Arderne works against a backdrop of growing town/gown tensions. Several years after the plague, prices have increased but the rents University students pay are statutorily kept artificially low and the landlords have organized, asking that the rates be tripled, or else they will no longer rent to students. An apparent accident which kills one of Cambridge's other doctors leads to a riot in which a student and a townsman are killed, and a second, injured student disappears. Bartholomew, acting as the University Corpse Examiner, finds that his colleague was actually murdered, but when Arderne brings the dead student back to life as Bartholomew begins his examination, he begins to question his skills.
I've mentioned before that I'm rarely tricked by mysteries that don't cheat, and I solved the Arderne plot, perhaps a little too quickly. The rent plot was a bit murkier, and while Gregory didn't quite cheat, she threw in a few too many suspects and motivations in the last few chapters. I think Gregory may have realized that the Arderne plot was too thin and the rent plot too hard to solve for either to stand alone and tried to shoehorn them into a single novel.
It may look like I didn't enjoy To Kill or Cure, but I did. Although thin, the Arderne plot was amusing and I was happy to see Gregory return Brother Michael to his earlier characterization. Senior Proctor (and Chancellor in all but name) and Bartholomew's Michaelhouse College colleague, Michael had begun to veer towards the stereotype of the gluttonous, jolly monk with a somewhat cavalier attitude towards his vow of chastity. The rent plot, while not particularly satisfying, brought Michael the courtier - an intelligent man skilled in balancing the competing interests of multiple parties and a lover of University politics - to the forefront. He's not the fool he's played in the last few novels, but a skilled professional who manages to control a tinder-box town in tense times.