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The Unquiet Bones

Title:  The Unquiet Bones (Hugh de Singleton #1)
Author:  Melvin R. Starr
Pages:  256
Year:  2008
Publisher:  Monarch Books
                With the advent of The Unquiet Bones, Mel Starr has begun an interesting new series set in medieval England.  The protagonist is Hugh de Singleton, who is the fourth son of a knight and has just finished training to become a surgeon.  He is a young man who has set up his practice and is awaiting clients when he is summoned to help Lord Gilbert who is suffering from an injury after being kicked by his horse.
                Hugh does such a good job that Lord Gilbert offers him a position as surgeon of his castle and the surrounding village.  Hugh accepts the job as he has had no clients at Oxford where he had set up his practice.  As he is the only one around with any medical training, he is called on to try to identify some bones that are discovered in the cesspit.  The man who discovers the bones thinks they are pig bones, but everyone thinks these are the bones of a missing knight.  Are they?  If not, to whom do they belong?
                Thus begins Hugh’s search to identify the bones as well as identify the killer at Lord Gilbert’s request as Hugh has determined that the bones show signs of foul play.  Hugh travels to nearby villages where he questions people as to missing persons.  He does the same in his new hometown of Brampton.  He feels inadequate for the task as he has had no training in investigations, but he is encouraged by Lord Gilbert to continue.  Will someone make a slip during his questioning?  How is he going to find a killer when he is a surgeon?  He continues to treat patients during his investigation and gains a reputation as a skilled surgeon.  Hugh makes an enemy of Thomas Shilton and his family when his questions raise their ire.  Is Thomas the murderer?  Does Hugh have proof?  Is someone covering up for him?
                During all this, Hugh fancies himself in love with Lady Joan, Lord Gilbert’s sister.  He knows he is far beneath her station in life, but yearns for a life with her anyway.  Does she return his affections?  Will she defy convention to be with Hugh?  What does a traveling band of performers have to do with things?
                This story is interesting as it depicts in a very realistic way the life and lifestyles of medieval people in England.  There are other books in the series that will also be reviewed here.  The first chapter from the second book is included also.  I very much enjoyed Hugh’s investigation and look forward to seeing his character develop as the series continues.
                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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