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Summary

February 1355: Oxford explodes in one of the most serious riots of its turbulent history. Fearing for their lives, the scholars flee the city, and some choose the University at Cambridge as their temporary refuge. But they don't remain safe for long. Within hours of their arrival, the first of their number dies, followed quickly by a second. When Matthew Bartholomew begins to investigate the deaths, he uncovers evidence that the Oxford riot was not a case of random violence, but part of a carefully orchestrated plot.
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© Susanna Gregory; (P) Clipper Audio

What listeners say about The Mark of a Murderer

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good read

There are other books in the series featuring the same cast of characters, but this was my first (and the only one in the series available from Audible). I don't think it made a difference; the characters are very well defined in this book.

The story is set in 14th century Cambridge, but they could almost be walking round a dirty version of a modern town without cars. And there's a lot of walking! For all that, it's pretty good: the story unfolds gradually through the book, new twists appear and are resolved, and the ending is entirely satisfactory. No quibbles with the narration, either.

So why don't I give it all five stars? I suppose it's just because it doesn't stand out as the most gripping or wonderful or unmissable book. It's good enough, though, and I'm glad I listened.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

disappointed

Found the book uo to normal standards but he Narrator was a bitter disappointment (first time i have ever heard the word stable pronounced 'sty ball' I would have simply skipped these books if not for the continuity issues. Luckily there is only two before David is back.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

After a previous 10 books, performed brilliantly, by David Thorpe I was extremely disappointed to hear another voice reading about my favourite characters. It wouldn't have been as bad if Andrew Wincott had pronounced the names the same, it ruined the flow of the story every time I found myself correcting his pronunciation. If it hadn't been for the fact I wanted continuity in Bartholomew's life I would have stopped listening after chapter 1! One more book to go before David is back, hopefully for the rest of the series.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Inconsistencies

Having heard the previous books read by another actor the inconsistencies of their characterisations of the main protagonists was very annoying. Even by the end I was still amazed at Brother Michael's suddenly gruff voice compared with previous readings. Apart from that, it was great!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not the best in the series

the story was very convoluted and complicated, there was considerable repetition and review which if necessary questions the overall story. the narrator was good, despite criticisms in other reviews, he is very talented and did the characters justice. However, after 10 books read by one narrator who created loved friends, it was difficult to hear them portrayed differently. Michael seemed aggressive, stupid and humourless, as opposed to the warm and funny friend I know and love.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another excellent book

Wonderful story that keeps you guessing right up to the end. The narrator hits the mark.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Extremely disappointing reader

I am working my way through the Matthew Bartholomew series which I am enjoying enormously. In part this is because of the excellent reader David Thorpe. It is disappointing in the extreme that the reader of this is such rubbish. The only slight excuse I can perhaps tolerate is that perhaps this was one of the earliest Audible transcripts of the whole series. Whoever thought of using this particular narrator should be frankly ashamed of themselves for using someone who doesn't seem to be able to pronounce the names of the characters properly and indeed some of the basic English language. This explains my low scoring, which had it been properly read by David Thorpe would have led to a full house!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but not as good.

Well I came to this with some trepidation having followed the series from book 1 and absolutely loving the usual narrator. I have to start by saying anyone who starts with this book would not really have anything bad to say about the narration, as he is good although does not have as much range and strangely changed the pronunciation of several of the names not to mention Agatha the laundress suddenly sounded Irish! The biggest disappointment though is the voice for Brother Michael who previously had been given a fey, slightly camp voice that perfectly captured the dual aspect of the big, gluttonous monk who underneath has a razor sharp mind and is very knowing. Here he has a deep gruff voice that completely changes the character and takes away the knowing humour and just, at times, makes him appear a bully.

The story was a bit convoluted and not terribly believable and unfortunately there was not much time spent at Michael House and its eccentric crew, always my favourite bit and too much time spent with to good to be true Mathilde. She could do with a few quirks to make her more interesting. Still I suppose when you are writing a series of this length some stories are going to be slightly weaker.

As long as Matthew stays at Michael house to keep up the good work with Michael and be forever exasperated by his fellow scholars, that is all I ask.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I can’t really comment on the storyline as I found the narrator so uninspiring I gave up on the book.

It is a shame that the narrator has changed to Andrew Wincott. It is difficult to differentiate between the characters and his voice is pretty monotone. David Thorpe read all of her prior books brilliantly.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A favourite author starts a new series!

Loved this book, well-read in a variety of voices. Villains and medieval town life a-plenty.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • readqueen
  • 15-07-19

WHY change the narrator????

As the previous 10 editions of this series used David Thorpe - why did he not narrate book 11? Changing narrators for a book or two is sadly common in books series and the substitute is NEVER as good. Wincott changes the entire tone of the book from fairly light-hearted is a victorian melodrama due to his interpretation. I will not be be purchasing book 13 since Wincott is again narrating. Publishers seem not to realize how central the performer is to the communication of the material. As usual in these cases, Wincott clearly had never listened to a previous performance in the series as he changes the pronunciations of names and the overall interpretation of how each character sounds. The most extreme change here is Brother Michael who Thorpe vocally portrays with a higher pitch and Wincott does in a bass - it is a jarring change. I will not make the mistake of purchasing a book done with a substitute as it is a waste of money.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lizzystick
  • 29-07-09

Sorry...

But I Could not stand the reader, the first audible books I did not finish because of the reader.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • carlos101
  • 01-04-08

Melodrama

This book reads like young adult fiction. The tone is melodramatic, not helped by rather overwrought narration. Most of the characters are one dimensional and eventually tiresome. Read Mistress of the Art of Death, instead. Slightly earlier period, far better writing.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • readsalot
  • 30-04-19

DREADFUL narrator

Absolutely awful attempt to dramatize the story. Bring back Thorpe. Will be returning this one.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Glenda
  • 18-12-17

Narrator is difficult to follow

Would you try another book from Susanna Gregory and/or Andrew Wincott?

Yes. I like the story, but I found the narrator difficult to follow after listening to David Thorpe’s narration of the othe books.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The voice was too theatrical and characters were indistinguishable.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 10-03-10

The Mark of a Murderer

I had high hopes for this book, as I read a lot of historical mysteries, but I found it extremely slow and boring and the narration was ridiculously melodramatic. It was a struggle to get through it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Wadie
  • 21-07-08

As expected

I am familiar with these characters from reading the books. This was an enjoyable excursion into "long ago and far away". As a mystery, well, maybe it didn't play fair. The solution came outta left field. Not that the solution was bad, just a bit sneaky. It is a bit wordy but the characters are well developed and the historical back drop is sound. I enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jorg
  • 08-09-09

The Mark of a Murderer

I was introduced to Susanna Gregory's 14th century detectives through the sequel to this book "The Tarnished Chalice". I was immediately intrigued by the two main characters, Brother Michael, the waddling senior proctor of Cambridge University, and his corpse examiner and physician Matthew Bartholomew.

These two detectives guided me through the church-driven world of Cambridge in 1355 AD and its interesting crimes. The brilliant narration of Andrew Wilcott helped tremendously to bring all characters and the surroundings to life.

All in all I can only recommend this book. If you are willing to follow the author and her narrator into this unknown and mysterious milieu, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Judith A. Weller
  • 13-11-08

Great Historical Mystery

This is a great historical mystery and is part of the Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles. I love these chronicles and was delighted to find one on audible. I hope they do more. The setting is Medieval Cambridge and as always the solution of the murder will come as a surprise. I adored the reader and all the Matthew Bartholomew CHronicales will be recorded.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Cindy
  • 09-07-21

Doesn't read as a Susanna Gregory book

I'm sorry, but I have to leave a negative review for this book...I swear she did not write this book.. I have listened to all the books in this series up to this one and it doesn't sound like her writing and the narrator doesn't help to make it better. I dreaded turning it on, but I had to finish it once begun. I just hated the voice he gave to Michael...I cringed every time he was speaking. I wish I could fine something good to say, but I just can't.