Thursday, January 26, 2012

"unhallowed ground" by mel starr

Surgeon and baliff Hugh de Singleton is happily living at Galen House in Bampton with his bride Kate when his former nemesis Thomas atte Bridge is found hanged. Though the death is quickly ruled a suicide, Hugh suspects foul play. The problem? Nearly every man in Bampton had reason to dislike atte Bridge, and Hugh is reluctant to suspect any of his friends. When Hugh's life is threatened, however, he realizes that if he, Kate, and their unborn baby are to live in peace, he must uncover the circumstances behind atte Bridge's death.

My take: I loved this book! It is not a particularly fast read (at least if you want to understand it—it takes place in the 14th century and contains lots of terms I was unfamiliar with ... thank goodness for the glossary!), but it is an enjoyable one. It is written as though it's Hugh's journal, and as such, he includes humorous asides and foreshadowing comments that I found quite enjoyable. It also provides insight into the state of medicine in the 14th century, and the description of cataract surgery was particularly interesting and squirm-inducing.

I greatly enjoyed unraveling the mystery along with Hugh, and it was quite nice to see some villains from the last book receive their comeuppance! (If you read A Trail of Ink, be sure to watch for the description of Sir Simon's ear...)

I read and reviewed A Trail of Ink—the third book in this series—last year, so I was prepared to enjoy Unhallowed Ground. I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed, and I look forward to reading the fifth book, The Tainted Coin, when it releases.

I give Unhallowed Ground 5 out of 5 stars! If you'd like to read an excerpt, go here.

About 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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications.  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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