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A Plague on Both Your Houses by Susanna…
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A Plague on Both Your Houses (1996)

by Susanna Gregory

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4461835,631 (3.58)66
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The Black Death threatens Cambridge, England in 1349, but a series of murders at the medical college may prove more lethal to unconventional physician Bartholomew & friend Brother Michael.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Nov 30, 2018 |
A Plague on Both Your Houses
3 Stars

The Black Death is slowly making its way across Europe and toward England. At the same time, a series of mysteries deaths at Cambridge University arouses the suspicions of Matthew Bartholomew, a doctor and scholar at Michaelhouse college. As Bartholomew investigates, he uncovers a horrific web of lies and intrigue that makes him question those closest to him and may result in the destruction of the university itself.

The history of the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge and the descriptions of the advent of the plague in England (symptoms and treatments) are particularly interesting. Unfortunately, the mystery is not as compelling as it becomes overly complex with several convoluted threads and an abundance of characters with a mish-mash of motivations and agendas.

Aside from Bartholomew, none of the characters are fleshed out well and it is difficult to become attached to any of them. Thus, the inevitable deaths due to the plague or murder fails to evoke an emotional response and there is very little tension or suspense.

All in all, a decent enough historical mystery and I may continue with the series, but it isn’t a priority.
( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Sympathetic protagonist, and interesting period detail, especially about the sweep of the plague. Physician Matthew Bartholomew tries to help his plague patients whilst investigating various murders at his 14th century Cambridge college. Maybe slightly overlong and a bit converluted. ( )
  LARA335 | Dec 1, 2017 |
Matthew Bartholomew is a physician in 14th century Cambridge. The University is in its early days and relations between town and gown are tense. Members of the university colleges start to die and the Master of Michaelhouse is found dead in bizarre circumstances. Bartholomew tries to investigate the deaths and to uncover a complex plot but then the bubonic plague hits the country.

A dense plot which is a little unsatisfying in its unravelling does not detract from a really entertaining book. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
The first Matthew Bartholomew historical whodunnit. A bit clunky in plot. OK.
Read Nov 2005 ( )
  mbmackay | Dec 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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To my husband for his
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The scholar waited in the black shadows of the churchyard trees for the Sheriff's night patrol to pass by, trying to control his breathing.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751516953, Paperback)

A Plague on Both Your Houses introduces physician Matthew Bartholomew, whose unorthodox but effective treatment of his patients frequently draws accusations of heresy from his more traditional colleagues. Besides his practice, Bartholomew teaches medicine at Michaelhouse, part of the fledgling University of Cambridge. In 1348, the inhabitants of Cambridge live under the shadow of a terrible pestilence that has ravaged Europe and is traveling relentlessly towards England. Bartholomew, however, is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse, a death University authorities do not want investigated. His pursuit of the truth leads him into a complex tangle of lies and intrigue that forces him to question the innocence of his closest friends, even his family. And then the Black Death finally arrives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:05 -0400)

A Matthew Bartholomew chronicle.

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