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A Plague on Both Your Houses (Matthew Bartholomew #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  2,382 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
In the tradition of Ellis Peters, A Plague on Both Your Houses introduces the physician Matthew Bartholomew, whose unorthodox but effective treatment of his patients frequently draws accusations of heresy from his more traditional colleagues. Besides his practice, Bartholomew is teacher of Medicine at Michaelhouse, part of the fledgling University of Cambridge. In 1348, th ...more
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1996)
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Jan 06, 2010 Manybooks rated it it was amazing
This first of Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew novels still (and after more than fifteen years) ranks amongst my very favourites of this now quite extensive series (my original copy of A Plague on Both Your Houses, I literally stumbled upon in an airport bookstore in August 2000, and I actually managed to read the entire novel on my four hour flight from Calgary to Toronto, so enthralling and interesting the plot and the featured characters proved to be). Full of informative historical deta ...more
Sep 16, 2009 Hayes rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Okay... pretty good mystery, too much university politics (the hostels vs. the Colleges vs. the townspeople vs. the merchants... I was very confused at times), too many names and characters (serves me right for reading in bed at night! too sleepy to pay attention!)

Well written, likable characters, nice historical backdrop... although the oozing buboes were a little much at times.

3 stars
Oct 22, 2014 Gretchen rated it liked it
After finishing this novel, I felt like I had really read two separate novels. It seemed like there was a novel about the plague and a novel about the murders at Michaelhouse. I understand the plague was a big deal in the world at the time of the events of this novel but the way the writer included it took a little bit away from the mystery. The novel was written well enough for me to want to continue on with this series.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Not 40 pages in and so far we have 2 dead academics, a contentious election, and a near riot.

I feel the need for some popcorn.

ETA: Wow, plot doesn't slow down, that's for sure.
This is the first story on Mathew Bartholomew series when he tries to solve some murder in Cambridge University and treat with some unorthodox ways some patients affected by the Plague. The Oxford-Cambridge also comes out from time to time but it's not fully explored by the author.
This was a book that had been recommended to me by several people as I lamented the fact that I had run out of Shardlake books to read. Some elements of Gregory's writing were reminiscent of Sansom's, even if I didn't feel quite the affection for Matthew Bartholomew as I did for Matthew Shardlake.

Bartholomew's story takes place significantly earlier than Shardlake's as well. The plague rages through England in 1348, and he finds himself one of the few physicians willing to treat and comfort the
A Plague on Both Your Houses
3 Stars

The Black Death is slowly making its way across Europe and toward England. At the same time, a series of mysteries deaths at Cambridge University arouses the suspicions of Matthew Bartholomew, a doctor and scholar at Michaelhouse college. As Bartholomew investigates, he uncovers a horrific web of lies and intrigue that makes him question those closest to him and may result in the destruction of the university itself.

The history of the rivalry between Oxford an
A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES (Amateur Sleuth-England-1300s) – G
Gregory, Susanna – 1st in series
Time Warner Paperback, 1996- Paperback
Matthew Bartholomew is a physician and teacher at the University of Cambridge, which is suddenly having an epidemic of unexplained deaths that, he is told, relate to a power struggle with College of Oxford. But when the plague comes to Cambridge, Matthew is both trying to save lives and uncover the truth.
*** I had a bit of trouble caring about the supposed motive b
Jenny OH
Apr 30, 2013 Jenny OH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading the Matthew Bartholomew series out of order - I think I read the first three in reverse order - but if the same happens to you, don't worry. I didn't feel like this first book gives any deeper grounding in the characters or setting. Which is not to say they're shallow or that the setting is thin, more that each book continues to build onto them in a natural way.

As a fan of historical fiction and a former medieval history student, I loved reading about the development of the uni
A medieval mystery during the time of the plague

This is a difficult book in that there are so many characters to keep straight! Most of them are teachers who have taken some form of religious orders and I did not identify with any of them; however, I did find the main character ,Matthew, growing on me during the second half of the book. During this time of medical discovery, most doctors knew that drawing blood with leeches and telling a person's humors by looking at the stars was not going to h
Apr 23, 2009 Pammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I picked up in the Matthew Bartholemew series, and I was hooked from the first chapter.

The book is one of a series, set in Cambridge, just after the Black Death in the 14th century. Bartholemew is a doctor at Michaelhouse college, who invariably ends up assisting his colleague and friend, the Senior Proctor, in solving crimes. The pair are a classic crime-fighting partnership, and often quite entertaining.

Bartholemew's character is refreshing in that he is often villified
Jun 04, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1348 and the plague is hitting hard. All Brother Bartholomew wants to do at Cambridge is teach and take care of his needy patients. However, the Black Death is not the only death to be found. There are murders to be solved. Brother Bartholomew does not know who to trust so keeps his own counsel but that causes him to even distrust the people he loves. Who are the murderers and why are they causing so many problems? Will the Black Death kill them too?

This book was given to me by a friend be
Kate Forsyth
This is a medieval murder mystery with an unorthodox physician acting as amateur detective as dead bodies pile up all around the University of Cambridge. The story is at times incoherent, with so many characters and plots and sub-plots crossing and re-crossing that it is easy to become confused. However, some of the historical detail was very well done and any book that deals with the Black Death cannot help but be filled with ghoulish appeal. This is the first book in the long-running Chronicle ...more
Every once in a while I do myself a favor by finding a book that just comes to me by happenstance. This one was in the waiting room at the VA hospital, a pocketbook with the front cover torn off, and it just happened to seem more interesting than the only two other books lying around: a garish romance and a mystery missing the first 136 pages. So I selected it largely because there was nothing else worth reading … and it turns out to be excellent. The flyleaf lists nine other novels by Susan Gre ...more
Interesting mystery set in the middle-ages (1348-1349) dealing with the early years of Cambridge and the plague. I'm not an expert on this period by any means, so I can only assume that research was done and the basics of life at that time are more or less accurately related. I feel like the author didn't want to bog down an already dense story with speech that would be more representative of the time or with giving a lot of details of the period. So the language is straight forward and I felt l ...more
Miles Atkinson
This book is an excellent blending of murder mystery with an atmospheric and generally very well written account of the impact of the Black Death on a small English town. A multi-facetted plot brings in academic rivalry, intellectual jealousy and how these are used to advance the personal agendas of ambitious and ruthless men. This comes across particularly well in the plot to destabilise Cambridge University and the way in which this is revealed in its devious complexity. Matthew Bartholomew is ...more
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May 24, 2012 Ingrid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 05, 2017 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 05, 2017 Sasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this interesting as I live in Cambridge and it was a good read but my main criticism is that it became hard work trying to follow all the different characters and that it was too long.
Mar 22, 2017 Magistra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent writing and a good mystery. There was a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. The historical details were great and I learned a lot about the the university system in medieval England which I didn't know. It could have been tigtened up a bit, but overall it was a good book. I look forward to reading more of the series.
Mar 11, 2017 Lacer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Plague On Both Your Houses is the first in a very long series of novels set in 12th century Cambridge, in the infancy of the university there. Matthew Bartholomew is a university doctor with slightly unconventional views such as the importance of cleanliness and working with poor people. He is a Fellow at Michaelhouse, one of the university's colleges, at a time when the university is divided between the colleges (own their own land etc) and the hostels (similar to colleges but not quite as fo ...more
Laurel Bradshaw
My rating: 3.5 stars. A good start to a series with room for improvement. I think I like Matthew, but there is not a lot of character development. The plot doesn't really go anywhere either - you won't learn anything before Matthew does. An awful lot of dead bodies in the first chapter, and that is before the plague hits! I'm not sure I was convinced by the final reveal, but it was a good twist. Where I thought the book shined was in the author's depiction of the plague, though there were times ...more
Ana Elena Romero
Comencé la lectura de esta saga atraída por la temática; novela de misterio y asesinatos en una universidad medieval. La cosa prometía, pero sólo ha quedado en eso.
La novela describe la situación en la que se desenvuelve un médico de Cambridge en el momento en el que la peste asola la ciudad. Eso a la par que trata de desentrañar unos misteriosos asesinatos.
Pesada, con poco fundamento y con una narrativa farragosa .
A Plague on Both Your Houses introduces physician Matthew Bartholomew, whose unorthodox but effective treatment of his patients frequently draws accusations of heresy from his more traditional colleagues. Besides his practice, Bartholomew teaches medicine at Michaelhouse, part of the fledgling University of Cambridge. In 1348, the inhabitants of Cambridge live under the shadow of a terrible pestilence that has ravaged Europe and is travelling relentlessly towards England. Bartholomew, however, i ...more
Jan 24, 2010 Graham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
I'm a big fan of historical detective novels so I decided to try out this medieval series from Susanna Gregory, in which the hero is a physician.

I was left in two minds about the book, which suffers from the classic 'first book' syndrome: the premise is good, the ideas are fine, but the plotting is a little weak and it's easy to see the cogs moving behind the page.

The good points: the setting. The Cambridge colleges make for a fine backdrop to the murder and death going on. Bartholomew is an int
Oct 23, 2016 LJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, crime
Well, there are plenty of murders!

The start of this novel is really excellent, full of suspense, fast paced and really gripping.
It draws you straight in.
I really liked the main character Bartholemew, he is clever, witty and sometimes rather sarcastic which I loved. He is slightly like C.J. Samson's character Shardlake in his Shardlake series (which I seriously recommend if you haven't already read them!!)
The book is interesting, including information about 14th century England and I have
Sue Thompson
Dec 13, 2016 Sue Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Years ago I read one of the books in this series (I think it may have been no19) without realising it was one of a series. I suppose this was why it didn’t make sense in parts, however I loved the concept of it and I do enjoy a good historical mystery story. This led to me later buying the whole series on my Kindle and working my way through them (in order this time).

A well written and well researched book, Susanna Gregory clearly knows her history and has created great characters with personali
Karina Harris
Feb 14, 2011 Karina Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, my father recommended this book to me. A Plague on Both Your Houses is the first in a series by Susanna Gregory (circa 1996). Set in the 1300's at one of the colleges in Cambridge, our main character is Matthew Bartholomew, an unorthodox physician and teacher.

The story begins with the proclaimed suicide of the college's Master (head professor/administer). But his ghastly demise leaves Matthew unconvinced that his friend had taken his on life. Then other murders occur. Unwillingly, Ma
Enjoyable historical fiction set in medieval Cambridge. Matthew Bartholomew is a doctor and Fellow of Michaelhouse College. The university is struggling in its relationships with the townspeople, leading to brawls in the street, and there are rumours that the plague is approaching the town. Then there are a series of mysterious deaths in the college, culminating in the death of the Master. Bartholomew finds himself pulled into investigating the crimes, unsure who he can trust, and with the fear ...more
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Susanna Gregory is the pseudonym of Elizabeth Cruwys, a Cambridge academic who was previously a coroner's officer. She writes detective fiction, and is noted for her series of mediaeval mysteries featuring Matthew Bartholomew, a teacher of medicine and investigator of murders in 14th-century Cambridge.

AKA Simon Beaufort

She writes detective fiction, and is noted for her series of mediaeval mysterie
More about Susanna Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

Matthew Bartholomew (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • An Unholy Alliance (Matthew Bartholomew, #2)
  • A Bone of Contention (Matthew Bartholomew, #3)
  • A Deadly Brew (Matthew Bartholomew, #4)
  • A Wicked Deed (Matthew Bartholomew, #5)
  • A Masterly Murder (Matthew Bartholomew, #6)
  • An Order for Death (Matthew Bartholomew, #7)
  • A Summer of Discontent (Matthew Bartholomew, #8)
  • A Killer in Winter (Matthew Bartholomew, #9)
  • The Hand of Justice (Matthew Bartholomew, #10)
  • The Mark of a Murderer (Matthew Bartholomew, #11)

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