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To Kill or Cure
Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles, No 13

by Susanna Gregory

After their brief sojourn in Lincoln, Matt, Michael and their friends (and foes) are back for another madcap adventure in this thirteenth entry in the series. This time two large and seemingly insurmountable problems loom. Town is pitted once again against gown when landlords raise their rents, and the scholars cannot pay them. Then trouble comes in the shape of the charismatic Richard Arderne, a healer with a star-spangled cart and a magic feather, which he says will cure all ills. When the bodies start to pile up and riots threaten, the duo have to find out who is at the bottom of it all before their city starts to burn…

If it is June, there must be a new Susanna Gregory novel out! Long term fans of the series reading this review can leave off at this point when I sum it all up as “more of the same.” Be prepared for a lively – if overlong – read, replete with bodies, Lombard slices, crazy antics and a tortuous plot with more red herrings than a fishmonger’s. To give credit where it is due, it is surely no mean feat to write a whodunit with over 400 pages and keep the reader interested all the time. Enjoy the mystery, forget about historical verisimilitude and enjoy yourself.

Reviews of other titles in this series

A Masterly Murder, No 6     [review]
The Hand of Justice, No 10     [review]
The Mark of a Murderer, No 11     [review]
The Tarnished Chalice, No 12     [review]
To Kill or Cure, No 13     [review]
The Devil’s Disciples, No 14     [review]
A Vein of Deceit, No 15     [review]
The Killer of Pilgrims, No 16     [review]
Mystery in the Minster, No 17     [review]
Murder By The Book, No 18    [review]

The Book
Sphere (Little, Brown)
14 June 2007
Historical Crime - 1357, Cambridge, UK
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2007