One, an outsider claims to be a better doctor than the ones currently practicing in town; two, the town wants to raise rents on the hostels occupied by the varying University students; three, who killed Wenden and Lynton? Each story is interwoven, and their solutions aren't that far-fetched. The central mystery, the murders, turns out to have little to do with the other two stories except that they provide some red herrings for the Senior Proctor, Brother Michael and his Corpse Examiner, Matthew Bartholomew.
Some of the book felt like padding we didn't need to continually hear about Brother Michael's "big bones" or how awful the food was or how much Tyrington spit , and the writing style was a little clunky. This was my first venture into this series, and I'll not revisit. Feb 01, Symon Hill rated it liked it. Enjoyable and engaging if not very original.
The first few Matthew Bartholomew books were very good the first one was excellent , but now I've reached Number 13 and they've settled down to a fairly predictable formula. They have engaging characters and interesting plots, and are very readable, but they tend to have a set structure and the murders and horrors they describe don't seem to have much effect on the people involved. As crime novels go, they're quite fluffy and in this regard, the seri Enjoyable and engaging if not very original. As crime novels go, they're quite fluffy and in this regard, the series is a bit like a sort of medieval Midsomer Murders.
But however much I think this, I still enjoy reading them, and I particularly appreciate the ongoing developments of particular characters as the series progresses. This particular book features a very believable political and financial dispute involving housing in Cambridge and a struggle for power within the town; both issues seem surprisingly topical. We also see new developments for the individuals at Michaelhouse College, where most of the books in the series are set. May 28, Melinda rated it really liked it.
Another good addition to this series. And while the plot is somewhat thin, the writing can be repetitive, and sometimes slow I just love going back in time and taking it all in. And that is the part that this author does well. She makes me 'smell and feel' medieval Cambridge and feel very glad that I don't live in that time!
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So for me, my rating is not about the plot, the sleuthing or bumbling as sometimes occurs , nor the continued explanations about how fat Michael is, or how bad the fo Another good addition to this series. So for me, my rating is not about the plot, the sleuthing or bumbling as sometimes occurs , nor the continued explanations about how fat Michael is, or how bad the food is a Michaelhouse, or the tensions between the town and the University - my rating is about the incredible world building that is done in this series, the interesting historical facts and the wonderful banter between Michael and Matthew and perhaps William as well?
Aug 28, Lacer rated it it was amazing. Cambridge is gripped by the Rent War university statutes that placed restrictive rents on property that they used , so tensions between the town and university are even higher than normal.
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This is not helped by a new healer in town, who is working very hard discredit the university physicians. Add to that, two new Fellows at Michaelhouse who are not popular and things are pretty tense and that's not even taking into account the murders that have of course occurred. Sep 03, Susan Aldridge rated it really liked it. It took me a while to get into this.
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I was thinking this is just a long-winded tale about monks in Cambridge in the 14th century. But I was won over - it is, in fact, very atmospheric and raises some interesting points about medieval medicine and the plot is good. I'm a big fan of Shardlake in the CJ Sansom Tudor novels and was interested to find that there is a long series of Matthew Bartholomew novels which I may get into at some point. Listened to this on audible and it was beautifully read, It took me a while to get into this.
Listened to this on audible and it was beautifully read, which always enhances a book! Nov 12, Sandra Strange rated it it was ok Shelves: historical-fiction , mysteries. I really like this series, with the insight into Medieval Oxford with all its politics and prejudices.
I especially like the protagonist, Matthew Bartholomew, a physician with integrity and heterodox views about the superstition in medieval medicine. This number isn't my favorite, with a thorough villain manipulating the town against the school and also against Matthew. Dec 06, David Brown rated it really liked it. Much better than recent efforts - a complex plot, involving rent disputes, a fake medic and some bitchy academic politics, introducing and then removing several new characters in rapid succession.
Pacy, adding to e central characters without distracting from the main plot, it was an excellent read. Jul 09, Shannon rated it really liked it. Another great read in the Matthew Bartholomew series. Oct 22, Dulshani rated it liked it. This was my first book by the author. Overall, I found the plot long-winded, but the historical details were rich and well-researched. Jul 03, Mikeh rated it liked it. I found this to be enjoyable but rather too long drawn out.
There was a surfeit of characters under suspicion. We could have done with fewer suspects. I never cease to be surprised by the odd surnames of so many inhabitants of medieval Cambridge. Jan 27, Ann rated it really liked it. It is and the town of Cambridge England is in turmoil. The town property owners are demanding rent increases at the hostels that house students and the college is refusing to pay more.
On top of this unrest, a new physician arrives in town who is healing people with the wave of his magic feather. He even raises a man from the grave. Matthew Bartholemew and the other physicians in the town know he is a charlatan but the townspeople are all flocking to him. Richard Ardene, the new physician, It is and the town of Cambridge England is in turmoil. Richard Ardene, the new physician, is telling people that his cures are the only ones that are good and that the old physicians have killed or mistreated all their family members who have died.
Matthew and his friend, Brother Michael, is trying to keep order in the town and to keep patients from dying at the hands of a faker. A very good book. Nov 07, Carmen rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery-and-thrillers. The town almost explodes in anarchy in this story. Money issues are a problem, how much to charge for rents, etc, and a fake healer comes to town who claims to be able to cure people with a magic feather.
He tells everyone that there are answers for everything, if he does not think he can cure someone, he says they have a bad spirit. It is amazing how superstitious people were. Reading this book with all the historical details really makes the time period come alive. Plus there is a mystery to s The town almost explodes in anarchy in this story. Plus there is a mystery to solve.
Jun 27, Rachel rated it it was ok. I haven't read any of the other Matthew Bartholomew books and picked this up at the library after reading dissolution and wanting to stay in the same theme. It was ok, not great, a bit drawn out and the mystery really wasn't that mysterious. The characters were a bit annoying and two-dimensional and I seriously found MB really thick. I don't think I will bother reading any of the other MB books after this one. Oct 28, William rated it it was ok Shelves: scanned-books.
My complaint with this book is the same as with most of the previous books in this series. It makes for a very depressing story and the plot line always seems too long and drawn out. I like to finish each series that I start, but this series is making it very difficult to meet that goal.
Aug 14, Charlotte rated it it was ok Shelves: mystery-medieval.
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I read and enjoyed the first 12 Matthew Bartholomew books, but could not get into this one - the characters and background themes are becoming stale. Matthew and Michael are what they are. I don't like the personal lives and miseries of the main characters in a mystery to overwhelm the story as I find they do in the later Alan Banks novels by Peter Robinson , but a little evolution in their lives keeps the story fresh.
For me, Lindsey Davis hits a happy medium in her Falco mysteries. Mar 14, Laura rated it it was amazing. Nice to see out heros back in Cambridge. Nov 29, Linda rated it really liked it.
Good mystery but read it more for the slice of Medieval life it offers. Building materials selection: greenhouse strategies for built facilities.
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