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An Unholy Alliance by Susanna Gregory

An Unholy Alliance (1996)

by Susanna Gregory

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Susanna Gregory certainly researches her books well. Following on from the first Matthew Bartholomew story, An Unholy Alliance picks up the story a few months later. The Black Death has left Cambridge and the town and surrounding areas are trying to recover. Gregory paints a picture of confusion and violence where people feel God has abandoned them and they question their faith, cults (or Guilds) spring up and some are covens for devil worship.

This forms the basis for a series of interwoven plots involving the murder of a couple of friars, a few townsmen and several prostitutes. Throw in a kidnapped baby, a bit of cross-dressing and various parts of goats and the scene is set.

Yes, it's confusing but it's also enjoyable, interesting and a good way to while away a few hours. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
The 2nd Matthew Bartholomew historical whodunnit. Still falls short on character development, plot & depth of historical detail.
Read Nov 2005 ( )
  mbmackay | Dec 5, 2015 |
The first two thirds of the book dragged and then the last third imroved greatly. I wasn't wild about the first Bartholomew book and this one wasn't all that much better. I'm still undecided as to whether to continue the series. ( )
  BillC. | Dec 7, 2014 |
Realised I haven't read the latest few of these, so am working my way through to them in order. Book 2. Poor Matthew Bartholomew, all he wants to do is get on with teaching his students his slightly unorthodox methods of treating patients and he gets dragged off to solve two mysteries. They appear to be related, but in fact it is two, and that only becomes apparent right at the end (which I wont give away). As previously, the largeer than life Brother michael is also tasked with solving the mystery of how a friar broke into the University stong box and got himself killed and then locked in the chect. oops. the second concerns a series of prostitute murders, but also the murder of a young woman who came to Bartholomew for help, only to find herself dead the next night. Via a series of poisioned locks, a miserable clerk and some cloth wagon stealing, our two slightly inept detectives do actually sort it all out. They really ought to work out who to trust, rather than discussin the case with all and sundry, including the clerk, who's up to his armpits in it! ( )
  Helenliz | Mar 31, 2013 |
2nd in the Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles. Reminiscent of Humberto Ecco's Name of the Rose, I think, but not as good. I found the book an easy, fast read, but was getting pretty bored with it by the end. Like much historical fiction, I found it an easy entry into the period (of which I know virtually nothing).
  kaulsu | Aug 28, 2009 |
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For Peter Sage
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Cambridge, 1350

Isobel Watkins glanced fearfully behind her for at least the fourth time since leaving the home of the wealthy merchant on Milne Street.
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Disambiguation notice
"Unholy Alliance" is also the title of a book by [[Peter Levenda]].
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751519359, Mass Market Paperback)

In 1350, Cambridge lies ravaged by the Black Death. Crime flourishes too—three harlots are found with slit throats and branded feet, a friar dies rifling a strongbox full of college chronicles, and the Vice Chancellor of the University vanishes from his sick chamber with all its furnishings. Now the Chancellor calls on the deductive skill of Matthew Bartholomew, Master of Medicine. Busy enough already with the teaching and practice of new techniques, Bartholomew welcomes the investigative help of portly Brother Michael—a shrewd and merry monk, not unduly shocked by sins of the flesh. And soon—from an exotic poison to a surge of devil worship, from a grisly exhumation to a sweetheart's dying words—they are on a tangled and perilous trail of conspiracy and obsession.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:57 -0400)

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