"A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel" is Mel Starr's second novel in his Hugh de Singleton series. Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of Bampton Manor tells the story of the mysterious death of Alan the Beadle and how he goes about solving his untimely death. I enjoyed the story as Master Hugh goes about looking for clues in the most unlikely of places. When his chief suspect is found murdered his investigation must take a different direction. I enjoyed the words and actions of the characters, a glossary was very helpful. The story was full of mystery, history, a little humor and a lot of head thumping with Master Hugh usually at the wrong end of the stick. I found it an enjoyable medieval mystery.
I was gifted a copy of A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel by The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) for my honest opinion which I have given.
Set in 1365, in a small English village, Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff for Lord Gilbert Talbot finds himself in the middle of several mysterious deaths and occurences. A dead beadle (manor officer in charge of curfew and other duties for the Lord) is the trigger to all the mystery that Hugh finds himself in the middle of. It looks like an attack by a wild animal, only there are several things that trigger Hugh's suspicions. The beadles shoes are missing, and he has a caved in spot on his skull, both acts that a wild animal attack would not produce.
Hugh's suspicions and nosing around nearly costs him his life, after an attack in the dark leaves him beaten and banged up, however in the light of day, it is realized that his attacker is dead. How that happens is beyond Hugh, because the last thing he heard, was his attacker telling someone else that Hugh was still alive.
Normally I do not enjoy books set in this time period, they are often hard to follow because there is such a difference in that era than in ours. However this book was very interesting and the author was able to make the differences of times periods a non issue, without loosing the historical aspect of the story. A great mystery and a good story. 300 pages $14.99 US 4 stars.
This book was provided for review purposes by Christian Bookworm Reviews, no payment was received for this review.
This marvelous book is written in the first-person narrative of Hugh de Singleton, a surgeon during medieval England. Right off, a corpse is discovered and suspicions arise. Was it a wolf or other wild animal, or could it be a murder?Master Hugh solves the puzzle like any good sleuth. He notes the clues and follows up on his hunches--all the while tending to his duties as the only physician. I like that Master Hugh shares his day-to-day experiences. Quite interesting to me is learning about the practice of medicine during this time. He visits and often quotes his mentor, John Wyclif.I read the author's first novel The Unquiet Bones, loved it and looked forward to reading this second in the series. Both are stand alone novels, and you'll have no problem catching on. However, if you've read the first, you will enjoy picking up where the first novel ends as well as the reappearance of Alice.The dialogue is a delight, and the author has researched medieval England extensively to create a believable plot.An extensive glossary makes the novel easier to read. All in all, this is a delightful book, and I recommend this to one and all! I look forward to the next in the series.I want to give a special thanks to Cat Hoort at Kregel Publications for my copy.
A Corpse at St. Andrews Chapel by Mel Starr is the second book in the Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series. This mystery picks up shortly after the events of The Unquiet Bones in 1365 as Hugh continues in his role as bailiff for Sir Gilbert of Bampton. His duties lead him to investigate the mysterious death of a beadle. His search soon leads him through many midnight forays, discovering poaching, infidelity, and maybe even love. Starr has written, for me, the perfect mystery. Hugh is a wry, often self-deprecating character who teases the reader with hints of what is to come. There's lots of period detail about life in the 14th century without ever becoming pedantic. Each character in the story is deserving of their own novel. Hugh has a strong faith in God, but he's always questioning it and himself and the way people worship, so he's discussing it feels completely natural and true to the story. Starr drops just enough hints throughout the book to allow the reader to guess at the motive and criminal without being obvious. I can't say enough good about this series! I wish Hugh a long and successful career as bailiff and surgeon so that I never run out of reading material.