Fourteenth century Cambridge physician Matthew Bartholomew returns to take on more murderous intent
In 1360, the Great Bridge over the River Cam is close to collapse. To repair it will cost the town and the University dear, especially if its rotten wood is replaced by more durable stone. As arguments rage over raising the money other, equally heated, differences are coming to the boil over the election of a new Chancellor. While the majority support Brother Michael for the post, at least one of his opponents aims to seize it by fair means or foul. Then the discovery of a body under the bridge and the disappearance of two scholars throws a more sinister shadow over both disputes.
Matthew Bartholomew, the University's Corpse Examiner, already has his hands full: due to marry in under a fortnight, he is determined to conclude his teaching duties and deal with an outbreak of the summer flux before relinquishing his official duties. With more deaths, an 'accident' at the bridge and an increasing stench of corruption over the financing of the bridge's repairs, he realises he owes more to his soon-to-be former colleagues than to his future life as a secular doctor.
But will there be enough time for him to unveil the identities of those who seek to undermine both the town and the University, or will he prove powerless to protect those he loves from death or disgrace or worse?
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
Susanna Gregory has an extraordinary ability to conjure up a strong sense of time and place - Choice
Intrigue, detection, and action are blended perfectly with plot elements drawn from historical details that make the era come to life - Publisher's Weekly
Susanna Gregory was a police officer in Leeds before taking up an academic career. She has served as an environmental consultant, worked seventeen 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, and now lives in Wales with her husband, who is also a writer.