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Publisher's Summary

Believers in the theory of nominalism have set some Cambridge colleges at the throats of those who believe them to be heretics, and Michael, the senior proctor, has his work cut out to keep the peace. When a nominalist is murdered during a riot, Michael is certain he will easily find the killer amongst the Dominicans, but before he can get any sense out of them his junior proctor, Walcote, is found hanged, and he discovers that his trusted ally had arranged secret meetings at the St Ragelund Convent between men who would not normally be seen together - and the nuns of St Ragelund are renowned for behaviour entirely inappropriate to their calling.

Meanwhile Matthew Bartholomew learns that Michael, his lifelong friend, is in all probability the thief who relieved one of the antinominalist colleges of some of their most precious papers. If that charge were proved, it would put paid to Michael's long-term plans to become master of Michaelhouse - but would he kill to protect himself? Unable to believe his colleague would be capable of such acts, Bartholomew knows the only way he can quiet his own conscience is to solve the murders himself.

©2010 Suanna Gregory (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

What listeners say about An Order for Death

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-09-19

Carry on in the Cloisters

I have loved all of these books and this one is possibly my favourite so far, probably in the same way the best Morse episodes were set in the arcane world of Oxford university so this, for me, was enjoyable for being firmly set within the university life of Cambridge. I enjoy the setting and the time period as it is also leading me to learn a little more about the period and in this case the background of the philosophical idea of nominalism. However you don't have to be interested in anything else to enjoy the novel. The book is great fun despite the murders because of a thread of humour. The various orders of monks all brawling in the church at the end was straight out of a carry on film. The regular characters become like friends as you get to know them over the books and David Thorpe's narration brings them too life in great style. My only gripe would be the character of Matilde who seems totally unrealistic and too vapid in character but fortunately she is not in much and the real joy is the relationship between Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael as they bicker and blunder their way through to save Cambridge university yet again. Long may it continue.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 11-08-18

Brilliant

i love these books, David Thorpe is a genius, he brings life to Susanna Gregory's richly imagined characters and intriguing stories. This one is my favourite so far.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-08-20

A little More Care...

I am warmly committed to this series, and I have several more chronicles in my library. Positives: Cambridge setting; the main repeating characters; complex plotting; great humour, and easy to listen/read and wanting to listen-on/read-on; clarity of diction in David Thorpe's performance - Mathew and Michael's voice characterisations are mainstays. Less Positives: stock words over the novels (glower/glowering); Mathew and his hand through his hair - basically a want of greater editing in book and audio e.g. clarity on how long Lincolne had been in Cambridge (child, student or Prior); 1838 not 1338 in the audio. There are many, many characters in each chronicle and it must be hard to find voices for all. Greater attention to voicing lesser characters and sometimes straight reading might benefit (once a character's voice switches mid-speech.) Longing: For Matilde to figure more significantly and Mathew to get on with things.

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  • Janicef
  • 07-07-20

Predictable by its unpredictability

As usual in this series the hero is dumb, the monk is the brains (but not always a nice person) and the most unlikely person did the deed, This version has the extra unpredictability of and even more obscure character coming out of the woodwork to claim he's the brains behind it all. But, also, as usual, its listenable in an easy-going "background while your working" way and the history and characterisations are always good, Minor people from earlier books develop into mains and some older ones disappear which is good and keeps the series fresh in at least one way even if the detective process consists of going down the wrong road until the bad guy suddenly puts his hand up seemingly for no other reason than he wants to get hanged. But I'm addicted now so roll on book 8

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  • Lucie Graham-Cumming
  • 04-22-20

Yet again

Yet again Susanna Gregory has done a fantastic job with this book, and David Thorpe brought our favourite characters to life!!

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  • Sandy
  • 03-08-19

Another enthralling tale

With its many twist and turns one is kept guessing who did what. Well read as ever.

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  • Andrew Foulds
  • 06-10-18

Nominalism

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have however enjoyed all the books in the series. I like the characters , the time period and the setting. I also enjoy the narration. It is hard to make all the characters sound different and I think the narrator does a good job here. Yes it follows a set formula but personally I like that.

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  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 12-26-17

more enjoyable than last

wasnt as keen on book 5 but decided to give this one a go. Glad i did.

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  • Hathor
  • 06-29-17

Good story but terrible narration

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book is well plotted and has good characterisation - it is the narration that really lets it down with uneven and sometimes damn strange interpretations of the main characters. If you enjoy murder mysteries with nice historical touches then I would recommend reading the book rather than listening to it.

What other book might you compare An Order for Death to, and why?

Sorry, didn't know how to answer this one.

How could the performance have been better?

Thorpes interpretation of some of the monks can be strange and in this particular case embarrassing. When voicing one of the adult monks, described in the book as the size of a child, Thorpe produces a high pitched whiney voice similar to a truculent two year old, making for a truly cringeworthy listen. I do like how he gives voice to Mathew Bartholomew, one of the main protagonists but remain unsure about the other, Brother Michael.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

In between the moments of cringing the story was interesting but I am returning the book as I can't bear to listen to the narrator anymore. For me this is one book I will stick to reading rather than listening.

Any additional comments?

The stories are getting better as they go along but the narrator killed this one for me I am afraid. I can only hope that somebody has a discreet word with Thorpe and tell him to adapt his narration style otherwise I may be returning a lot of audio books back to Audible.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alison Marshall
  • 10-13-17

Too quiet

It was a good if overly complicated plot, very well read as always but the production values meant that it was too quiet. I often listen to books while driving but this was too low in volume out put to hear even with everything turned up to full volume. I'm now loathe to by another in the series in case it is the same