© Susanna Gregory; (P) Clipper Audio
This book reads like young adult fiction. The tone is melodramatic, not helped by rather overwrought narration. Most of the characters are one dimensional and eventually tiresome. Read Mistress of the Art of Death, instead. Slightly earlier period, far better writing.
I had high hopes for this book, as I read a lot of historical mysteries, but I found it extremely slow and boring and the narration was ridiculously melodramatic. It was a struggle to get through it.
I am familiar with these characters from reading the books. This was an enjoyable excursion into "long ago and far away". As a mystery, well, maybe it didn't play fair. The solution came outta left field. Not that the solution was bad, just a bit sneaky. It is a bit wordy but the characters are well developed and the historical back drop is sound. I enjoyed it.
I was introduced to Susanna Gregory's 14th century detectives through the sequel to this book "The Tarnished Chalice". I was immediately intrigued by the two main characters, Brother Michael, the waddling senior proctor of Cambridge University, and his corpse examiner and physician Matthew Bartholomew.
These two detectives guided me through the church-driven world of Cambridge in 1355 AD and its interesting crimes. The brilliant narration of Andrew Wilcott helped tremendously to bring all characters and the surroundings to life.
All in all I can only recommend this book. If you are willing to follow the author and her narrator into this unknown and mysterious milieu, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
This is a great historical mystery and is part of the Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles. I love these chronicles and was delighted to find one on audible. I hope they do more. The setting is Medieval Cambridge and as always the solution of the murder will come as a surprise. I adored the reader and all the Matthew Bartholomew CHronicales will be recorded.
I enjoyed this murder mystery set in Medieval Cambridge and found the two main characters - Matthew and Michael - really enjoyable. The dynamic between them is very fun and adds a layer to the story. However, the plot and clues just kept getting more and more elaborate and improbable. I found the denoument quite unsatisfying and many many threads were lost. It just didn't come together as a satisfying mystery, though the historic element is quite nicely done.
Less carnage, more suspense, better detectives chasing fewer false leads.
Liked the setting & narrator's character voices.
Yes, but just barely
"A good read"
There are other books in the series featuring the same cast of characters, but this was my first (and the only one in the series available from Audible). I don't think it made a difference; the characters are very well defined in this book.
The story is set in 14th century Cambridge, but they could almost be walking round a dirty version of a modern town without cars. And there's a lot of walking! For all that, it's pretty good: the story unfolds gradually through the book, new twists appear and are resolved, and the ending is entirely satisfactory. No quibbles with the narration, either.
So why don't I give it all five stars? I suppose it's just because it doesn't stand out as the most gripping or wonderful or unmissable book. It's good enough, though, and I'm glad I listened.
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