Death of a Scholar

Written by Susanna Gregory
Review by Marina Oliver

More than one scholar, as well as townsfolk, dies in this new Matthew Bartholomew mystery. He is preoccupied with helping his sister whose husband has just died, as well as preparing lectures ready for the new term. Cambridge, before term begins, is awash with riotous, unruly would-be students, and disturbed by the prospect of a new foundation whose master is determined to make it the premier Cambridge college. In searching for the killer of one of its fellows, as well as other murderers, Matthew and Senior Proctor Brother Michael encounter college feuds and jealousies, various thefts, arson and blackmail, as well as suspicious poisonings.

I would have appreciated a cast list, as there were so many people introduced in the first few pages it was difficult to follow the action and understand the relevance. Having backtracked to make my own list after the first chapter, I was able to appreciate how the author, with her usual flair, manipulated all these and more characters while assembling clues during the constant questioning of suspects and others.