This the second book of Mr. Starr’s I have read. He has been added to my all-time favorite author’s list! I plan to read all his books. The setting in the 1300’s continues to fascinate me along with all the historical background of life in those times.
The star once again is Hugh de Singleton, bailiff and surgeon to Lord Gilbert of Bampton Castle. After almost a month, Lord Gilbert was tiring of playing host to Sir Henry Burley, his wife, daughter, 2 knights, 2 squires and the rest of his entourage. All hopes are dashed of them possibly departing when Sir Henry is found dead in his bed one morning. Upon first observation his death looks to be of natural causes, but Hugh is never one to take things as they appear. He quickly discovers that the guest has been murdered in a very crafty way that would have gone undetected by most. This turns out to not be a simple case! His investigation opens the possibility of Sir Henry’s wife, daughter, and knights! Before he can pin point anything specific another murder occurs and makes things even more complicated! Lord Gilbert has reached his limit with the unpleasant company and just wants Hugh to be done with it, and find a murderer so they will leave!
I was captivated by the plot. The more Hugh uncovers, the more unsure he is of who the murderer is. One minute I found myself thinking “Oh it has to be that one”, and the next “Hmmm this person could be the guilty party too.” It kept me on my toes guessing and wondering if the case could be solved. I loved Hugh’s keen observations and brilliant ideas to attempt to flush out the criminal.
Once again I thoroughly enjoyed all the personal information about the daily life during in medieval times. This book also included a glossary of words that were used in that era we are not familiar with. They added even more to the historical detail and gave a vivid picture how people lived, from the wealthy to the poor.
The ending is a surprise, not only who murdered Sir Henry, but another very expected turn of events. Hugh Singleton is the Sherlock Holmes of the middle ages! Mr. Starr’s is not only a very talented writer, but I appreciate the wholesomeness and good taste in which his books are written. You would be hard pressed to find a murder mystery in this day and time that is not filled with blood, gore, and foul language. This book would be a wonderful read for a young person who likes mysteries. I cannot emphasize enough how entertaining this book is. You definitely will want to read it! Hats off to Mr. Starr once again!
I received this book free from Kregel Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.