Book Review – July 2017 – Sallie Eden

A Grave Concern by Susanna Gregory – Published by Sphere, 2016

This is the 22nd in a series of medieval mysteries set in Cambridge. Although historical novels are not my preferred genre, I can rarely resist a murder mystery. 

This is not a book to read in one sitting; for one thing there are several dozen characters and for another the plot itself is so very complex you need to concentrate on every word to get to grips with the story. 

Touches of humour break up the often dark elements and complicated twists and turns of the many side plots: the rivalry between so called barber-surgeons and physicians, misplaced patronage, petty thefts, the future of the University and who will be the next Bishop. 

To gain the greatest benefit I should probably have started with the first chronicle and built up my knowledge of the period, colleges and characters; that said I enjoyed branching out into a different (for me) kind of story and I can imagine hunkering down by the fire in winter and getting stuck into several hours of well researched, quality writing/reading before bed. 

As another reviewer has said, this is a TV series waiting to be commissioned. 

A final note: my thanks go to Alexus for the recommendation. 

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