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An Order for Death by Susanna Gregory

An Order for Death (2001)

by Susanna Gregory

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1614104,581 (3.98)5



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The usual characters are all present in this eighth book of Matthew Bartholomew’s adventures; but they are also joined by some interesting new-comers such as Richard Stanmore, Matthew’s nephew, and Timothy. And, again, Gregory presents a vivid picture of life in Medieval Cambridge. Juicy murders a plenty, scheming monks, plots and counter plots, cold-blooded villains, Brother Michael's appetites, what more could a reader want? Oh, and don’t forget the hint of romance between Matthew and Mathilde … where will that lead?

Intense arguments on the subject of theology appear to be the main motive for a string of brutal murders among the various religious order in Cambridge. But Matthew thinks it is more likely to be the baser instincts of his fellow men that are the more likely cause of the violence. Once again, his powers of deduction are called upon to solve the murders himself.

Gregory’s Bartholomew series is in some ways like C.S. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books; but in many ways, they are very different. The books are set in a recognisable and historically accurate England, and both authors have created detailed and credible worlds. Bartholomew lives within the closed and cloistered world of Cambridge. The cast of characters in this series have become old friends, as their adventures play out in the college environment. Shardlake’s stories, however, is writ upon a larger stage, with characters from history populating every page. A Bartholomew adventure is light and entertaining, and can be picked up and out down without losing any threads. A journey with Shardlake, on the other hand, requires full attention to ensure that nothing is missed. Both fill a different niche – and both are well worth reading. ( )
1 vote Jawin | Dec 1, 2012 |
14c murder-mystery set amongst religious orders in Cambridge. Doesn't have the period detail that Sansome creates. ( )
  LARA335 | Aug 9, 2012 |
A nunnery run as a bawdy house, inter-Order riots over philosophical points, rivalry between Universities spanning plots, conspiracies and murders ... Not a sanitized Middle Ages, the way Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels were. I don't know if it goes too far in the other direction... I like the people though, and the setting. They ring true and three-dimensional in a way Frazer's carefully researched portraits do not. Wish she'd write a simpler murder though, just to show she can. Something that's not part of a vast plot leading to death after death...
  krisiti | Jul 1, 2009 |
Seventh in the Matthew Bartholomew medieval mystery series set in 1350’s Cambridge, UK. When the body of a Cambridge scholar is found brutally stabbed, it’s first believed that it was a simple robbery. But when the Junior Proctor of the University is found hanged execution-style after he starts investigating the death, Brother Michael (the senior proctor, and Matthew Bartholomew’s good friend) believes otherwise. More deaths follow, along with the usual mix of University politics, differences in opinion between the different religious sects, etc. I do enjoy this series but there are parts of it that are rather repetitive at times and sometimes I wish the author would just get on with the story….perhaps a bit of judicious editing would help? At any rate, I didn’t get the bad guy in this one til near the end when a big clue popped out at me, and that’s always a bonus. I have several more in this series on my TBR and am looking forward to them! ( )
  Spuddie | Oct 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751531359, Paperback)

Believers in the theory of nominalism have set some Cambridge colleges at the throats of those who believe them to be heretics, and Brother Michael, the Senior Proctor, is struggling to keep the peace. When a nominalist is murdered during a riot, Michael is certain he will find the killer among the Dominicans—but before he can act, his junior proctor, Walcote, is found hanged. Meanwhile, Matthew Bartholomew discovers evidence that leads to Michael himself. Unable to believe his lifelong friend could be capable of such acts, Bartholomew knows that the only way he can quiet his own conscience is to solve the murders himself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In medieval Cambridge, believers in the theory of nominalism have set some colleges at the throats of those who believe them to be heretics, and Brother 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. Matthew Bartholomew starts to investigate, delving into a case involving nuns and rivalry with Oxford, and finds that the murders are less to do with high-minded principles than they are with baser instincts.… (more)

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