Thursday, March 17, 2011

Trail of Ink by Mel Starr Review

A Trail of Ink: The Third Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon (Hugh De Singleton 3)
From Publisher: An excellent medieval whodunit by the author of The Unquiet Bones and A Corpse at St Andrew’s Chapel.
Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh’s investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh’s pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?
One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn’t think so, but it will take all of his surgeon skills to prove.
So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton. Masterfully researched by medieval scholar Mel Starr, the setting of the novel can be visited and recognized in modern-day England. Enjoy more of Hugh s dry wit, romantic interests, evolving faith, and dogged determination as he pursues his third case as bailiff of Bampton.
My take:   This is the third book in a series featuring Hugh de Singleton, a surgeon and bailiff.  His newest mystery involves the great John Wycliff (bible translator) who has discovered 22 of his books stolen.

This is a cerebral book laced with mystery, romance, and history.  Action and blood are included but in moderation.  Loved the romance.  Although the protagonist is confident with his work, he is quite timid with his affections.  The love affair is sweet and very engaging.  

In A Trail of Ink, Hugh divides his time between finding Wyclif's books and courting Kate, an Oxford stationer's comely daughter. Both pursuits turn out to be life threatening.

Author Mel Starr, historian and scholar of medieval surgery, gives us a fascinating picture of medieval life among scholars, lords, sheriffs, surgeons, shopkeepers, monks and marriageable young women.

This book is particularly interesting to those who love a sweet love story and those who find Medieval history interesting.  For those who don't, it's still an engaging read.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I also reviewed this book and really liked it. I just ordered his other two in the series. Have a good week! :O)