Monday, May 3, 2010

Review: A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel

I love medieval murder mysteries. That's not surprising - I've written about several in the past here, including the Dame Frevisse series, the Brother Cadfael series, and mysteries by Ariana Franklin and Sharon Kay Penman. So it is with much happiness and not much surprise that I really enjoyed this new one: A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel: The Second Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon by Mel Starr.

Publisher's Description:
Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had not returned home, his young wife Matilda seeks out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor.

Two days later Alan’s corpse is discovered in the hedge, at the side of the track to St. Andrew’s Chapel. His throat has been torn out, his head half-severed from his body and his face, hands, and forearms lacerated with deep scratches.

Master Hugh, meeting Hubert the coroner at the scene, listens carefully to the coroner’s surmise that a wolf had caused the great wound. And yet ... if so, why is there so little blood?
From the title, you can see that this is the second book in a series. Don't let that put you off - I had no trouble diving into it. Master Hugh was a great character - sincere and intelligent but with a good sense of humor. I liked getting to know him and rooted him on in the hint of a love story that ran as a sub-plot in the book.

After reading this book, I found out that the books publisher is a Christian publisher. If I had know this beforehand, I am fairly certain it would have discouraged me from requesting it. I'm glad I had no idea. For faith-phobes, don't worry: there is no evangelism or overt preaching. Personally, I found that the small amount of religion present in A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel to be more of an acknowledgment of the prominent role the church played in people's lives during this era than anything else.

If you, like me, enjoy medieval mysteries, you will like A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel. I highly recommend it.

Buy A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel: The Second Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon on Amazon.

I received this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

1 comment:

  1. Though Ariana Franklin's book didn't completely satisfy me, it did leave me in the mood for more medieval mysteries. I think I'll keep this in mind.


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