{LitFuse Blog Tour} A Trail of Ink-The Third Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton by Mel Starr

Book Description:  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's 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 Review:  Mel Starr is a brand new author for me even though he has been writing for a few years.  
A Trail of Red Ink is the third chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff. Hugh is on the case to find twenty-two books that were stolen from John Wyclif, the 14th century theologian, church reformer and Hugh's mentor at Oxford.
Books were a rare commodity in the 1300's.  A scholar might acquire 20 books in his lifetime.  
Hugh always gives credit to the Lord when he stumbles upon a clue (Hugh is somewhat timid and a little clumsy).  But he is a lovable, well rounded character.  And the reader finds himself rooting for  Hugh to solve the case.
The setting of this book is in the 1300's, Medieval Times.  The cases of surgery and investigation skills used in this read are interesting.  Of course, the investigation skills seems so primitive but, as that is all that Hugh has to work with it does take him time and knowledge to solve this case.  
The primitive conditions of surgery did make me cringe.  Mr. Starr does an incredible job of describing the surgery process as one would think it would actually have happened in the Medieval Ages.
The story had a slow start but after chapter two I was hooked.  Of course, I have read some of John Wyclif.  The history and what went into the making of God's Word is like a wonderful history lesson.
This is not a fast read but a read to be savored.  Hugh has a dry wit which I found to be quite funny.  
Of course, there is some romance thrown in which creates a mystery in itself.
At times I thought of the Hounds of Baskerville as I read this book...not that the two books are anything alike but just the mention of beasts, the table set with food and the dark nights.
This is not a mayhem and murder mystery but more of a read.
A definite 5 star read!  And not having had the chance to read the first two books in this series I would say that this book can definitely be read as a stand alone read.
However, it would be great to read the series in order: (1) Unquiet Bones, (2) A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel and (3) A Trail of Ink.
*This book was provided for review by the publisher for LitFuse Group*
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1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book too. Can't wait to get my hands on his other books. :O)