The Unquiet Bones: The First Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon

Overview

Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, he feels no real calling-despite his lively faith-and he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris and then hanging his sign in Oxford. Soon after, a local lord asks Hugh de Singleton to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspool. Through his medical knowledge, Singleton identifies her as the impetuous missing daughter of a local ...
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Overview

Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, he feels no real calling-despite his lively faith-and he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris and then hanging his sign in Oxford. Soon after, a local lord asks Hugh de Singleton to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspool. Through his medical knowledge, Singleton identifies her as the impetuous missing daughter of a local blacksmith. The young man she loved-whom she had provoked very publicly-is quickly arrested and sentenced at Oxford. But this is just the beginning of the tale. The story of Singleton's adventure unfolds with realistic medical procedures, droll medieval wit, romantic distractions, and a consistent underlying sense of Christian compassion.

“Thoughtful and curious, surgeon Hugh is an engaging character who feels totally real.”

—Rikki B.

“I enjoyed the setting, period, the very realistic characters and the dry wit.”

—Donna B.

“I read all of it in one go - quite the best medieval mystery I've read in a while. I teach medieval history, so it's always nice to read something by someone who does actually know what he's talking about. Can't wait for the next one! ”

—Sarah T.

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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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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Medieval England

    Oh, how I loved going back to medieval England to read about life and love at that time! Written in the first person narrative of the protagonist, Hugh of Singleton, who consults with John Wyclif before deciding to study medicine. After completing his education, he hangs out his shingle to practice surgery and meets with success when he treats Lord Gilbert who gratefully sets Hugh up in practice at Bampton, where Lord Gilbert resides in his castle. When bones are found in the castle grounds, Hugh is chosen to become a private detective, and he roams the countryside with his investigation. The character, written in depth, is quite believable.

    The author does a fine job of researching life in the middle ages and the practice of medicine during this time of the plague. There's a bit of romance, some interesting surgeries, and even a troupe of actors who perform.

    An extensive glossary makes the novel easy to read. All in all, this is a delightful book. I look forward to the next in the series, and I recommend this to one and all!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Fascinating medieval murder mystery

    The Unquiet Bones by Mel R. Starr is the first book featuring Hugh de Singleton, a surgeon in medieval England. Hugh has recently graduated from Oxford as a surgeon and has hung up a shingle in the bustling college town. When Lord Gilbert is wounded by a rearing horse, Hugh is on the scene and stitches up the lord in no time. Lord Gilbert shows his appreciation by bringing Hugh to his demesne, Bampton, as the town surgeon. Hugh is elevated to the post of bailiff when three sets of bones are discovered near the castle and he is ordered to discover first their identities and then their murderers. The book started off a little rough; Hugh's first person narration at first seemed choppy. But as the story progressed, I became completely immersed in the story, and Hugh reveals himself to be an earnest and sweetly noble young man. He is deeply burdened by the task set for him by Lord Gilbert, as well as by his growing affection for Lady Joan. The mystery is well-written and suspenseful, but the appeal of the book is Hugh. I found myself smiling and chuckling at his occasional bumbling. This is a character who has a great capacity for growth over the course of a series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    Best Book Ever!

    I always look for excellent fiction for my Daddy and I struck a goldmine with this! I hope this is a series that continues for years to come. Amazing characters, vivid descriptions that don't bore! The plot line was fresh. I already bought the second installment!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2010

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