Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Review:- Susanna GREGORY – “A Bone of Contention”

Publ: 1997
Pensby Library
ISBN: 0 7515 2022 5
Genre: Historical Crime
Pages: 506p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** ***

What led you to pick up this book?
I have read some Matthew Bartholomew chronicles before and thoroughly enjoy this sort of cosy historical crime. This is the third book in the series (the ones I have read have asterisks):-

Matthew Bartholomew Series
1. A Plague On Both Your Houses (1996) *
2. An Unholy Alliance (1996)
3. A Bone of Contention (1997) *
4. A Deadly Brew (1998)
5. A Wicked Deed (1999)
6. A Masterly Murder (2000)
7. An Order for Death (2001)
8. A Summer of Discontent (2002)
9. A Killer in Winter (2003)
10. The Hand of Justice (2004)
11. The Mark of a Murderer (2005)
12. The Tarnished Chalice (2006) *
13. To Kill or Cure (2007)
14. The Devil's Disciples (2008) *
15. A Vein of Deceit (2009)
16. A Killer of Pilgrims (2010)

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
In 1352, not long after the Black Death has devastated Cambridge, Matthew Bartholomew, a teacher and doctor at Michaelhouse College gets involved in trying to solve the mysterious murder of a student. Riots between townsfolk and students cause further deaths bit how many of them are simply as a result of rioting and how many are the result of someone with a deeper agenda?

What did you think of the characters and style?

Easy going and whilst it is not madly instructive about the fourteenth century the story does take one back to the atmosphere of the Cambridge of that era.

What did you like most about the book?
Matthew’s character and that of his friend and colleague Michael.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Poor and hardly relevant to the plot.

Would I recommend it?
Yes – to any cosy historical crime enthusiast.

Susanna Gregory – see A Plague on Both Your Houses

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