Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review and Contest Info: A Trail of Ink

It is time for another blog tour from Litfuse Publicity Group.
Today, it is for the latest in the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, by Mel Starr, entitled, A Trail of Ink.

About the book:

An excellent medieval whodunit by the author of The Unquiet Bones and A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel
Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh's investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh's pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?
One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn t think so, but it will take all of his surgeon s skills to prove.
So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton . Masterfully researched by medieval scholar Mel Starr, the setting of the novel can be visited and recognized in modern-day England . Enjoy more of Hugh s dry wit, romantic interests, evolving faith, and dogged determination as he pursues his third case as bailiff of Bampton. 

My take:
I truly enjoy the genre of historical fiction, but I had never before read a book that was set during the medieval period, so I was a bit unsure of how much I would like this.  It did have a few things in it's favor, besides being historical fiction, such as it was a both a tale of mystery and romance and that it took place in an Oxford, England.  Although I have yet to visit England, my mother's side of the family came to the US from Coventry and I feel a strong connection to all things English.  

I found the story to be a a bit slow at first, but once it picked up, it held my attention.  The language can be a bit difficult for those who are not versed in 14th century English, but there is a glossary in the front of the book to help with many of the unfamiliar words.  Aside from that, I enjoyed this book.  It is important to note that this is the 3rd book in a series and that there will be more.  In fact, there is an excerpt at the end of A Trail of Ink for the 4th book.  I had not read any of the other books and did not have any trouble following along, but I would be interested in reading the first two in order to better understand the character of Hugh de Singleton.  I was also intrigued by how the medieval methods of solving crimes, performing surgery, and just life in general were so different from today, yet in many ways, still the same.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy whodunits, historical fiction and/or medieval England.  

About the author:
Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo , Michigan . After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage , MI , where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School . Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.
 Contest Info:
Kregel Publishers is graciously donating a $50 gift card for the Litfuse Blog Tour Contest! Woo-hoo (thanks Kregel!) All you have to do to enter is either tweet (see TWEET THIS below) or share the book on Facebook using this link:
TWEET THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. RT for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon! #litfuse
  • (and be sure to use the hashtag #litfuse to be entered into gift certificate drawing and no need to email that you tweeted - we'll be able to track it via the hashtag.)
FACEBOOK THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. Share on your wall for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon!
  • (email to let us know you 'shared'.)
I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publishers through Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.  As always, my opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book too. Can't wait to get my hands on his other books. :O)