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Rest Not in Peace (Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Series #6)

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Overview

Another slice of medieval skullduggery from the surgeon-turned-sleuth

Master Hugh, surgeon and bailiff, is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle. Sir Henry—with his current wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants—has outstayed his welcome at Bampton.

The next morning, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, ...

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Rest Not in Peace (Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Series #6)

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Overview

Another slice of medieval skullduggery from the surgeon-turned-sleuth

Master Hugh, surgeon and bailiff, is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle. Sir Henry—with his current wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants—has outstayed his welcome at Bampton.

The next morning, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, despite shrill accusations from the grieving widow, is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death . . . which had nothing to do with the potion.

The sixth tale following Hugh de Singleton, Rest Not in Peace is sure to find its place among fans of detective and medieval historical fiction.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    very good --- and without the unnecessary bad language

    The humor that Starr sneaks in is truly entertaining . And the comments on religion are quite thought - provoking

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  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Love this series!

    This has become one of my absolute favorite series. When I read the first book in the series I wondered how I'd not found them before. The author uses a delightfully wry voice for Hugh and there are always parts that are so funny I have to share them with someone. The history is well done as well. It's actually interesting and part of the story instead of a lecture. They're also a "safe" read without extreme language etc. I could seriously gush but the bottom line is that each book in the series is just a darned entertaining read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Excellent read

    Wish the author did not review quite as much from earlier books but an excellent read. Drives me nuts until I finish each book. Cannot wait til the next one.

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  • Posted January 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Mel Starr in his new book, ¿Rest Not In Peace¿ Book Six in the H

    Mel Starr in his new book, “Rest Not In Peace” Book Six in the Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series published by Monarch Books returns us to Oxford in 1368 for another mystery involving the intrepid bailiff and surgeon.




    From the back cover:  ”Is there any reason to suspect evil in this?” I asked.  ”None…but that the man was robust one day and a corpse the next.”




    Master Hugh, surgeon and bailiff, has been asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle, near Oxford.




    Three days before St. John’s Day, in the year of our Lord 1368, Sir Henry went to his bed hale and hearty after enjoying a long evening of music, conversation and dancing in Bampton Castle’s hall.   The next morn his valet found him cold and dead.




    Master Hugh is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death–despite shrill accusations from Sir Henry’s grieving widow…




    I have become a huge fan of Mel Starr and am fantastically pleased with his creation: Hugh de Singleton.  These mysteries that he gets involved with are complicated and thoroughly enjoyable.  I think Mel Starr is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you find out who did it.




    Agatha Christie used to place her murders in a confined area with lots of suspects.  Mr. Starr does the same.  Here the confined area is Bampton Castle and the suspects are Sir Henry’s current wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants.  Sir Henry is a friend of Sir Gilbert but he has overstayed his welcome by almost a month and after a night of revelry he needs Hugh to give him a sleeping potion.  When they try to wake him in the morning he is found dead.  Now Hugh has to go through the possible suspects with all their motives to figure out which one of them did it.  ”Rest Not In Peace” is a very exciting book that will keep you engrossed in the characters as well as life in England in the 1300′s.   This is a wonderful series and I am glad I discovered Mel Starr and his wonderful hero.  I am already looking forward to the next book.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Monarch Books.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted January 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The historical setting of Rest Not in Peace is medieval England

    The historical setting of Rest Not in Peace is medieval England in the year 1368. I previously read and reviewed The Tainted Coin and found Mel Starr's writing style refreshing, development of the characters interesting, educational to behavior of characters of the historical period believable, and felt very comfortable that scenes, behavior, personalities, medical practices, etc. described in the book true to the period. I base this assumption on the educational background and teaching experience of the author as well as his studies of medieval medical practices. So often historical reads are romances and filled with the give and take of the male and female protagonists. However, in Mel Starr's The Tainted Coin and Rest Not in Peace, I discovered Master Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon and found him a character of many fine points that the author develops quite well and the books are absolutely clean reads.

    The story is written first-person with the voice of Singleton. He is the bailiff for the Lord's estate as well as a surgeon. Author Mel Starr is a historian by education and trade and has thoroughly researched this period novel. Included in the front of the book are words and terms to help understand the terminology of the period such as foods, pieces of clothing, and names of objects. But you don't feel as though you are reading a history book.

    In Rest Not In Peace, Hugh de Singleton is called to the castle as the bailiff to investigate the death of a guest of Lord Gilbert. I especially enjoy the sentence structure utilized by the author that captures the mode of speech indicative of the 1360s England. True it is not "old English," but it does set the tone for a period difference. In the process of discovery and investigation, station in life in medieval England again allows that the gentry are afforded more leeway than the common man. Social order and the privilege of rank that existed and played a role in meeting out justice for those who broke the laws.

    Singleton's contemplations are interesting and often take place on his way home as he crosses Shill Brook where he subtly draws analogies between the brook's water flow and the situation he is investigating. This is also a spot where he seems to calm his senses and "cleanse" himself mentally, emotionally, and perhaps even spiritually.

    DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Rest Not in Peace from Kregel Publications on behalf of Monarch Books and the author for the purpose of my honest review. I was under no obligation to provide favorable comments. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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  • Posted December 31, 2013

    This the second book of Mr. Starr¿s I have read.  He has been ad

    This the second book of Mr. Starr’s I have read.  He has been added to my all-time favorite author’s list! I plan to read all his books.  The setting in the 1300’s continues to fascinate me along with all the historical background of life in those times.  
    The star once again is Hugh de Singleton, bailiff and surgeon to Lord Gilbert of Bampton Castle.  After almost a month, Lord Gilbert was tiring of playing host to Sir Henry Burley, his wife, daughter, 2 knights, 2 squires and the rest of his entourage. All hopes are dashed of them possibly departing when Sir Henry is found dead in his bed one morning.  Upon first observation his death looks to be of natural causes, but Hugh is never one to take things as they appear.  He quickly discovers that the guest has been murdered in a very crafty way that would have gone undetected by most. This turns out to not be a simple case!  His investigation opens the possibility of Sir Henry’s wife, daughter, and knights!  Before he can pin point anything specific another murder occurs and makes things even more complicated!  Lord Gilbert has reached his limit with the unpleasant company and just wants Hugh to be done with it, and find a murderer so they will leave!
    I was captivated by the plot.  The more Hugh uncovers, the more unsure he is of who the murderer is.  One minute I found myself thinking “Oh it has to be that one”, and the next “Hmmm this person could be the guilty party too.”  It kept me on my toes guessing and wondering if the case could be solved.  I loved Hugh’s keen observations and brilliant ideas to attempt to flush out the criminal. 
    Once again I thoroughly enjoyed all the personal information about the daily life during in medieval times.  This book also included a glossary of words that were used in that era we are not familiar with.  They added even more to the historical detail and gave a vivid picture how people lived, from the wealthy to the poor. 
    The ending is a surprise, not only who murdered Sir Henry, but another very expected turn of events.    Hugh Singleton is the Sherlock Holmes of the middle ages!  Mr. Starr’s is not only a very talented writer, but I appreciate the wholesomeness and good taste in which his books are written.  You would be hard pressed to find a murder mystery in this day and time that is not filled with blood, gore, and foul language. This book would be a wonderful read for a young person who likes mysteries.  I cannot emphasize enough how entertaining this book is.  You definitely will want to read it!  Hats off to Mr. Starr once again!
    I received this book free from Kregel Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 












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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    I received a copy of REST NOT IN PEACE by Mel Starr, from Lion H

    I received a copy of REST NOT IN PEACE by Mel Starr, from Lion Hudson via Kregel. I was thrilled with this – literally tickled pink – because I love this series, the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon. I have a thing for mysteries and history, and this has both. The main character is Master Hugh, who works as a surgeon and bailiff in a medieval village. You’ve probably guessed this from my “mystery” hint, but he solves mysteries.

    Each mystery is packed with danger, a dash of romance, and a heaping pile of history. The books really transport you through time. You can practically smell the manure in the streets. Okay, the book isn’t disgusting, but Mel Starr goes into great detail to place you with the characters. In this, the sixth book about Master Hugh, his friend, Sir Henry Burley, is found dead and Master Hugh must determine the killer. Unlike your run-of-the-mill mystery book, in this one, Sir Henry’s wife, now a widow, thinks Master Hugh did it. I stayed on the edge of my seat throughout the entire novel.

    I highly recommend this to mystery and historical fiction fans. You’ll fall in love with Master Hugh like I did.

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  • Posted December 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I have grown very fond of Master Hugh de Singleton. He's a carin

    I have grown very fond of Master Hugh de Singleton. He's a caring husband and a loving father (well, at least by volumes 4 & 5, and then onward from there). He's a surgeon (which he well should be, given Mel Starr's fondness for medicine of the Middle Ages). And he's a bailiff – someone given authority to carry out his master's wishes and laws.

    Oh, and before I forget, he's also a great solver of mysteries. He never seeks them out, but they seem to find him nevertheless, as they do in Starr's latest, Rest Not In Peace. I had this one figured out quite early…only to be proven wrong and subsequently confused with nearly every chapter! Starr seems quite adept at weaving his subtleties of characters, both flaws and strengths. From the wife of the victim to the knight who was Sir Henry's closest, from the serving staff to squires and so many others, Starr gives us a wonderful tapestry to behold.
    Hugh de Singleton has become one of my favorite sleuths. And he believes, which is saying something in the days in which the Catholic church held dominion over all. There are moments when Hugh questions teachings from the church, suspecting they have strayed from the Word of God. And yet he wonders if one man could ever stand against the papacy and Rome. There is one point, in which Hugh and his darling wife, Kate (I wonder if Starr means to pre-figure another woman of strong character who will give great and tremendous encouragement to one who will indeed, stare down the Pope in Rome and see the Church restored and reformed) have a heart to heart conversation. The gospel is presented in this conversation in such a natural and powerful way, again, foreshadowing what is to come in just a few generations.

    The reader will find, even though this is the sixth book in a series, the book stands on its own. Key characters reappear. Former plot lines are referenced, but only to enhance the existing account. So, read it and enjoy. I highly commend it.

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  • Posted December 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff for Brampton Castle, must

    Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff for Brampton Castle, must solve yet another murder. When Sir Henry Burley, a guest at Brampton Castle, was found dead in his bed, Master Hugh set about gathering clues. Sir Henry had enemies, more than he could count, but exactly who would resort to murder and why? When Sir John Peverel ends up dead as well, it only creates more questions and clues. A note slipped under Lord Gilbert's door, a bodkin, a blood stained piece of linen, a carved piece of wood and a bloody kirtle--all clues leading to the culprit. With a lot of questioning and the mind of a detective, Master Hugh soon discovers a murderer at Brampton Castle.

    This is my first book in this series and my first book by Mel Starr. Thankfully, each book can be read as a series or as a stand-alone novel. I have never read a murder mystery set in the medieval time period and I was a little concerned about the outcome. I have to say, though, that it worked very well. It was a delightful, clean murder mystery that kept me thoroughly entertained. It had some great plot twists and turns I wasn't expecting that kept me wondering just who the murderer was. Each time I thought I had it figured out I was, once again, running down rabbit trails. If you have read any of this series you will enjoy continuing with Rest Not in Peace. If this series is new to you and you like a light-hearted mystery you will enjoy this book also. I recommend it to any mystery lovers who don't like a lot of blood and gore in their mysteries.

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine alone and are honest and forthright. If I recommend a book you can believe its a book I would read for myself. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

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  • Posted November 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is my first Hugh de Singleton, and consequently Mel Starr b

    This is my first Hugh de Singleton, and consequently Mel Starr book, and I very much enjoyed it. I like how the author portrayed medieval times, people, places, and customs. Things we take for granted, like freedom of speech and no noble system, were brought out to a delightful degree. I've always been curious about this time in history, the Plague, medicine, how families interacted with each other - or didn't - and this is right up my alley.
    I especially enjoyed that Singleton didn't look down on his wife and child because of their sex, but valued his wife's opinion and intelligence and treated her as valuable and loved. Add to that, no foul language, no gratuitous sex scenes, and well thought out plot, and you have a winner.
    Highly recommended for those who loved to read clean mysteries.
    *My thanks to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. I was not required they be positive.*

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