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...
Rumours of plague threaten Cambridge again, ten years after the Black Death had almost laid waste to the town. Neither the church nor its priests had defended people from the disease and now they turn elsewhere for protection, to pagan ritual and magical potions. It is a ripe atmosphere to be exploited by the mysterious 'Sorcerer', an anonymous magician whose increasing influence seems certain to oust both civil and church leaders from power.
One murder, another unexplained death, a font filled with blood, a desecreated grave - all bear the hallmarks of the Sorcerer's hand, only the identity of the magician remains a mystery. One which Matthew Barthlomew must quickly get to the bottom of in order for he and his University colleagues to be free from danger...
[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.