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Publisher's Summary

February 1355: Oxford explodes in one of the most serious riots of its turbulent history. Fearing for their lives, the scholars flee the city, 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.
© Susanna Gregory; (P) Clipper Audio

What listeners say about The Mark of a Murderer

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

WHY change the narrator????

As the previous 10 editions of this series used David Thorpe - why did he not narrate book 11? Changing narrators for a book or two is sadly common in books series and the substitute is NEVER as good. Wincott changes the entire tone of the book from fairly light-hearted is a victorian melodrama due to his interpretation. I will not be be purchasing book 13 since Wincott is again narrating. Publishers seem not to realize how central the performer is to the communication of the material. As usual in these cases, Wincott clearly had never listened to a previous performance in the series as he changes the pronunciations of names and the overall interpretation of how each character sounds. The most extreme change here is Brother Michael who Thorpe vocally portrays with a higher pitch and Wincott does in a bass - it is a jarring change. I will not make the mistake of purchasing a book done with a substitute as it is a waste of money.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Sorry...

But I Could not stand the reader, the first audible books I did not finish because of the reader.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Melodrama

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

DREADFUL narrator

Absolutely awful attempt to dramatize the story. Bring back Thorpe. Will be returning this one.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Narrator is difficult to follow

Would you try another book from Susanna Gregory and/or Andrew Wincott?

Yes. I like the story, but I found the narrator difficult to follow after listening to David Thorpe’s narration of the othe books.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The voice was too theatrical and characters were indistinguishable.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

The Mark of a Murderer

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

As expected

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Mark of a Murderer

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Historical Mystery

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Fun but a little confused

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.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ruth
  • 10-25-08

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.

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 01-06-18

disappointed

Found the book uo to normal standards but he Narrator was a bitter disappointment (first time i have ever heard the word stable pronounced 'sty ball' I would have simply skipped these books if not for the continuity issues. Luckily there is only two before David is back.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison Marshall
  • 01-12-18

Inconsistencies

Having heard the previous books read by another actor the inconsistencies of their characterisations of the main protagonists was very annoying. Even by the end I was still amazed at Brother Michael's suddenly gruff voice compared with previous readings. Apart from that, it was great!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 02-12-19

Not the best in the series

the story was very convoluted and complicated, there was considerable repetition and review which if necessary questions the overall story. the narrator was good, despite criticisms in other reviews, he is very talented and did the characters justice. However, after 10 books read by one narrator who created loved friends, it was difficult to hear them portrayed differently. Michael seemed aggressive, stupid and humourless, as opposed to the warm and funny friend I know and love.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dexter
  • 11-28-18

Disappointed

After a previous 10 books, performed brilliantly, by David Thorpe I was extremely disappointed to hear another voice reading about my favourite characters. It wouldn't have been as bad if Andrew Wincott had pronounced the names the same, it ruined the flow of the story every time I found myself correcting his pronunciation. If it hadn't been for the fact I wanted continuity in Bartholomew's life I would have stopped listening after chapter 1! One more book to go before David is back, hopefully for the rest of the series.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • shirley
  • 05-22-16

Another excellent book

Wonderful story that keeps you guessing right up to the end. The narrator hits the mark.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 10-05-17

I can’t really comment on the storyline as I found the narrator so uninspiring I gave up on the book.

It is a shame that the narrator has changed to Andrew Wincott. It is difficult to differentiate between the characters and his voice is pretty monotone. David Thorpe read all of her prior books brilliantly.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • horatio
  • 10-03-20

Extremely disappointing reader

I am working my way through the Matthew Bartholomew series which I am enjoying enormously. In part this is because of the excellent reader David Thorpe. It is disappointing in the extreme that the reader of this is such rubbish. The only slight excuse I can perhaps tolerate is that perhaps this was one of the earliest Audible transcripts of the whole series. Whoever thought of using this particular narrator should be frankly ashamed of themselves for using someone who doesn't seem to be able to pronounce the names of the characters properly and indeed some of the basic English language. This explains my low scoring, which had it been properly read by David Thorpe would have led to a full house!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. E. James
  • 09-23-20

Another 'ripping' yard from Susanna Gregory

Enjoyed the story. The only issue I had was the narrator; he was excellent in his reading but after so many books narrated by David Thorpe I found the different pronunciation of names such as Matthew's bookbearer, and some of the accents, Brother Michael goes from a soft highish pitch to a deep base, jarring. Some consistency would have been nice.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lucie Graham-Cumming
  • 05-12-20

Something is missing!

I loved this story as much as all the others, but missed David Thorpe's charming characters, and the life he brings to each and every chapter! The voices were so different it was confusing to say the least! I am however glad to have it as part of my collection.

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  • Mr Simon Lovell
  • 09-06-20

Spoiled my Enjoyment

I have listened to the first 10 books in the Matthew Bartholomew series, one after the other, and thoroughly enjoyed them. David Thorpe has the most wonderful ability to give a different voice to each character and recall them from book to book. I was determined to read the entire series. However, despite a very good voice (and no disrespect intended, Andrew Wincott reading books 11 and 12 was a great disappointment and I could not listen to them, jumping to book 13 and no doubt missing vital info in the Matthew Bartholomew saga. It is like missing an old friend! Any chance of getting Mr Thorpe to read these books?

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret
  • 11-11-19

Different narrator

Story is great as always, but having a different narrator to most of the others is distracting. It would have been better to use the same narrator for the entire series, or if not then at least try to keep the voices similar sounding.