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A Plague on Both Your Houses

(Matthew Bartholomew #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,727 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated.

But Matt is dete
Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Sphere (first published 1996)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,727 ratings  ·  252 reviews

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Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good HF series I've been following for some time now ... ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clemens Schoonderwoert
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
**Definitely 4.5 Stars!**

After having read all the books so far from this astounding mystery author, Susanna Gregory, of the great "Thomas Chaloner" series, I decided to make a start with the "Matthew Bartholomew" series beginning with this book, volume 1.
Although this historical mystery is already 23-years-old, it's still as fresh now as it was then, in 1996.
Storytelling is, just like the "Thomas Chaloner" series, although this is the series that the author started and sent her on the way of re
Sep 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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. ...more
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.
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.
Always unfortunate when the Black Death has come to Cambridge and someone keeps murdering people at your college. G was very taken with the cover of this book and wanted to know what it was about, then he corrected my pronunciation of 'bubonic' and we got online & learned a lot about plagues, which is great and timely and all of that. GR says this is the first in the series and the cover of this edition which my son so enjoyed says it's the third, but in any case I had a very good time with this ...more
Pamela Shropshire
3.5 stars. I read several books in this series a number of years ago, and would have read more. But one of my pet peeves about my local library is that they almost never have the first book in a series, and I’m a bit obsessive (okay, maybe more than a bit) about reading a series in order.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to collect the early books in this series but they are hard to find. On a recent trip to England we visited Hay-on-Wye, also known as the Town of Bookshops, and I found the first three b
Rita Walton
How did this book get 4 stars on Goodreads? It's really bad. I kept reading it because it was such a trainwreck. The plot is ridiculous and when the mystery is finally resolved at the end of the book, the author has to repeat what happened and why about 6 different times because it's so senseless. Basically, the plot is pushed along by the narrator constantly saying, "Why did this happen? Could it have been Giles? Or maybe it was Oswald? Or could Aelfrith be the murderer? Matt wiped his brow. . ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read something light, maybe a mystery, and this book popped at me from my bookshelf, 'The Plague on Both Your Houses' by Susanna Gregory.

The story told goes like this. It is the year 1348 and the place is Cambridge University. One of the masters of a college dies mysteriously. It is thought to be a suicide. The college physician Bartholomew has questions on it. A new master is appointed. But before the celebrations get over, another person dies mysteriously. And the dead body disapp
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 (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
St Jerome
Enjoyable even if at times the story can be a bit ‘constipated’ and difficult to follow, nevertheless I will definitely read more about Matthew Bartholomew.
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 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, historical, 2020
A really good story lots of twists and turns throughout. Not necessarily a book for bedtime due to the twists!! However good read. Fans of Owen Archer would enjoy
Jenny OH
Apr 30, 2013 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
Apr 23, 2009 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 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
Jul 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't like this at all. Story over complicated. I didn't care about the motives behind the murders and didn't connect with the "hero" Matthew. Lots of authors writing similar but vastly superior books. I wont be reading any more of this series. ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Way too many characters & deaths to keep track of. By the end it was a boring struggle. Disappointing.
Laura Edwards
The writing is okay, but the pace of the story moves along like molasses dripping from a bottle. I'll admit to skipping ahead in spots. Just not for me. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerry Blaisdell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable mystery read. Set in medieval Cambridge, the story follows a physician as he deals not only with murders and intrigue within the college but also with the onset of the Black Death. I liked Bartholomew a lot and there were several other good characters, but I found the mystery to be a little vague and hard to follow (not really being familiar with how Cambridge was set up in those days!) Still, I liked the setting, and I would probably read another of these mysteries if I came across ...more
Nadishka Aloysius
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a few others in this series so I was glad to have finally found book 1. The most interesting aspect of the story is the description of the spread of the Bubonic Plague. The actual murder mystery got sidetracked for the middle half of the book since it focused mostly on the plague, so it felt as if the book lost its pace and focus for a while.
I was unable to figure out the murderer until the big reveal - which is a good thing!
An enjoyable read if you like rambling historical setting
Christine Beswick
Quite fun, but I felt that the plot was confused and confusing at times. I don't think I'll be reading any more of the series ...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.She is married to author Beau Riffenburgh who is her co-author on the Simon Beaufort books.


Other books in the series

Matthew Bartholomew (1 - 10 of 24 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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