The Tainted Coin

The Tainted Coin

by Mel Starr


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782640813
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Publication date: 10/28/2013
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.08(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.51(d)

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The Tainted Coin (Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Series #5) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite It is the autumn of 1367 and Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and baliff to Lord Gilbert of Bampton Castle, returns in "The Tainted Coin", the fifth book featuring Hugh. Hugh is enjoying his marriage to his love, Kate Caxton, and is delighting in their nearly one year old daughter Bessie. But then the body of a nearly dead man is found under the porch of Bampton's St. Andrew's Chapel. When the man, John Thrale, dies, Hugh finds a coin that falls from his mouth and discovers that the man's last words were "They didn't get me coin." Hugh gets Lord Gilbert to let him have the help of Arthur, a groom. And off Hugh and Arthur go to investigate why a man like John Thrale, a chapman or traveling salesman, would have been murdered. "The Tainted Coin" by author Mel Starr is a delightful look into medieval times as the author has studied both the medicine and history of those long ago times. Main character Hugh de Singleton is highly knowledgeable in the use of hemp and lettuce seeds to dull pain and how to repair a large fistula on a religious brother's face. Medieval dialogue is well-presented and readers will feel as though they are standing alongside the story's characters. The characters represent the era well and are believable. "The Tainted Coin" is not to be missed. Mel Starr has created a series that stands out for its historic accuracy as his absorbing tales of long ago England are told.
TurningThePagesBlog More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading a book by Melvin Starr so I was a little skeptical at first if the book would be all that I hoped it would be. I love historical fiction and mysteries so when I come across a book the marries the two together I set the bar very high. Luckily for me this one turned out to be exactly what I wanted. The story focuses on Master Hugh de Singleton, who is a bailiff and surgeon in Bampton in the year 1367 and centers around a murder that takes place in his jurisdiction one autumn day when a man lays dead and he has to bring the culprits to justice. He just has to find out who they are and why they killed the victim Melvin Starr created a likable hero in Master Hugh, one that I'm not likely to forget. I enjoyed his character immensely because he was neither too pretentious like some sleuths can be and he wasn't a pushover either. He had a great sense of right and wrong and I loved how much Hugh loved his wife Kate and their baby girl Bessie. He had a strong moral compass and I respected the fact that because of circumstances brought on by the murder case that he was willing to resign from his post as Bailiff in order to help a man who is unjustly punished and condemned to death. I thought that the way that the story of The Tainted Coin was told in a wonderful way. The author did an outstanding job with the writing. I love the amount of detail that went into creating an authentic setting for the novel and I could tell the author has a great love for the time period because you can tell everything was constructed with the utmost care resulting in a fantastically realistic story in a time long ago past. The drama, characters, plot, and the historical details and use of words and descriptions were wonderful once they were all pieced together and I'm very glad I gave this novel a chance. While this novel is the fifth novel in the Hugh de Singleton series I had no trouble following the story line and this can absolutely be read as a standalone. The story kept me guessing and the author threw in enough twists and turns to keep me on my toes and keep me intrigued and I loved that while the novel had a fair amount of intrigue and action it still remained what I would consider a cozy mystery. Overall, I was impressed with this novel and cannot wait to read the other books in the series! All of the preceding novels have been added to my wish list and I highly recommend this book to everyone! If you like historical mysteries this might just be the perfect read for you. * I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. I was not compensated in anyway to give a positive review and all thoughts and opinions herein are my own.
A_Cluttered_Mind More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of my newest favorite authors and series. I reviewed Hallowed Ground a while back and was delighted when asked to review The Tainted Coin. Starr has me as a loyal reader. I still need to get a hold of the first three books in this series (Mr. Starr…are you listening?), but each book stands alone enough you don't need to go in order or have read previous books to follow each one. Hugh de Singleton is a bailiff and surgeon in Britain during the mid-1300s. There seem to be no end to the demands upon his life and time whether it be for his surgical skills (often described in wonderful detail) or for his duty as a bailiff, investigating crimes which take place upon his lord's manor land. Somewhat like a medieval Sherlock Holmes, Master Hugh keeps asking questions, searching for clues, investigating scenes and using the good mind the Lord gave him to try to bring some closure to an incident. I will let you know that not each book comes to the kind of closure you might wish for…for example, in this most recent book, The Tainted Coin, the villains are not apprehended, even though clearly identified. I have not doubt, they'll make an appearance in a future novel! Starr does a masterful job of character development and description in order to bring the reader into the 1360s and 1370s. From the landscape to the housing, from the people to their positions in medieval society, you'll find a world of great delight awaiting you in Starr's books. I highly recommend The Tainted Coin. I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of THE TAINTED COIN by Mel Starr from Monarch Books via Kregel.  It is the fifth installment of the Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, series.  I recently read the book before this one, UNHALLOWED GROUND, and found it delightful.  I haven’t had a chance to read the other novels in the series, but they are on my to-read list.   I adore history, can’t get enough of it, so most of my bookshelf revolves around historical fiction.  This series is just that, with mystery thrown in.  Somehow, danger and lies follow Hugh de Singleton.  This time the mystery involves a man so severely beaten that he dies.  Before the burial, an ancient coin is found in his mouth.  The coin on the cover of the book reminds me of props from when I volunteered at Fort Stanwix.  Old coins have always fascinated me.  Who else touched them?  What story could the coin tell?  It was a treat to be able to learn more about coins through this fast-paced read.   Mel Starr has a great knack for introducing readers to the middle ages – 1367 to be exact.   I love the glossary in the front.  It’s so much fun learning new things.  I also enjoyed reading about the foods eaten back then.  I had to look up “capon” when I came upon that delicacy.   I recommend this series to fans of historical mysteries.  The characters and time period vibrate to life off the pages.  
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
The historical setting of The Tainted Coin is medieval England in the year 1367. This is a new period read for me and I found it very interesting. So often historical reads are romances and filled with the give and take of the male and female protagonists. However, in The Tainted Coin I discovered Master Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon and found him a character of many fine points that the author develops quite well. 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 research this period novel. Included in the front of the book are words and terms to help understand the terminology of the period. But you don't feel as though you are reading a history book. Frankly, you are riding from town to town, from village to village with Singleton and his trusty companion, Arthur, as they ride their horses who have definitely seen better days. It seems that they are constantly looking for lodging and food. Their food is most often maslin (bread made from mixed grains) and ale. They find villains and down-trodden folks. Sick and injured. You sense the justice as it is doled out during that period and which is based on laws hard to comprehend. You grasp the social order and the privilege of rank that exists. Singleton is trying to solve a murder that occured on his Lord's estate and in the process encounters various individuals with problems, and he being a compassionate person seeks to aid them with whatever skills or possessions he has at his disposal. I wish I had had the opportunity to read Mel Starr's other four books in this series, and perhaps I shall someday. You do not, however, need to read them to enjoy The Tained Coin as it is a good stand alone book. I found Starr's style different and refreshing. It was interesting to read this period book and I felt that I could trust Starr's interpretation of the customs of the time. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of The Tainted Coin 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.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Mel Starr in his new book, "The Tainted Coin" Book Five in the Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series published by Monarch Books returns us to Oxford in 1367 for another mystery involving the intrepid bailiff and surgeon. From the back cover: It is the autumn of 1367. Master Hugh is enjoying the peaceful life of Bampton, when a badly beaten man is found under the porch of St. Andrew's Chapel. The dying man is a chapman -- a traveling merchant. Before he is buried in the chapel grounds an ancient, corroded coin is found in the man's mouth. Master Hugh's quest for the chapman's assailants, and his search for the origin of the coin, makes steady progress - but there are men of wealth and power who wish to halt his search, and an old nemesis is in league with them. Master Hugh, and his assistant, the groom Arthur, are determined to uncover the thieves and murderers, and the source of the chapman's coin. They do, but not before they become involved with a kidnapped maiden, a tyrannical abbot, and a suffering monk. 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. While Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon is not the great brain that Sherlock Holmes is he is up there and Mel Starr gives him quite a workout in this book. 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. This time up they are searching for the assailant of a traveling salesman or Chapman. The mystery deepens when an ancient coin is found in the dead man's mouth. To make matters worse very powerful individuals do not want the assailant found. Not only is de Singleton an investigator he is also a surgeon and we see him in rare form as he has to treat certain individuals using 1300 medical practices. "The Tainted Coin" 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."
ZookeeperAF More than 1 year ago
Not Conan Doyle, but enjoyable light reading. Learning some of the basics about 14 century English daily life is interesting, but it is good to be reminded these people were just as smart as we of the 21st century. Within the limits of contemporary knowledge they could hold their own in making forensic deductions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not to my liking was disappointed in it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first of this series I read & thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, so much, I bought the first book in the series, & hope to continue with the rest. I find it very interesting to learn what life & medicine was like in that time. I know it is not necessary to read them in sequence as each story can stand on its' own. However there is a thread of characters introduced who do re-appear in subsequent stories. I do think Mr.Starr has done a great job of researching this era and I thank him for sharing his knowledge with us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a goood read slow moveing boreing poor story line expected more of doctors medical practices
Anonymous More than 1 year ago