Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Murder By The Book
Matthew Bartholomew Mystery Series - Book XVIII
Susanna Gregory

Sphere (Little, Brown)
7 June 2012 (US 1 April 2013) / ISBN: 9781847442963
Historical Mystery
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

The colleges of Cambridge are squabbling again; this time over whether or not they should have a common library. The poorer hostels support it because their impoverished students would be able to get hold of books, but others see it as a dangerous idea. During one of many meetings one of those in favor gets hit by a flying book and is badly injured, a sure sign perhaps that books can indeed be dangerous. But why does the pond in the new library's garden contain so many bodies? Can it be the library again, or are the smugglers from the nearby Fens to blame…

All right, I know I always say it but "expect more of the same" is a good way to begin a review of any entry in this long-running series. The usual suspects are all here plus a few new ones while Matt and Michael wander the town asking questions. Expect lots of bodies too, and plenty of bizarre and humorous happenings. This is the eighteenth in the series and although I would like a tauter tale with more new elements I have to admit that Ms Gregory has certainly carved out her own subgenre, which is no mean feat. As with all lengthy series part of the appeal is finding out what the characters have been up to and how they interact with the new people, and of course the plot. This is perhaps not one of the strongest plots Ms Gregory has come up with but fans of the series will surely find plenty to amuse.

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]

Reviewed 2012