A Bone of Contention

The Third Matthew Bartholomew Chronicle
Narrated by: David Thorpe
Series: Matthew Bartholomew, Book 3
Length: 16 hrs and 39 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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....

©1997 Susanna Gregory (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about A Bone of Contention

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  • Mrs S
  • 07-21-17

Fantastic narration

Where does A Bone of Contention rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have previoulsy read these books and audio gives me an added pleasure

Who was your favorite character and why?

Matthew Bartholomew. He is the main character who explains the often convoluted story line very clearly.

Have you listened to any of David Thorpe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes. David Thorpe is brilliant in bringing these medieval characters to life. His regional accents add humour and pathos to them. His narration is superb.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It involved me intellectually and made me smile.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend this series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Olivia
  • 05-30-17

Brilliant

This was my first listen to Susannah Gregory, and I'm pleased to note there are many more on audible. Brilliantly read, and a darned good yarn.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Boof
  • 05-15-17

Narrator spoils the characters

I know it's subjective but the way the narrator portrays the characters is far from the descriptions in the text. For example Brother Michael is described as having an appreciation of the ladies and to be able to hold his own in a fight but he is given a totally contrary voice.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-27-20

Continuing Appeal

This is my third Matthew Bartholomew novel listen. I am committed to continue the journey. It is so easy to slip into the world of these books. The first thing to say is that this is an easy enough listen, and the only cautions for prospective readers is that there is a wealth of characters and that some simple understanding of the University set-up at the time (colleges and hostels) would be useful. It is also worth the time to find a copy of the map included with the printed copy of the book online and print it so that you can orientate yourself. It would helpful if this was available from Audible. I am still getting used to the death counts in the first three novels and it will be interesting to see if this continues. I enjoy the depiction of the times in these novels and the core of characters. Of particular interest to me in this listen was the role of holy relics at the time and the divergent views of them. The references to food and drink also entertained me – see what you think of the stewed fish giblets. I also enjoyed the role of The King’s Ditch, only a tiny portion of which remains today and that within the walls of one of Cambridge’s older colleges. Matthew Bartholomew still presents as human and fallible and his companion (Michael) still provides frequent relief (much of it light) and challenge. The Epilogue to this book I found something wanting. That said it provided a thinking point as to how the next book in the series would present matters. A balding male, as I am, I was perhaps over-sensitive to the number of times that the author has Mathew Bartholomew running his hands/fingers through his hair. And the author’s preference for glower/glowered/glowering irritated again. The plot is busy and there are many twists (as you would expect) to keep the reader occupied and thinking – which a good. My last active listening session of this book was over six hours and this ought to give some idea as to the book’s appeal. The performance of the book I enjoyed though at odd times the narrative does not match the characterisation of a voice. The diction is clear and precise, which I always value.

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  • Stella
  • 06-12-20

A most interesting story mingled with fact.

Loved it! historical fact intertwined with a convoluted story line brought to a tidy end.

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  • Janicef
  • 06-05-20

Good but not the best

I like to listen to audio books while working so I dont particularly want anything too heavy so this series suits me fine. I started with book 1 (of course)and this is book 3 so not far into the series but Im getting to know the reoccurring characters and I like that, There is a small twist here in the the main character (the doctor) often comes over as the fool while the fat monk (a semi side kick) steals every scene (Thorpe's reading performance tends to highlight this which I think is good) . The books are long (not a problem for me as I said I listen while working and the longer the better) and seem to always have more than one thread running through them ,One crime seems to have been solved and when I check the run time there is still some hours to run ,so I know there is another twist to come which stops the story becoming pedestrian . The research into the period is very good,Im a bit of a history buff and the medieval period is my preferred era so I do notice mistakes ,some of which ,Im guessing, are there to fit the story. Some of the poorer people seem to be far to well of and suddenly embark on long trips with little reason and with no future which at this time (just after the black death) would be very unlikely if not impossible. The tension between the university and town is true to history but follows a bit of a predictable route in the three books ive read so far. Both the medical aspects and clerical ones surrounding the university are well put over and I like all of that (although the doctors success rate is unbelievably high LOL). The doctors relationships with the opposite sex are also a little different from the norm and the fat monk seems be more interested in what would be for him a "forbidden fruit". The plots are complex and minor players mix in and out of the various threads which can make it a little confusing at times, But bottom line is ...I like them,and am about to start on the next instalment

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  • Stuart Bailey
  • 05-15-20

A Must Listen

I have not listened to the series in order but this is the best so far an absolute joy gripping from start to finush

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  • Marilyn
  • 03-18-20

Funny in parts and repetitive in others

Yet another rioting content, the authoress is reusing earlier material ideas in a different way, I would be surprised if there wasn’t another riot in the next book. These are easy reads and somewhat predictable The narrator makes the dialogue between Mathew and Michael comedic in sections , primarily in the beginning of the book

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  • M.Martin
  • 08-05-18

Enjoyable trip to the middle ages

Lots of twists to keep you guessing and great narrative. I would listen to this again.

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  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 12-15-17

can get a bit complicated

i enjoy these storys and find the narrator very good but be warned they are better read in order and tend to have to many characters so can get confusing if not paying attention. if you lkkr to listen while dojng other things these may not be the books for you.