Monday, April 25, 2016

The Unquiet Bones (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #1) by Mel Starr

ISBN13: 9781854248855
Lion Hudson Publisher
Kregel Pub.
About the book: Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, he feels no real calling—despite his lively faith—and he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris, and then hanging his sign in Oxford.

Soon after, a local lord asks Hugh de Singleton to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspool. Through his medical knowledge, Singleton identifies her as the impetuous missing daughter of a local blacksmith.

The young man she loved—whom she had provoked very publicly—is quickly arrested and sentenced at Oxford. But this is just the beginning of the tale.

The story of Singleton's adventure unfolds with realistic medical procedures, droll medieval wit, romantic distractions, and a consistent underlying sense of Christian compassion.

My thoughts: To my sorrow I  began reading Melvin R. Starr's books featuring the chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon, about mid-series. After reading several in a row, I now have the opportunity to begin at the beginning and that is with The Unquiet Bones.

If you're not familiar with Starr's wonderful qualifications to write about this period of medieval life, check him out. (click here) And if you've not read any of his "Hugh de Singleton" adventures you have missed a treat. Set in a real historical site that contains remains of Church of St Beornwald near the castle of Bampton.

Cloaked in terminology and tone that take you back to the 1300s and yet entirely readable here in the 21st century, these stories easily bring you to the place of walking the paths and conversing with the Lords, villeins, and fair maidens of that time. In the opening of The Unquiet Bones the cesspit (oh my what a stinking horror to clean) is being cleaned out and bones are found. Thought to be pig bones (and why on Earth would pig bones be in a cesspit?) but on closer examination they are found to be human. This is where the surgeon, Hugh de Singleton, is called in to do some 1300s forensic science and identify the bones and cause of death.

As the story progresses, a high ranking man's fancy garment is found in the woods and covered in leaves. This leads to more investigation. 

I have inadequate words of my own to express how enjoyable Starr's stories are. The droll expressions of Hugh de Singleton, the terse comments, and the wonderful flow of story and character development.

I highly recommend the series to anyone who wants a delightful romp in the 1300s with Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel on behalf of Lion Fiction and the author.

1 comment:

  1. I've had these in my TBR on my Kindle for a while and just haven't gotten around to them. Thanks for bringing them back onto my radar and thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday this week!


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