A Vein of Deceit : The Fifteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew, Paperback Book

A Vein of Deceit : The Fifteenth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


There is something very amiss in the finances of Michaelhouse. Despite a new influx of well-heeled students, there is an acute lack of funds for the upkeep of the buildings, even for decent provisions. It is only when the Brother in charge of the account books dies unexpectedly that some sort of explanation is revealed: he has been paying large amounts of money for goods the college itself has never received. Although shocked by this evidence of fraud, Matthew is more concerned with the disappearance from his herbarium of a quantity of pennyroyal, a preparation known to cause a woman to miscarry, and a pregant visitor to his sister's household has died from an overdose of pennyroyal. Had she meant to abort her child or had someone else wanted to ensure she was unable to provide an heir to her husband's wealthy estates? When Matthew learns that it was her husband who had received Michaelhouse's money for undelivered goods he begins to search for other connections and exposes a very treacherous vein of deceit.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480 pages, map
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780751539158

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Yet again, Matthew Bartholomew and his friend, Brother Michael, are embroiled in another mystery. Is Oxford University trying to bring its rival down again? Who has been stealing drugs from Matthew's store? Has the college treasurer been cooking the books? Once more, we tread carefully through the ordure of 14th century Cambridgeshire to find the solutions to Matthews problems. Does the poor man ever have a quiet day? He's like the 14th century equivalent of Jack Bauer.

Review by

Another entertaining Matt Bartholomew chronicle, as usual with a murder rate that puts 1920s' Chicago and Tom Barnaby's Midsomer county in the shade. This time much of the action takes place not in Cambridge but in the neighbouring county of Suffolk (not Sussex, which would have been a very long journey in the 14th century!). This gives us the pleasure of meeting some small town and rural characters whose morals and honesty are, surprise, surprise, no better than those of the inhabitants of Cambridge. Even better, they include one of those formidable matriarchs whom Susanna Gregory does so well, and an eccentric gatekeeper who likes to be paid in live chickens (which he keeps in a church). There is also a tantalizing glimpse of an important character whom we have not seen for some time.From these books I always get the impression that everyone at this time was on the verge if not of madness, certainly of being about to explode into rage and violence. Given the conditions under which they had to live, this is entirely understandable!

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