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Description - A Bone of Contention by Susanna Gregory

Cambridge, 1392. Matthew Bartholomew, physician to Michaelhouse College, is called to examine some mysterious bones found in the King's Ditch. Next day he is called to the Ditch again: a student has been found dead there. Meanwhile, there is unrest in the town, and the strange disappearance of Dominica, former lover of the dead student and daughter of Waterstone, the well-known Principal of a Cambridge student hostel. Are these events connected? Then a skeletal hand is found in the Ditch, hailed by townsfolk as the final remains of local martyr Simon d'Ambrey, and hence a holy relic. When Bartholomew finds that the hand is wearing a ring apparently identical to a pair that were worn by Dominica and her ex-lover, and now missing, he knows that his investigative skills are called for.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780751520224
ISBN-10: 0751520225
Format: Paperback
(179mm x 114mm x 35mm)
Pages: 512
Imprint: Time Warner Paperbacks
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 7-May-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - A Bone of Contention by Susanna Gregory

US Kirkus Review » A second visit to the 14th century and Cambridge, England, once again focuses on physician-teacher Matthew Bartholomew and his friend Brother Michael, a Senior Proctor, both living at Michaelhouse, one of several competitive, quarrelsome college residences (An Unholy Alliance, 1996). This time out, though, there's something more menacing than intraschool rivalry. Some behind-the-scenes force is pitting townspeople against students - inciting riots, killing in the streets, and more. Then Scots student James Menzie of David's Hostel is found dead, a precious ring missing from his finger. The ring's mate belongs to Dominica, daughter of Principal Lydgate of Godwinsson Hostel. Dominica is also soon to disappear, and a twin to the missing ring will be found on a hand dragged from the town's sewer system - a ditch - by Master Thorpe of Valence Marie house, and will be declared by him to be a sacred relic. All of this is but a tiny sample of the many violent confrontations; characters venal and benign; and plots and subplots that abound here in an undisciplined, unbelievable saga of vengeance sought against a whole town for a decades-old grievance. Patient students of medieval England may stay the course for the thoroughly researched background. Most other readers will be long gone. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Susanna Gregory

Susanna Gregory was a police officer in Leeds before taking up an academic career. She has served as an environmental consultant, worked seventeen field seasons in the polar regions, and has taught comparative anatomy and biological anthropology. She is the creator of the Matthew Bartholomew series of mysteries set in medieval Cambridge and the Thomas Chaloner adventures in Restoration London, and now lives in Wales with her husband, who is also a writer.

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