The plague raging through London in 1665 has emptied the city. The only people left are those too poor to flee or those who selflessly struggle to control the contagion and safeguard the capital's future. Amongst them, though, are those prepared to risk their health for money - those who sell dubious 'cures' and hawk food at wildly inflated prices. Also amongst them are those who hold in their hands the future of the city's most iconic building - St Paul's Cathedral.
There is something very amiss in the finances of Michaelhouse. Despite a new influx of well-heeled students, there is an acute lack of funds for the upkeep of the buildings, even for decent provisions. It is only when the brother in charge of the account books dies unexpectedly that some sort of explanation is revealed: he has been paying large amounts of money for goods the college itself has never received.
When a wealthy benefactor is found dead in Michaelhouse, Brother Michael and Matthew Bartholomew must find the culprit before the college is accused of foul play. At the same time, Cambridge is plagued by a mystery thief who is targeting rich pilgrims. Moreover, pranksters are at large in the university, staging a series of practical jokes that are growing increasingly dangerous and that are dividing scholars into bitterly opposed factions.
It is drawing near to the end of term, and the University at Cambridge is in turmoil over the opening of a new common library. There is an attack on one of the masters at a meeting to discuss the matter, and a body is found floating in the pond in the library's garden on the eve of its opening. Meanwhile, there are rumours of a large force of dangerous smugglers lurking in the Fens. Aided by their friend Sheriff Tulyet, Bartholomew and Michael must thwart the invaders before the Feast of Corpus Christi the following week.
Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated.
Matthew Bartholomew doesn't want to travel to Peterborough in the summer of 1358, but his friendship with the lovely Julitta Holm has caused a scandal in Cambridge, so he has no choice. He is one of a party of Bishop's Commissioners, charged to discover what happened to Peterborough's abbot, who went for a ride one day and has not been seen since. When the Commissioners arrive, they find the town in turmoil.
"A Great Medieval Mystery with humor"
In 1360 a deputation from Cambridge ventures to the Suffolk town of Clare in the hope that the wealthy Elizabeth de Burgh has left a legacy to Michaelhouse. Yet when they arrive, they discover that the report of her death is false and that the college seems destined for bankruptcy. Determined to see if some of its well-heeled citizens can be persuaded to sponsor Michaelhouse, Matthew Bartholomew, Brother Michael and Master Langelee become enmeshed in the town's politics.
The fourth chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew continues the adventures of the 14th-century Cambridge physician when he is called to attend to two deaths from some poisoned wine. The opening of a new and very well-endowed college has created petty infighting amongst the academics as new appointments are made. The winter and spring have 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.
In 1358 the fledging college of Michaelhouse in Cambridge is in need of extra funds. A legacy from the Archbishop of York of a parish close to that city promises a welcome source of income. However, there has been another claim to its ownership, and it seems the only way to settle the dispute is for a deputation from Michaelhouse to travel north. Matthew Bartholomew is among the small party which arrives in the bustling city, where the increasing wealth of the merchants is unsettling the established order....
It's 1665, and the capital is awash with rumours of conspiracy. Thomas Chaloner knows that there are few grains of truth in the rumour-mill, but the loss of an important warship and the murder of Paul Ferine, a Groom of the Robes, makes him scent a whiff of genuine treason. As well as investigating the murder, Chaloner is charged with tracking down the leaders of a fanatical sect known as the Fifth Monarchists. Then, as he comes to know more about the Fifth Monarchists and their meetings on High Holborn, he discovers a number of connections.
Masters of the historical mystery, authors Michael Jecks, Susanna Gregory, Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Philip Gooden, Simon Beaufort, and C.J. Sansom band together as The Medieval Murderers to craft this thrilling tale. In 1067 Greenland, a strange stone falls from the sky. Over the next 600 years, violence and death follow whoever possesses it, including crusading knights, a dying King Henry III, and a troupe of His Majesty King James I’s players.
"It didn't keep me listening..."
Identifying the murderer of the Chancellor of the university is not the only challenge facing physician Matthew Bartholomew. Many of his patients have been made worse by the ministrations of a 'surgeon' recently arrived from Nottingham, his sister is being rooked by the mason she has commissioned to build her husband's tomb and his friend, Brother Michael, has been offered a bishopric which will cause him to leave Cambridge.
"Excellent series, looking for more in audio"
In 1358, over a century after its foundation in Cambridge, the college of Michael house is facing a serious shortfall of funds and competition from upstarts rivals such as Zachary Hostel. Their problems are made no easier by the hostility of the town's inhabitants who favour the university moving away to the Fens. This simmering tension threatens to break into violence when a well-known tradesman is found dead in one of the colleges.
"Never Stopped Laughing - My Favorite Series"
In the summer of 1358 the physician Matthew Bartholomew returns to Cambridge to learn that his beloved sister is in mourning after the unexpected death of her husband, Oswald Stanmore. Aware that his son has no interest in the cloth trade that made his fortune and reputation, Oswald has left the business to his widow, but a spate of burglaries in the town distracts Matthew from supporting Edith in her grief and attempting to keep the peace between her and her wayward son.
"My only issue is that there aren't more of these.."
It is not long before they learn that the friary in which they are staying is not the safe haven they imagine - one guest has already been murdered. It soon emerges that the dead man was holding the Hugh Chalice, a Lincoln relic with a curiously bloody history. Bartholomew and Michael are soon drawn into a web of murder, lies and suspicion in a city where neither knows who can be trusted.
February 1355: Oxford explodes in one of the most serious riots of its history. Fearing for their lives, the scholars flee, and some choose the University at Cambridge as their temporary refuge. But they don't remain safe for long. Within hours of their arrival, the first of their number dies, followed quickly by a second. When Matthew Bartholomew begins to investigate the deaths, he uncovers evidence that the Oxford riot was not a case of random violence, but part of a carefully orchestrated plot.
In 1350 the people of Cambridge are struggling to overcome the effects of the Black Death - and with a high mortality rate among priests and monks, the townsfolk are vulnerable to sinister cults that have sprung up. At Michaelhouse, Matthew Bartholomew is training new physicians when the body of a friar is found in the massive chest that the university uses to store precious documents. While investigating, Bartholomew stumbles across a derelict church being used as a meeting place for the mysterious sect he believes is at the heart of a web of blackmail.
Spring, 1663: public London is executing plans to mark the third anniversary of the Restoration. Private London, murky, dangerous and seething with intrigue, is entertaining other plans. And other executions - for the death of wealthy merchant Matthew Webb and the killing of an apparent vagrant during a royal procession. Thomas Chaloner, spy for the king's intelligence service, soon realises that two murders point in one direction: upwards, towards the great and supposedly good.
Cambridge in 1352 is rife with terrible clashes between the fledgling university and the townspeople. Matthew Bartholomew, physician and teacher at Michaelhouse College, is trying to keep the peace when a student is murdered and the town plunges into chaos. At the same time, a skeleton is discovered that is rumoured to belong to a local martyr, and Bartholomew has his hands full investigating both deaths while the rioting intensifies....
London in the spring of 1665 is a city full of fear. There is plague in the stews of St Giles, the Dutch fleet is preparing to invade, and a banking crisis threatens to leave Charles II's government with no means of paying for the nation's defence.Amid the tension, Thomas Chaloner is ordered to investigate the murder of Dick Wheler, one of the few goldsmith-bankers to have survived the losses that have driven others to bankruptcy - or worse.
"Not Chaloner's Best"