The Habit of Murder: The Twenty-Third Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew

Susanna Gregory. Sphere (IPG, dist.), $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7515-6263-7
British author Gregory does her usual solid job of weaving details of daily life in 14th-century England into a sophisticated multiple-murder mystery plot in her 23rd whodunit featuring physician Matthew Bartholomew (after 2016’s A Grave Concern). In 1360, Matthew and some of his colleagues from Cambridge’s Michaelhouse College travel to Clare after receiving word that Elizabeth de Burgh, the Lady of Clare, has died. The college’s master, Ralph de Langelee, is hoping that her bequest to Michaelhouse will fill its empty coffers. But on arrival in Clare, the scholars learn that the lady is alive and well. However, there have been other deaths that are believed to have stemmed from a dispute between the town and the castle about who could stand where in church. The latest victim, a townsman, was poisoned, supposedly in retaliation for three previous murders of the lady’s men. Matthew does his usual capable job of deciphering subtle clues, and Gregory leavens an essentially grim story with occasional humorous passages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/24/2017
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-7515-6262-0
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