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A Bone Of Contention: The third Matthew Bartholomew Chronicle Kindle Edition
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The characters are wonderfully researched, the dialogue very believable and the storyline has more twist and turns than a corkscrew. Certainly keeps me guessing right up to the end. It is written cleverly and certainly this volume, with great humour.
I find myself wandering in the streets of Cambridge with Dr. Bartholomew, Brother Michael and the host of rich characters.
A hand is found in the ditch beside Valence Marie hostel. The Principal proclaims it a 'holy relic'. Bartholomew and Brother Michael have their doubts, but can say no more than it is a human male hand. Their time is taken up with riots in the town and the usual spree of murders, but all is not as it seems.
Whilst on the case, Bartholomew manages to invite three of the towns lovely ladies, one of whom is a leading 'lady of the night', to events at the staunch male enclave of Michael House.
Great read. If you like the Medieval period or good murder mysteries, this comes very highly recommended.
A wonderful mix of historical fact, a good plot, a glimpse of our own distant belief system (a bag of mice worn around the neck will relieve the wearer of a cough as the mice will get the cough .... ) likeable characters (and, of course, those you want to boo and hiss at) and the gentle humour.
I am now a big fan of Ms Gregory's books
In this particular novel Matthew, a physician at Michaelhouse College in Cambridge, is called to the King's Ditch, a horrible stinking place that contains most of the rubbish and sewage from the town. Some mysterious bones have been found there, but are they old or new? The following day he is again called to the Ditch, this time because a student has been found dead there.
There is also unrest in the town. Much more than the normal bickering between the townsfolk and the students of the university. There is the disappearance of Dominica, former lover of the now dead student and daughter of the well known Principal of a Cambridge student hostel.
Can all these events be connected? Then there is another find in the Ditch, a skeletal hand. It is hailed by the townsfolk as the last remains of a local martyr Simon d'Ambrey. When Matthew find out that on the finger of the gruesome find there is a ring, identical to a pair worn by Dominica and her dead lover, he knows that his teaching duties will have to wait while he attempts to solve the mystery.
I enjoyed the book very much, and the background setting of the medieaval Cambridge colleges adds a wonderful atmosphere to the plot.
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