Mystery in the Minster: The Seventeenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew

Susanna Gregory. Sphere (IPG, dist.), $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-84744-297-0

Set in 1358, Gregory’s superb 17th whodunit starring Cambridge physician Matthew Bartholomew (after 2010’s The Killer of Pilgrims) takes Bartholomew and several other fellows of Michaelhouse College to York, where they try to resolve a dispute over a legacy of the city’s late archbishop. Six years after the death of Archbishop William Zouche, the fellows of Michaelhouse learn that he bequeathed them a chapel, which would go a long way toward addressing their financial woes. Unfortunately, there appears to be only oral evidence for the bequest, and executors of Zouche’s estate, who might have confirmed its existence, have been dying off at an alarming rate. The pace never slackens, despite the book’s length, and Gregory again proves adept at weaving a plot complicated enough to be baffling but not so intricate as to become confusing. (Jan.)