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

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,377 ratings  ·  86 reviews
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 sh
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1996)
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Hayes
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
Pammy
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...more
LJ
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...more
Laura
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.
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.
JBradford
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
Jenny
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...more
Linda
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...more
Wayne Farmer
An enjoyable read and a good historical setting. I really started to get a feel of how terrifying it might have been living through the Black Death. The main character Matthew Bartholomew is likable enough but I did start to feel that he needed a sidekick in whom to trust and discuss things with, although i guess that was part of the story that he was really on his own with no-one to trust. A couple of things lost this book a star - firstly I felt that this book needed a few historical notes at...more
Sorcha
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
Richard Stueber
I had read this book before. Don't know why I did it again. I must be slipping. One main feature of this story is the Black Death coming to Cambridge, England late in 1348. The death toll from that was terrible, many of the characters herein having died from that. A lot of others were murdered. In the epilogue others were executed for treason.
Poor physician Matthew Bartholomew doesn't know who he can trust, not even Brother Michael who is his bosom buddy and fellow detective in subsequent volume...more
Diana
Matthew Bartholomew is a physician and an instructor at Cambridge University during 1348. There are some unsolved murders and deaths punctuated by a multitude of deaths from the plague as it reaches England and their town. Matthew provides medical care for as many patients as he can while trying to understand why the plague spreads, how best to help his patients, and why certain people appear to be immune. In addition, he is trying to unravel the complex story of why people have been murdered an...more
Graham
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...more
Karina Harris
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...more
Maze Branch
Donna led this discussion on 04/01/14.

The setting for the Matthew Bartholomew mysteries is 1350s Cambridge. Matthew is a teacher of medicine at Michaelhouse and known for his strange medical way including washing his hands, and not bleeding his patients or consulting their stars. The mysteries are complex but satisfying.

We read a variety of these books for the discussion (at least 6) and all found the setting intriguing, but some of the mysteries were too complex and the story telling too repeti...more
Mickey Hoffman
This mystery kept me guessing which is set in Cambridge, England at the onset of the Plague in 1348. Might be helpful to include an appendix about early Cambridge, but anyone can Google it later. I liked this title better than another book in the series I'd already read. I do think the book is longer than it needs to be, but otherwise a solid historical mystery.
Donna
Re-read 03/10/14 for Maze Mystery Book Discussion.

I enjoyed re-reading this. Vaguely remembered some things, but not most. While I enjoyed it very much, this time I struggled to keep all of the characters straight. Too many people with last names that are Christian names (Bartholomew, Oliver), brothers with the same last name (Oliver, Stanmore), and characters whose first name begins with the same letter (Wilson, William; Alcote, Augustus, Aelfrith, Abigny). I'm getting too old; I needed more d...more
Helen
First in the series set in the fledging university of Cambridge. Matthew Bartholomew is a doctor and teacher in the University at the time of the plague. There have been a series of unsettling deaths in the University recenrtly, culminating in the supposed suicide of the master of Michaelhouse college and the murder of three of its fellows. Bartholomew sets out to find out what's happened, in the midst of trying to cure the plague, which has also descended on the town. He's not the most talented...more
Kerensa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
This book has made a weeks commute very pleasurable. I have been toying with reading Suzanna Gregory for a while and when i got the Kindle i thought i would give it a go.

I do love a historical murder mystry and loved all the cadfael books. I also love the C J sansom shardlake mystries and in a simular vain this book feed that empty void. the caharcters a well rounded the story line intresting.

the only small quarm i have is that it unlike Ellis and Sansom the english was not as good in this boo...more
Fi
I felt transported back to the 1300s whilst reading this book. Although it didn't have the page-turner short chapters of most modern crime mysteries, it grabbed me from the first chapter. It is very well-written and is set in a fascinating time with interesting characters. I look forward to reading more from the Matthew Bartholomew chronicles!
Alethea Bothwell
What a complicated plot! I am not a person who solves the mysteries I read, but I was totally lost with this one - not that I mind.

I like things set in the Middle Ages, so there's that too.
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
Vicky Thomasson
I bought this book by accident, thinking it was something else but I'm very pleased I did because I couldn't put it down. It was full of mystery and suspense, that kept me guessing up until the end. It was so well written that I could almost smell the death and decay that was described about the Black Death. I fell in love with Bartholomew almost straight away and am very much looking forward to reading number 2 in the series. The only criticism I have is that towards the end, I got a bit bored...more
Nilo Di Stefano
Incredibile thriller storico. Solo Ellis Peters è riuscita a farmi stare incollato ad un libro del genere con la stessa attenzione e voglia.
Un giallo medioevale scorrevole come difficilmente capita, con una struttura della trama molto lineare e seppur con poca attenzione nella caratterizzazione dei personaggi, la lettura non ne viene assolutamente danneggiata, anzi è difficile staccarsi dalle pagine che vanno via una dietro l'altra.
L'ambientazione aiuta davvero tanto. Cambridge, Oxford, il peri...more
Emily Harper
Excellent murder mystery set before and during the Plague in England.
Kris
The book was a little slow to start as the author recreated the world of 14th century Cambridge University, but once she had all the pieces in place it turned into a real page turner. Matthew Bartholomew is a refreshing innocent who is baffled by the evil he sees all around himself and inspite of far more wordly men trying to keep him out of trouble, he lands neck deep in it. The characters are well drawn, particularly Bartholomew, Michael and the Stanmores, a few minor characters border on deus...more
Nicole Yovanoff
I really enjoyed the book. Yes, I have a sad fascination with the Plague, but I enjoyed the pace after a slow start in the first 75 pages. There are a lot of characters at the start of the book which can be at times a bit confusing, but with the murder and the plague, the characters fall to the wayside.

It is the first in the series and makes me want to read more. It’s a great murder mystery novel.
Lauren Roberts
Well written gripping to the end
Barbi
I have read a novel further on in this series and enjoyed it very much - so went back to book #1. This novel was held together by a slender story line - a stretch to hold it together. The characters are very good - the setting is also interesting - but the actions of the characters are a wee bit hard to take - too much secrecy and subterfuge ... OK - I know it is a mystery after all! It seemed like the novel was lengthened in order to make the mystery 'fit'. Won't stop me from reading others in...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
More about Susanna Gregory...
An Unholy Alliance (Matthew Bartholomew, #2) A Conspiracy of Violence (Thomas Chaloner, #1) A Deadly Brew (Matthew Bartholomew, #4) A Bone of Contention (Matthew Bartholomew, #3) A Wicked Deed (Matthew Bartholomew, #5)

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