind its coffers.” Indeed.
This time fans of ‘Cluedo’ will have a field day given it’s a glut of ‘Miss Scarlett with the dormirella in the cellar’ or ‘Colonel Mustard with the sword in the latrine’. People are dispatched through all manner of nasty accidents. Cambridge is sorely in trouble this time with “bloodshed, as the University goes to war with the town and itself.” Yet by the end of it, Matthew’s kindly nature and unfailing medical philanthropy saves him and the scholars . It is his “ruffianly clients” who save him and Michaelhouse and, as he wryly observes “I would not change them for world.”
And, for this reader, I would not change Susanna Gregory’s storytelling for the world, either. Peerless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding plot and characterisation, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Scholar: The Twentieth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Kindle Edition)
Gregory's ability to lay out an exciting, interesting and twisted plot never fails to please me ! Bartholomew's learning, knowledge and attitudes which are slightly ahead of his time are refreshing and the mixture of humour among the horror and shock of what people will do to each other for totally selfish reasons is gripping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a scholar, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Scholar: The Twentieth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Kindle Edition)
Another fantastic book from one of my favourite authors . She makes it so easy to take the reader back to the time of Matthew Bartholomew. The story is always captivating and leaves me waiting for the next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael - they are my ..., 25 Aug 2014
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I have a copy of all 20 books. That says it all. I love Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael - they are my imaginary friends. I really couldn't care less "who dunnit". Living in a student area of a major city, times havn't changed - the acrimony of town against gown lives and breathes in 21st century too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another hit, 12 July 2014
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Another excellent story! Matthew and Michael's antics do make me giggle, as do the other characters. I can imagine myself in Cambridge during the middles ages. Great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another winner, 11 July 2014
This review is from: Death of a Scholar: The Twentieth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Kindle Edition)
Another intricately woven trip into the melting pot of Cambridge universities history. Fabulous
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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Fantastic read as usual from this author. Great authentic feel to both settings and characters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I've been awaiting this latest book, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Scholar: The Twentieth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Kindle Edition)
I have not read any Susanna Gregory's books for ages. It was good to get back to her Mathew Bartholemew novels. A good read.
I love hearing about the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge colleges all those cent ries ago that still carry on today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Her Matthew Barthlolmew novels are a constant delight and I wait eagerly each year for the next ..., 23 July 2014
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I am so very impressed by how Susanna Gregory manages to maintain such a high standard of storytelling in this series. Her Matthew Barthlolmew novels are a constant delight and I wait eagerly each year for the next one to be published.
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