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A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #2)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  684 ratings  ·  75 reviews
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 stillnot returned home, his young wife Matilda sought 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 ha...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published February 19th 2010 by Monarch Books (first published October 23rd 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Ceren Ünlü
Melvin R. Starr'ın yazdığı Cerrah Hugh de Singleton'un ''ikinci'' günlüğü CESEDİN ŞİFRESİ okundu, bitti.
Kitabı büyük bir keyifle okudum. Karakterler gerçekçi, kurgu nefes kesiciydi. Kitabın geçtiği dönem (1300'lü yıllar) çok iyi betimlenmişti. Ve diyebilirim ki, yazar gerçekten yüreği ile yazıyor. Esrarengiz bir olayı çok iyi kurmuş, başarıyla çözmüş. :))
Beni bir polisiye romanı olarak en çok etkileyen kısım ise olayların geçtiği dönem. Hugh bir mübaşir olarak katilleri bulmakla görevli, aynı za...more
3.5 stars for this 2nd chronicle of Hugh de Singleton. I liked the first book a bit better, because it told more about the life and background of Master Hugh, leading up to a crime story. This one plunges right into a medieval crime mystery. All in all, quite a nice book to read.
This is a murder mystery set in the small area of Bampton in old England. We follow our detective, Mast Hugh de Singleton, as he tries to solve the case of a brutal murder. A man has been found with his throat slashed in the bushes near the road leading to St. Andrew's Chapel. While investigating the murder, he uncovers an unusual trail of related crimes that leads to quite a stunning conclusion.

While I was able to guess several of the details before they were explained by Hugh. However, as the...more
Karen Brooks
The second book in Starr’s series about Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff for Lord Gilbert Talbot, centres on solving the murder of the beadle of Bampton, Alan. Found outside St Andrew’s Chapel, Alan has had his throat ripped out and mysterious marks on his body. The coroner decides it was a wolf that killed him. Hugh, of course, isn’t convinced and so sets out to discover just who or what took the beadle’s life. Only, his investigations put his own at risk and, when he’s attacked late one...more
c2009.Such a sweet little book made enjoyable because of the historical details. The crime is secondary to the life of the various classes in medieval England. Lovely details of the meals eaten and the reasons for the various components. However, the best things about this book is the wry, dry and subtle humour that consistently weaves through the chapters. FWFTB: beadle, curfew, surgeon, severed, wolf. FCN: Master Hugh de Singleton, Thomas atte Bridge, John Kellet, Lord Gilbert (in absentia but...more
This well-told mystery is perhaps more slowly paced than a modern thriller, but all of life moved more slowly in the 14th century and the sense of time and place are a major part of the attraction of this series. Surgeon and bailiff Hugh de Singleton follows Henry de Mondeville in his surgery (allowing for more modern medical practice than typical of the era) and Master John Wycliffe at Oxford (giving him a proto-Protestant theology.) Both Henry and Wycliffe are historical personages. Master Joh...more
Leslie Slutz
I enjoy the medieval era and that certainly applies to this novel. The prose is so well done without being stiff or stilted - wonderful use of vocabulary. Will definitely look for his other books.
I have decided not to read additional books in this series as the writing is not appealing to me for a few reasons. I wanted to like these books due to era, place and potential drama, but cannot invest more time hoping the writing will improve as I go along. The sentences are generally short, yielding choppy action and a stilted unreeling of the plot. Then there is the important lack of wit...a big component for me when it comes to following an author. The main character is certainly not heroic...more

Set in 1365, in a small English village, Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff for Lord Gilbert Talbot finds himself in the middle of several mysterious deaths and occurences. A dead beadle (manor officer in charge of curfew and other duties for the Lord) is the trigger to all the mystery that Hugh finds himself in the middle of. It looks like an attack by a wild animal, only there are several things that trigger Hugh's suspicions. The beadles shoes are missing, and he has a caved in spot on hi...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
A body is found. It looks like it's been savaged by an animal, possibly a wolf... only there haven't been wolves around here in ages. And there's other things that don't quite add up. Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff, starts to investigate.
Apart from the first few paragraphs, that I found a bit meandering and pointless (and almost put me off!), I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The process of investigation, whilst carrying on with one's normal duties as a medievil bailiff, was really quite r...more
This is a light fast book that is about the likeable surgeon and bailiff Hugh de Singleton. Hugh seems to be a forward thinker. He tells you about the procedures he performs while curing various injuries and how his thoughts differ from what was then the norm. It gives the reader a good, but not overbearing, look at the state of medicine at the time. He also tends to wax philosophic about religious matters. It is a rather prevalent theme in the book and he talks about it a lot. He is not preachy...more
This is the second in the series of Hugh De Singleton. In the first we meet Hugh, a young new surgeon attempting to establish a practice. As luck would have it a landed Lord is injured in front of his building a and Hugh's skills save his leg. Lord Singleton then employs Hugh to be surgeon on his estate. Not long afterward the Lord's baliff dies. Hugh helps solve the identity of some bones found in the castle cesspit. The Lord then insists that Hugh take on the role of Baliff for at least a year...more
Clockstein Lockstein
A Corpse at St. Andrews Chapel by Mel Starr is the second book in the Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series. This mystery picks up shortly after the events of The Unquiet Bones in 1365 as Hugh continues in his role as bailiff for Sir Gilbert of Bampton. His duties lead him to investigate the mysterious death of a beadle. His search soon leads him through many midnight forays, discovering poaching, infidelity, and maybe even love. Starr has written, for me, the perfect mystery. Hugh is a wry, often s...more
Serpil Kır
Mervin R. Starr // Cesedin Şifresi

Hugh de Singleton’un ikinci günlüğü olan CESEDİN ŞİFRESİ her satırında beni meraktan çatlatıp nihai sona ermeyi başararak bitti….

İlk kitaptan aldığım aynı lezzet ve hafiyelik duygusunu bu kitabın her satırında yine hissetmem, günlüğün üçüncüsünü beklemem de en büyük etken….
Tarzıma uzak olduğunu düşündüğüm her kitap bu aralar nedense hep beni yansıtıyor. Sanırım zamanla birlikte bende değişiyorum…
İlk yorumda da bahsettiğim gibi 1365 li yılların en farklı zamanlar...more
This is the second book by Mel Starr, with Hugh de Singleton, a surgeon and bailiff in medieval England. When I received the book as part of Early Reviewers, I quickly picked up the first book. The books are considered Christian literature, which is usually not an issue when reading a tale set in a time when God, and religion, played larger roles in the character's lives. Starr does a good job of showing how the religious holidays affected the people of the village. Another reviewer commented on...more
I think I might be raiding through the series a bit too fast.

But I've learned by now that this series is to be classed as a leisure series and not really meant to be philosophical and thought provoking as the religious undertone sets out to be.

It tries to, but mostly they become one-liners that seem to provoke something but don't run as deep as the witty one-liners that are peppered with dry humour. The latter invoke a giggle, whilst the former makes you ponder only long enough to read the middl...more
Lisa Johnson
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 i...more
Charline Ratcliff
While "A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel" was a really great read it definitely was not what I was originally expecting. The title sounded intriguing; it sounded medieval and having a corpse found outside a place of worship made me wonder if there would be an unnatural element like a werewolf or vampire included in the tale. I performed my customary Amazon research and the plot description seemed to validate my initial feelings.

It's spring. The year is 1365 and Alan the beadle, or manor officer, le...more
#2 Hugh de Singleton medieval mystery set in 1360's in the town of Bampton, UK. Still recovering from the plague two decades previously, a spate of lawlessness seems to have taken over the countryside as Hugh, a surgeon, settles into his double role as Bailiff of Bampton Castle for Lord Gilbert Talbot. When Alan the beadle is found dead--first presumed attacked by a wolf, later noted to have been shot with an arrow--Hugh must investigate the death and is attacked several times himself for his tr...more
When the Surgeon and Bailiff Hugh de Singleton is called to the scene of an accidental death by St. Andrews chapel, little does he anticipate the trouble it will bring. Starr's second novel in the Singleton chronicles continues the carefully-crafted medieval world and strong characterizations that made up such a big part of the first novel (The Unquiet Bones). A few thoughts:

- The pacing of the novel is slow, but manageable and still good. But this isn't a rip-roaring thriller. In fact, it neit...more
In this second installment of the Hugh de Singleton series, we find Hugh as now bailiff for Lord Gilbert and surgeon for the village of Bampton near Oxford. Trying to find the killer of the Beadle (night watchman)of the village. Though it looks to be the work of a wolf there is no sign of such an animal. Hugh is suspicious too because the dead mans shoes are missing.

I like Hugh I wanted to like this book but I found it slow going, there were just to many times he saw things and didn't really pre...more
I was tranported immediately to Easter week 1365. The language, the scenes, the thoughts, all appropriate for the time. It was very nice of the author to include a glossary at the front of the book so that one became familiar with the strange words before the story started. The characters were believable, even though this is the second book in the series it definitely stands alone and also makes one want to go out and purchase the first book. Like all good suspense stories, although the reader h...more
The 2nd in a series about Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff. The beginning of the book opens with the death of Alan the beadle. At first it looks like an animal, perhaps a wolf, has killed him. Quickly though Hugh thinks it is murder. I like that Hugh has both the job of surgeon and bailiff. He seems to be able to let people know he will do some damage but also stitch them up if he needs to. I like that Hugh also will note his shortcomings and try to remedy it with his next investigation. I...more
This mystery kept me guessing until the end. I didn't figure out all of the whodunit. I really like this series set in the 1300's. It a good mix of historical fiction about local village life, early surgical medicine, and a mystery too. So much of historical fiction is about royalty or the high-brow. It's nice to learn more about the various jobs and customs in a smaller village.

Go Hugh! Find yourself that wife! Sigh, I guess I'll have read the next installment to see if Hugh de Singleton adds H...more
Jann Barber
Yes, another rehab read from my iPhone Kindle.

I enjoy the Hugh de Singleton series. The historical elements draw my interest because of the way they are added. They enhance the story rather than detract from it.

Not only does this entry in the series deal with murder, but Hugh has decided that it is time to search for a bride. He is not well versed in courting, but sets his sights on a young woman he notices while shopping for paper and ink.

I also enjoyed the descriptions of surgical and medical...more
I especially appreciate the honor Mel Starr pays to the viewpoints of his 14th century characters.
Much improved from the 1st entry in this series, when everything seemed to come a little too easily to Hugh de Singleton. Now the author has him installed as bailiff to the local lord, he can just get on with the job. Hugh is a charismatic protagonist and his story is well told. One thing I wish Starr would do less often is to have Hugh point out where he has interpreted events wrong. While Hugh is telling his story in retrospect, the reader is hearing it for the first time and these asides may...more
Apr 21, 2010 ReviewsByMolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to ReviewsByMolly by: FIRST
I must be honest and tell you that I, myself, did not enjoy this book. This doesn't mean that this book isn't a good one or well written. It is just my personal opinion that I don't like it. The plot was just one that I am not used to.

With this being said, I do recommend that you give Mel Starr's book a try, as you may find that you will enjoy the story. Mel Starr has a talent for writing, I will say that. I am sure that, had the plot been different, I would have been able to enjoy the book and...more
When Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, is found dead, it is the bailiwick of Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor, to investigate. The setting in the 14th century is well researched and Hugh is a likeable character even though he gets bashed in the head with alarming frequency. He is a former student of Oxford and sometimes goes down to visit his old master John Wycliffe. The mystery unfolds at a leisurely pace as Hugh is also looking for a likely candidate for his...more
Andrea Burgess
A birthday present of The Unquiet Bones started with apprehension of its content. The picture on the front is a bit macabre. It is a medieval detective story and the detective is the local surgeon. Enjoying it has meant putting in an order in for each new book and a trip to Bampton to see the setting where a small bit of castle wall remains visible from the road. Great easy read from a different perspective. I wait for the next book with warm anticipation of a drift back in time.
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From Mel's website:
Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Spring Arbor High School in 1960, and Greenville College (Illinois) in 1964. He received 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 studi
More about Mel Starr...
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“Had I my wits fully about me then, I would have mounted Bruce and sent him galloping for home. It is always easier to think later what should have been done in such moments. Usually what should have been done, and what was done, are different things. Rarely have I looked back on the calamitous events of my life and found my conduct at those times to be what I later determined it should have been. Surely I am not alone in this.” 0 likes
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