20 June 2009

To Kill or Cure; Susanna Gregory

To Kill or Cure: The Thirteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Matthew Bartholomew 13) To Kill or Cure: The Thirteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew by Susanna Gregory

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is from another one of those historical mystery series - medieval setting (Cambridge in the 1300s), town/gown tensions, monks galore. The sad thing is that every one that I've read barring Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael takes themselves so seriously it hurts.

The conflict here is threefold. One, an outsider claims to be a better doctor than the ones currently practicing in town; two, the town wants to raise rents on the hostels occupied by the varying University students; three, who killed Wenden and Lynton? Each story is interwoven, and their solutions aren't that far-fetched. The central mystery, the murders, turns out to have little to do with the other two stories except that they provide some red herrings for the Senior Proctor, Brother Michael and his Corpse Examiner, Matthew Bartholomew.

Some of the book felt like padding (we didn't need to continually hear about Brother Michael's "big bones" or how awful the food was or how much Tyrington spit), and the writing style was a little clunky. This was my first venture into this series, and I'll not revisit.

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