A new and disturbing puzzle for the medieval surgeon-turned-sleuth
Master Hugh de Singleton is making his way toward Oxford when he discovers the corpse of a young Benedictine not half a mile from the nearby abbey.
The abbey’s novice master confirms the boy’s identity; it is John, one of three novices. He had gone missing four days previous, and yet his corpse is fresh. There has been plague in the area, but this was not the cause of death—the lad has been stabbed in the back. To Hugh’s sinking heart, the abbot has a commission for him.
With realistic medical procedures of the period, droll medieval wit, and a consistent underlying sense of Christian compassion, the seventh in the chronicles of Hugh de Singleton will delight medieval history and crime fiction fans alike.
I always get excited to see that another Hugh de Singleton book is on its way. I have read the entire series and do not get bored with the characters or storylines for even a minute. This book was a little different because our resident doctor did not have a corpse to look at for long. All of his fact finding was done through much questioning of different townspeople and residents of the abbey.
I was sad to see that Hugh’s wife Kate was not prominent in the story, (She was getting ready to give birth.) however the faithful groom Arthur, had a much more involved role and I was happy to see him stand in as assistant crime solver.
I have seen others dislike this book series because it is too slow in the action department. I think in this current CSI, fast-paced world we need to be driven from one high-speed chase to the next. These books do not do this. They are true to life for the medieval times they are set in. The stories unfold, one small clue at a time with no high-tech gadgetry to aid them. I enjoy taking my time and watching the story develop naturally as it would have in the year 1368 when the story takes place. You will not find a more true to life version of how things really were then, than in Mr. Starr’s books. I applaud him for this.
I am happy to report that Ashes to Ashes will be the eighth installment of this series and I, as usual, can not wait.
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