For the twentieth anniversary of the start of the Matthew Bartholomew series, Sphere is delighted to reissue all of the medieval monk's cases with beautiful new series-style covers.
The winter of 1353 has been appallingly wet, there is a fever outbreak amongst the poorer townspeople and the country is not yet fully recovered from the aftermath of the plague. The increasing reputation and wealth of the Cambridge colleges are causing dangerous tensions between the town, Church and University.
Matthew Bartholomew is called to look into the deaths of three members of the University of who died from drinking poisoned wine, and soon he stumbles upon criminal activities that implicate his relatives, friends and colleagues - so he must solve the case before matters in the town get out of hand...
Matthew Bartholomew, doctor of medicine and fellow of Michaelhouse, Cambridge, is travelling with a party from the college to accept the gift of the living of a parish in Grundisburgh, Suffolk. One of his companions, Unwin, an unworldly scholar, is to be installed as priest. When they arrive, they are immediately thrust into the machinations of local boundary disputes between three landowners, but all such squabbles seem mere trivia when Unwin is murdered in the very church which was to have been his home.
While trying to investigate a possible motive for his killing, Bartholomew discovers that this is not the first unnatural death in the village - deaths which everyone has put down to the curse of the plague-dead village. He is of too practical a mind to believe the superstitions, but is he wily enough to work out the real motive behind the murders and who will gain from them?