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This is from another one of those historical mystery series medieval setting Cambridge in the 1300s , town gown tensions, monks galore The sad thing is that every one that I ve read barring Ellis Peters Brother Cadfael takes themselves so seriously it hurts.The conflict here is threefold One, an outsider claims to be a better doctor than the ones currently practicing in town two, the town wants to raise rents on the hostels occupied by the varying University students three, who killed Wenden and Lynton Each story is interwoven, and their solutions aren t that far fetched The central mystery, the murders, turns out to have little to do with the other two stories except that they provide some red herrings for the Senior Proctor, Brother Michael and his Corpse Examiner, Matthew Bartholomew Some of the book felt like padding we didn t need to continually hear about Brother Michael s big bones or how awful the food was or how much Tyrington spit , and the writing style was a little clunky This was my first venture into this series, and I ll not revisit. I had not thought much of the previous book in the Matthew Bartholomew series The Tarnished Chalice , so I was glad to see that To Kill or Cure was back on form Cambridge is gripped by the Rent War university statutes that placed restrictive rents on property that they used , so tensions between the town and university are even higher than normal This is not helped by a new healer in town, who is working very hard discredit the university physicians Add to that, two new Fellows at Michaelhouse who are not popular and things are pretty tense and that s not even taking into account the murders that have of course occurred. Enjoyable and engaging if not very original The first few Matthew Bartholomew books were very good the first one was excellent , but now I ve reached Number 13 and they ve settled down to a fairly predictable formula They have engaging characters and interesting plots, and are very readable, but they tend to have a set structure and the murders and horrors they describe don t seem to have much effect on the people involved As crime novels go, they re quite fluffy and in this regard, the series is a bit like a sort of medieval Midsomer Murders But however much I think this, I still enjoy reading them, and I particularly appreciate the ongoing developments of particular characters as the series progresses This particular book features a very believable political and financial dispute involving housing in Cambridge and a struggle for power within the town both issues seem surprisingly topical We also see new developments for the individuals at Michaelhouse College, where most of the books in the series are set. Another good addition to this series And while the plot is somewhat thin, the writing can be repetitive, and sometimes slow.I just love going back in time and taking it all in And that is the part that this author does well She makes me smell and feel medieval Cambridge and feel very glad that I don t live in that time So for me, my rating is not about the plot, the sleuthing or bumbling as sometimes occurs , nor the continued explanations about how fat Michael is, or how bad the food is a Michaelhouse, or the tensions between the town and the University my rating is about the incredible world building that is done in this series, the interesting historical facts and the wonderful banter between Michael and Matthew and perhaps William as well I really like this series, with the insight into Medieval Oxford with all its politics and prejudices I especially like the protagonist, Matthew Bartholomew, a physician with integrity and heterodox views about the superstition in medieval medicine This number isn t my favorite, with a thorough villain manipulating the town against the school and also against Matthew. It took me a while to get into this I was thinking this is just a long winded tale about monks in Cambridge in the 14th century But I was won over it is, in fact, very atmospheric and raises some interesting points about medieval medicine and the plot is good I m a big fan of Shardlake in the CJ Sansom Tudor novels and was interested to find that there is a long series of Matthew Bartholomew novels which I may get into at some point Listened to this on audible and it was beautifully read, which always enhances a book Much better than recent efforts a complex plot, involving rent disputes, a fake medic and some bitchy academic politics, introducing and then removing several new characters in rapid succession Pacy, adding to e central characters without distracting from the main plot, it was an excellent read Another great read in the Matthew Bartholomew series. (Read Book) á To Kill or Cure â Cambridge University Is In Dire Financial Straits The Town S Landlords Are Demanding An Extortionate Rent Rise For The Students Hostels And The Plague Years Have Left The Colleges With Scant Resources Tension Between Town And Gown Is At A Boiling Point And Soon Explodes Into Violence And Death Into This Maelstrom Comes A Charismatic Physician Whose Healing Methods Owe To Magic Than Medicine But His Success Threatens Matthew Bartholomew S Professional Reputation, And His Life This was my first book by the author Overall, I found the plot long winded, but the historical details were rich and well researched.