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 twenty third chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew.
In 1360 a deputation from Cambridge ventures to the Suffolk town of Clare in the hope that the wealthy Elizabeth de Burgh has left a legacy to Michaelhouse. Yet when they arrive they discover that the report of her death is false and that the college seems destined for bankruptcy.
Determined to see if some of its well-heeled citizens can be persuaded to sponsor Michaelhouse, Matthew Bartholomew, Brother Michael and Master Langelee become enmeshed in the town's politics. They quickly discover that a great many other people in Clare have recently met untimely deaths. These killings, combined with the arrogance Lady de Burgh has shown over the refurbishment of the church and the grotesque behaviour of some of her entourage, have created a dangerous restlessness in the town: an atmosphere intensified when yet more murders occur.
One of the victims is a fellow traveller of the Michaelhouse contingent, and Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael feel honour-bound to identify his killer. It is a hunt which takes them deep into Clare's murky foundations and which threatens their own survival as well as that of their beloved college.
'A first-rate treat for mystery lovers' (Historical Novels Review)
'Susanna Gregory has an extraordinary ability to conjure up a strong sense of time and place' (Choice)
British author Gregory does her usual solid job of weaving details of daily life in 14th-century England into a sophisticated multiple-murder mystery plot in her 23rd whodunit featuring physician Matthew Bartholomew (after 2016's A Grave Concern). In 1360, Matthew and some of his colleagues from Cambridge's Michaelhouse College travel to Clare after receiving word that Elizabeth de Burgh, the Lady of Clare, has died. The college's master, Ralph de Langelee, is hoping that her bequest to Michaelhouse will fill its empty coffers. But on arrival in Clare, the scholars learn that the lady is alive and well. However, there have been other deaths that are believed to have stemmed from a dispute between the town and the castle about who could stand where in church. The latest victim, a townsman, was poisoned, supposedly in retaliation for three previous murders of the lady's men. Matthew does his usual capable job of deciphering subtle clues, and Gregory leavens an essentially grim story with occasional humorous passages.