Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Corpse at Saint Andrews Chapel

Title:  A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel (Hugh de Singleton #2)
Author:  Melvin R. Starr
Pages:  300
Year:  2009
Publisher:  Monarch Books
                This is the second book in the series featuring Hugh de Singleton as the surgeon and mystery solver.  The setting is the village of Bampton, also featured in the first book in the series, in the year 1365.  It is spring and death has come to the village again.  This time the victim is the village beadle, a man in charge of fences, hedges, etc… as well as making sure all in the village observed curfew.  Hugh is called to look at the body.  He meets the coroner, but Hugh doubts the coroner’s conclusion that the manner of death was a wolf attack.
                So begins a very enjoyable tale following Hugh as he investigates to find the truth for himself, for Lord Gilbert, as well as for the murder victim’s wife.  Who would kill Alan the beadle?  Did he have any enemies?  Why was his body found in the hedges near St. Andrew’s Chapel?  Is the recent poaching somehow related to the murder?  As Hugh proceeds to find clues and delve into the different relationships between some of the villagers, an enemy from his past, Thomas atte Bridge, appears to be somehow involved in this situation, but how?  Hugh is beaten, left for dead, and almost buried alive.  He must be getting close to solving the crime.  Who would have the nerve to attack him on church grounds?  Is someone in the church or its vicinity involved in murder?  Are there any other recent deaths that have occurred that at first appeared to be from natural causes, but really are murders?
                Hugh rides his trusty old steed, Bruce, to Oxford to consult with Master John Wycliff, one of his former teachers about the murder as well as about finding a wife.  They also discuss biblical matters, God, and how He speaks truth into their lives.  While there, he goes to a shop to buy parchment and ink.  He meets the owner of the shop as well as his daughter, Kate.  Hugh has been disappointed in matters of the heart with his first love, Lady Joan, recently marrying someone else.  Hugh is interested in finding a wife, but has no prospects or does he?  Kate’s father has need of a surgeon, so he will be seeing more of her.  As he checks on her father’s recovery from surgery, he knows he is smitten.  She seems to like him, but there seem to be others interested in courting her.  Can Hugh solve the crime and get the girl?
                This is an entertaining and interesting book that I recommend.  The third book in this series will be reviewed here.  Don’t miss this series!
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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