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?
[A] richly imagined world of colourful medieval society and irresistible monkish sleuthing - Good Book Guide
Susanna Gregory writes with fluency and energy, avoids archaic vocabulary, despite her 14th-century setting and, having had a career as an academic, bases the stories in this enjoyable series on careful research - Literary Review
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
Susanna Gregory was a police officer in Leeds before taking up an academic career. She has served as an environmental consultant, worked eighteen field seasons in the polar regions, and has taught comparative anatomy and biological anthropology.
She is the creator of the Matthew Bartholomew series of mysteries set in medieval Cambridge and the Thomas Chaloner adventures in Restoration London. She now lives in Wales with her husband, who is also a writer.