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Posted February 4, 2013
These are the adventures of Master Hugh de Singleton, a surgeon (and bailiff) in Bampton, England during the mid-14th century. When human bones are found at the bottom of the privy pit, Hugh puzzles out to whom they belong and “whodunit”. Hugh takes us along back and forth to Oxford and all the villages and surrounding countryside around Bampton. We get slices of medieval life and meet some very interesting characters, some who are not so nice and many who recur in later books.
I REALLY like this author’s style of writing, his characterizations, the descriptions, and sense of time and place that are conveyed. Sometimes the first person narrative is a bit jarring, but this series is purported to be Hugh’s journal, after all. There is some wonderful dry humor and wit, but there is also a matter-of-fact treatment of violence. Well done, I think.
This is the 1st book in the series of 5 (so far) and I have read them all. Each book stands alone just fine, but I would recommend reading them in order. I really enjoyed the series and will be watching for the next one. Across the five books, the characterizations deepen and Hugh’s life really does spring from the pages. And, of course, you come to care a great deal about Master Hugh!
I wanted to write this review because I see that a lot of reviewers were given a book to review and seemed to write long disclaimers and describe the plot in such detail that I felt like I was reading an 8th grade book report. I wanted to say that I bought ALL the books for my nook and I love them. I would not have bought the 2nd one had I not!
SOME of the writing is a tad repetitive – Hugh thinks about food a lot so he describes his meals quite often and when he stays at an inn with fleas, you WILL read about that too!
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