The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Series: The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Publisher/Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
READ AN EXCERPT.
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.
When the opportunity to read and review The Unquiet Bones, by Mel Starr was presented, I hadn't heard about the book or the series, but the premise of the book was intriguing enough that I agreed to the tour. I didn't know what to expect except that it was a historical mystery taking place in the 1300's. Unlike many of the mysteries I tend to read, this one takes a slower pace, which I found to be very pleasant and it seems that this should help the reader adjust to the slower pace of the medieval world in which the story takes place.
Hugh of Singleton, our protagonist, is a wonderful change of pace. He is a very intelligent, self-reflective, humble and skilled surgeon who studied to take holy orders, but fell in love with medicine and chose to pursue that as a career. Hugh soon crosses paths with Lord Gilbert - which turns out to be a good thing for both of them.
I loved that Hugh has a great sense of humor and reflects on his own actions and motives as well as on the motivations of those around him. I enjoyed reading his thoughts and theories. Through Hugh's narration, the reader is given a very accurate depiction of the day to day life of many and various members of the aristocracy and their servants, as well as the peasants living in the area. I thought the book did a wonderful job of explaining the way the social hierarchy worked and all the rules and restrictions of daily life.
Honestly, I can't think of a single thing about The Unquiet Bones that I didn't like. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and took my sweet time reading it so that I could prolong the reading experience. I can enthusiastically recommend The Unquiet Bones to pretty much anyone. The author does such a great job of supplying all the historical information need to understand the situations and context, that I don't think anyone should have a problem with the historical aspect of this very entertaining mystery. Naturally though, it will appeal especially to fans of historical fiction or mysteries.
Praise for The Unquiet Bones"This skilfully woven story is a delight to read. The setting is exceptionally well crafted. Highly recommended." - Davis Bunn, best-selling author
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About the AuthorMel 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, 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.
For more information please visit Mel Starr's website.
The Unquiet Bones Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, December 1
Review at Carpe Librum
Wednesday, December 10
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Thursday, December 18
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Friday, December 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Saturday, December 20
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, December 22
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, December 26
Spotlight at Layered Pages
Monday, December 29
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Tuesday, December 30
Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace
Wednesday, December 31
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog
Friday, January 2
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation