Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reading's Fun Too

A friend recently asked me why I didn't have more posts on my blog about books.   And since I don't have much recent stitching in a state ready to show ANYONE, this seemed like the perfect time.....

.....especially since I've found a NEW series of medieval mysteries by author Mel Starr, featuring Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, living near Oxford c. 1375.

So far there are three in the series:  The Unquiet Bones, A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel, and A Trail of Ink.  I've really been enjoying them!

I do find that each of my looooong list of series of historical who-done-its has a little different focus.  In the case of the Master Hugh series, the author spends a lot of time with little details. . . mostly of ordinary daily life. . . woven in the the story-telling.  Mel includes a lot about what folks are eating and wearing -- from the type of shoes a peasant might wear to the "high fashion" garb of a 14th century dandy.  The focus seems mostly on quick glimpses about the life of "ordinary" people. . . which to my mind is most interesting. . . for example,. as what the type of hinges on the front door might say about the prosperity of a peasant family.   The pace of these tales is fairly leisurely, which to me mirrors the slower pace of life of the time. . . and the fact that our hero, Master Hugh, is first a bailiff....then a surgeon, and only third a "detective."  

I hardily recommend the series to those who read historical fiction both for the story AND the history.  For folks who like fast paced suspense, these books may be a little tame.

I'm crossing my fingers this is just a start in a long series. . . especially since the authors of a number of my favorite many-volume series seem to be winding down.


  1. Rats. Quite like the sound of these, but my library doesn't have any *sulk*. And my Request InterLibrary Loan list is currently full (they only allow 5 at a time - luckily or else I'd end up with a huge stack of books. :-)

  2. Very cool. I did enjoy most of the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters a few years back. Not sure how historically accurate the books were, but in all honest, history is not "my thing" (gasp - LOL), so I didn't really think about it a whole lot.
    Thanks for the tip - I will definitely look into this series - after I am done reading the Disc-world series by Terry Pratchett.