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A Corpse At St Andrews Chapel (2010)

by Mel Starr(Favorite Author)
3.9 of 5 Votes: 2
1854249541 (ISBN13: 9781854249548)
Monarch Books
The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon
review 1: This well-told mystery is perhaps more slowly paced than a modern thriller, but all of life moved more slowly in the 14th century and the sense of time and place are a major part of the attraction of this series. Surgeon and bailiff Hugh de Singleton follows Henry de Mondeville in his surgery (allowing for more modern medical practice than typical of the era) and Master John Wycliffe at Oxford (giving him a proto-Protestant theology.) Both Henry and Wycliffe are historical personages. Master John even figures in the stories as confidant and sounding board to Hugh. I love the way the author weaves insightful theological comments into an engaging plot with interesting characters and that pervasive sense of time and place. There is even a touch of romance (14th c style) as Hu... moregh is in want of a good wife.
review 2: The second book in Starr’s series about Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff for Lord Gilbert Talbot, centres on solving the murder of the beadle of Bampton, Alan. Found outside St Andrew’s Chapel, Alan has had his throat ripped out and mysterious marks on his body. The coroner decides it was a wolf that killed him. Hugh, of course, isn’t convinced and so sets out to discover just who or what took the beadle’s life. Only, his investigations put his own at risk and, when he’s attacked late one night, he understands that the killer may be closer than he thinks…In Hugh de Singleton, Starr has created the most unlikely of heroes. By his own admission, he’s not very handsome, athletic or even brave. Hugh nonetheless manages to be incredibly endearing, loyal and even, occasionally, funny (eg. He longs (in each book) to be able to arch his brow like his lord and fails). More than capable of negotiating with belligerent villagers or extracting what he wants from a lord who’s obviously glad to have his capable services, Hugh is also highly intelligent and patient. So is the story. Bringing the period (1365) to life with fabulous detail – but details that don’t detract from the story – and ambience, the daily life of a surgeon and bailiff and all the characters that make up local towns and villages and the laws, hierarchy and faith that bind them together are brought to life.What are of particular interest with these books as well are the medical procedures, which are unpacked for the reader, sometimes in wince-worthy ways. Likewise, the food, the rituals and the expectations placed upon an individual due to their sex or roles are beautifully explored.This is an easy and engaging read that should keep lovers of good historical fiction and mysteries more than satisfied. less
Reviews (see all)
I especially appreciate the honor Mel Starr pays to the viewpoints of his 14th century characters.
I look forward to reading the next book in this series. The characters have come to life for me.
A gentle book for the most part, well-written, and with excellent characterisations.
Not nearly as good as the first book in this series. Hope 3 and 4 are better.
I'm really enjoying this series & am looking forward to the next installment
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