Matthew Bartholomew jumps at the chance to travel to Ely with Brother Michael, as it will give him a unique opportunity to study in the richly stocked library of the Benedictine priory.
Michael has been summoned to the city by his bishop, but it isn't until they arrive that they discover the reason - the bishop has been accused of murder. The charge seems ludicrous, but Michael takes the investigation seriously and energetically sets about his task. Almost immediately he discovers that there appears to have been a series of unexplained deaths in the area.
At the same time, Bartholomew comes across an underground movement of rebellion against the church and the tithes they demand from the laity, and the two men also learn that there has been a spate of burglaries which are being blamed on a band of travellers.
Then a fellow of the priory is murdered almost under their noses. Can this death be connected to the others? Are all the killings linked to the burgeoning rebellion in the city?
Once again Susanna Gregory has created a superbly crafted mystery narrated with wit and style against a perfectly realised period background.
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A good listen with nice historical detail
Historical + detective = interesting
The mystery, although slightly predictable, was nevertheless interesting, in some places amusing and the interplay between the two main characters had depth. I feel as if the author has finally got into her stride and, having already listened to the newly published books, this is the first book I can say I thoroughly enjoyed all the way through.
Thorpe does a pretty good job of Bartholomew but has a strange interpretation of some of the other characters, especially female voices and one of the monks who is small in the previous book. Nevertheless, in A Summer of Discontent this is one of Thorpe's better performances.
Not a comedy but there were moments between Bartholomew and Michael that did make me laugh, other than that it was an interesting read/listen.
If you have found the earlier books hard to get through then start with this one as both the books and the narrator get significantly better from here on in.
best of the series so far
- Jennifer Chennell