Once again, my father recommended this book to me. A Plague on Both Your Houses is the first in a series by Susanna Gregory (circa 1996). Set in the 1300's at one of the colleges in Cambridge, our main character is Matthew Bartholomew, an unorthodox physician and teacher.
The story begins with the proclaimed suicide of the college's Master (head professor/administer). But his ghastly demise leaves Matthew unconvinced that his friend had taken his on life. Then other murders occur. Unwillingly, Matthew becomes embroiled in the sinister plot. Not knowing who he can trust, why the murders are occurring, or if his own life is in danger, Matthew spends his days split between seeing patients and trying to logically solve the crimes.
And the the plague arrives.
This book reminded me a little of Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club, specifically the mystery of multiple murders, the true historical setting, and the gruesomeness of the Black Death. Although Gregory's description is not quite as vivid as Pearl's...that was fine with me in this case! She does a masterful job of weaving characters, plots, subplots, and twists and turns into a mystery that I had not solved by the time the answers were revealed!
I look forward to reading the rest of Bartholomew's adventures by Susanna Gregory!