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Mystery in the Minster: The Seventeenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew
By Susanna Gregory
Sphere Books, 2011
Publisher’s Synopsis: 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, and where a French invasion is an ever-present threat to its port. But soon he and his colleagues learn that several of the Archbishop’s executors have died in unexplained circumstances and that the codicil naming Michaelhouse as a beneficiary cannot be found…
Review by Pam Norfolk from the Pendle Today: “If Philippa Gregory is the mistress of all that is Tudor, then Susanna Gregory is surely the queen of the medieval mystery. Her intelligent historical novels – whether the Bartholomew Chronicles or the Thomas Chaloner series set in Restoration London – allow fact and fiction to rub shoulders with delicate and delightful precision. Packed with authentic period detail, the raw realities of life in the Middle Ages, a gallery of charismatic and credible characters and plots that combine drama and politics, Gregory’s stories teem with action, suspense and a wicked brand of wit.”