The eighth chronicle of the mediaeval physician,
Matthew Bartholomew, finds him in Ely where a visit to work in the Priory's
library turns into a murder investigation when the bishop himself is
accused of being a killer.
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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