In 1358, over a century after its foundation in Cambridge, the college of Michael House is facing a serious shortfall of funds and competition from upstarts rivals such as Zachary Hostel. Their problems are made no easier by the hostility of the town's inhabitants, who favour the university moving away to the Fens.
This simmering tension threatens to break into violence when a well-known tradesman is found dead in one of the colleges. Matthew Bartholomew knows he was poisoned but cannot identify the actual substance, never mind the killer. He also worries that other illnesses and deaths may have been caused by the effluent from his sister's dye works.
Torn between loyalties to his kin and to his college, he fears the truth may destroy both his personal and professional lives, but he knows he must use his skills as a physician to discover the truth before many more lose their lives entirely.
"Susanna Gregory writes with fluency and energy, avoids archaic vocabulary, despite her 14th-century setting and, having had a career as an academic, bases the stories in this enjoyable series on careful research." (Literary Review)
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A surfeit of voices?
His vocal characterisations
Laugh. If Ms. Gregory's history is correct, I wonder how the Middle Ages ever became the 'latter ages'.
Although I've listened to the whole series of Mathew Bartholomew I have in general, preferred the vocal characterisations of David Thorpe.However, after Andrew Wincott took over for two of the books, ( I was not over enamoured of his work), David seemed to lose his characterisations. Simrick in particular seemed to forget that he was Welsh and Agnes lost her rough edge. Even Michael was hard to recognise at times.In addition the Geography of Cambridge went awry at times. "The Angel" seemed to move itself from South of the "Brazen George" to East of the "Cardinal's Cap".. It can be quite disconcerting.However, I still enjoy the series. Thank you Ms. Gregory.
- Anthony M. Padgett