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Ashes to Ashes (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #8)
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Ashes to Ashes

(The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #8)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  441 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Master Hugh, Kate, and their children attend the Midsummer’s Eve fire. The next morning Hugh hears the passing bell ring from the Church of St. Beornwald, and moments later is summoned. Tenants collecting the ashes to spread upon their fields have found burned bones.

Master Hugh learns of several men of Bampton and nearby villages who have gone missing recently. Most are so
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 27th 2015 by Kregel Publications (first published September 18th 2015)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  441 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Start your review of Ashes to Ashes (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #8)
I'm a fan of this well written and well researched historic Medieval crime series, book 8 already in 'The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon'. Rating will vary between 3.3 (this one) and four stars. The author, Mel Starr, gives an authentic picture of the dark ages and lots of details, including a glossary of terminology. The series features Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiffto Lord Gilbert Talbot at his manor of Bampyon, UK in the Middle Ages. I will look forward to the 9th book, and, ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr is the latest in a series about medieval surgeon Hugh de Singleton. I have not read any of the previous books in the series, but enjoyed this one.

Set in the 14th century, Hugh studied at Oxford and in Paris; for his time, Hugh has a most advanced medical education.

In 1349 and again in the 1360's outbreaks of the Black Death devastated the population, creating a shortage of labor and social upheaval. This post-plague setting adds to the interest of the novel.

Labor is
Melissa Michelle
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite Author is Mel Starr!!! I have enjoyed this series from the first and look forward to what more he has to write. Thanks Sir.
Judy Lesley
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very good reading experience for me in the Hugh de Singleton series. I have somehow missed the last several books in this series so it was nice to meet up with where the characters have advanced to since I last read about them.

This book has some very good information for people who may not be familiar with reading medieval mystery novels. Author Mel Starr has included a Glossary in the front of the book to help with information specifically mentioned in this novel such as what dates a
Mel Starr delivers another quality medieval mystery set on one of the manors of 14th century England. I've followed the series since #1, and continue to be enchanted by Starr's depiction of "real life" during this historical period. There's so much to learn: from the daily diet of people (loaves, pottage, sometimes cheese or "capon"-chicken) to medieval medicine (lettuce seeds as soporific, surgery as a "lower trade" than medicine, to be practiced by anyone with a knife), to the politics of loca ...more
Diane Estrella
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can not express how much I truly enjoy this series.

These books are like the richest of desserts. You want to devour it quickly but know that you should nibble it slowly so as to enjoy it thoroughly from start to finish.

Hugh de Singleton is the Columbo of his day. He just seems to ask the right questions, pause at the right times, and watch the answers come as they may. He definitely has a technique to getting the information he needs to solve the murders and I enjoy seeing the process unfold.
Janka H.
The bones find in the ashes. But who is the missing person? Master Hugh de Singleton must visit the nearby villages more than once to identify the possible victim - and the reason for the murder/s.

I have quite enjoyed this historical murder mystery. Hugh de Singleton is a wise man with dry humour, which I appreciate. And while Master Hugh is no brother Cadfael (my forever beloved detective from the past times of British realm), the mystery is quite well-written and interesting. And I appreciate
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable entry in this series featuring Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff in Bampton, UK in the 14th century. A set of bones are discovered in the remains of the St. John's Eve fire when the farmers come to take the ashes to spread on their fields. As the skull was clearly bashed in, it appears murder has been done and Hugh must investigate as the Bailiff to Lord Gilbert. But when no one is reported missing initially, Hugh begins journeying to nearby villages to look a bit further ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
With the discovery of adult bones in the remains of the Midsummer’s Eve fire, Hugh de Singleton finds himself searching for the identity of the bones. His search leads him many directions before he finally unravels the mystery.

This was not one of my favorite reads by the author but I discovered that the author is making Hugh a more religious soul who loves food - particularly the food his lovely wife, Kate, makes. The author seems to be providing more depth to Hugh's palate which is interesting
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read a bit out of order as this is the volume we happened to have in the shop!

A good read, a mystery unfolding in neat steps and, as usual, Hugh's musings on life are interesting as a man of his times when what God, or Jesus, would think really was an integral part of everyday life.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
My favorite in my long running love affair with this series. Learned more than usual during a very satisfying low key mystery.

Only two volumes left before I catch up to author's output... rationing carefully. :)
Tricia Fraser
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm still very much enjoying this mystery series. I like Hugh and the whole cast of characters we've come to know since book 1. I enjoy the historical details and Hugh's musings on life and faith as he goes about his business of mending people and solving murders.
Nance Roepke
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love medieval mysteries and the Hugh de Singleton series is by far my favorite. This book is no exception. Hugh doesn't go around acting like Superman. He is a very human person with fears and frustrations and faith. In this book like the others the mystery is interesting as are the characters.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy Mel Starr's description of medieval life brought to life through Hugh de Singleton.
Andrea Green
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fine tale...

I love the history and the mystery of these books! It just fuels my desire to continue reading! Great series!
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another enjoyable installment in the series.
Although I’m a Cadfael fan, this was the only other Medieval Mystery series I had read until recently. I did recently make a foray into another popular series by an American author, but I prefer this one, as the other seemed a little too OTT.

There is something constant, comfortably reliable about The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton. Those who have read other books in the series will expect not to find any deep political intrigue in the series, set as it is in fourteenth century rural Oxfordshir
Victor Gentile
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mel Starr in his new book, “Ashes To Ashes” Book Eight in the Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series published by Monarch Books returns us to Oxford in 1369 for another mystery involving the intrepid bailiff and surgeon.

From the back cover: The morning after the festivities of Midsummer’s Eve, the villagers of Bampton make a grisly discovery

Master Hugh, Kate, and their children attend the Midsummer’s Eve fire. The next morning Hugh hears the passing bell ring from the Church of St. Beornwald, and mom
Vera Godley
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have thoroughly enjoyed each of my journeys into the 1300s in the company of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon and Baliff. The author, Mel Starr, has a unique style that reads easily; and the prose and droll humor of Singleton makes this reader readily visualize characters as they engage one another and traipse along the countryside solving the mystery and crime of the moment.

Not being encumbered with the fast pace and "stuff" of today's world, Hugh de Singleton thinks deeply and lucidly. Life is mor
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-reviews
This book was a different take from what I usually read. Set in medieval times, Master Hugh is a bailiff to Lord Gilbert and also a surgeon. After a body is found in the Mid Summer's Eve fire, he is on a quest to discover who's body it is. There is not much to go on, such as there would be today, and it is extremely interesting to read how things were done back then.

The most difficult part of the book was the "old" English language that is used and often I needed to refer to the dictionary in th
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one of those times I recommend not judging a book by its cover–at least, not the way I judged it. When I first saw this one, I nearly skipped right by it. Lucky for me, for some reason I decided to take a second look, and what I read about the premise was enough to persuade me to give it a try. So glad I did! (Btw, other covers in this series, such as this one, aren’t nearly so gruesome.)

I don’t read a lot of mysteries these days, mainly, I think, because I haven’t found many that have s
Lisa Johnson
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: Ashes to Ashes (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton #8)
Author: Mel Starr
Pages: 224
Year: 2015
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, bailiff and fourth son of a knight returns in his eighth adventure. This time a midsummer celebration in the village of Bampton with a huge bonfire is the setting for the beginning of the story. On the morning after the bonfire has burned out, some village men are gathering up the ashes when they discover a human skeleton. Hugh is immediately calle
Beckie Burnham
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
In Ashes to Ashes, the 8th book in Mel Starr’s Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton series, greed is the key motivation for crime. But just who is the greedy party? It seems most everyone has a reason for the murder of a fellow bailiff or at least a reason to cover it up. But Hugh has, besides a strong sense of justice, a stubborn streak that will not let go of a case, even when it turns dangerous.

For fans of both mystery and history, Mel Starr’s books are a perfect fit. I love the detail he includes
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am so hooked on Mel Starr’s books! Each time I finish one, I am sad and can’t wait for the next one to be published! His murder mysteries are for sure one of a kind!
I never tire of Hugh de Singleton, Medieval sleuth, doctor and surgeon. The reader becomes involved in all aspects of his life, on every level: professional, social, spiritual, family, and emotional. Through him you step back over 700 years and experience living through his eyes. I love his fantastic wit and dry humor. I can even i
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the eighth book in this series, and I have read all eight and reviewed seven of them. They are Christian suspense/mystery, but not at all like what I normally read. These books are set in the 1300's in medieval times. The series has been a very enjoyable read, and I have always looked forward to a new book coming out in the series.

This is the best book so far. There was a lot more suspense and mystery than the others in the series, though they had their share. Part of the mystery in th
Tammy G.
I've had the pleasure of reading all The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton by Mel Starr.

These reads are outside my usual readings even though they are mysteries.

There isn't a lot of fast action and the books are very historical. Mel Starr has done a lot of research in the early days of medical practices.

By now, Master Hugh is married to Kate and they have children. So, as most families would Master Hugh and Kate take their family to the Midsummer's Eve fire. A celebration in the community. Then,
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
In Ashes to Ashes, Hugh de Singleton, bailiff to Lord Gilbert, is called upon to investigate a mysterious death. Though the death at first seems fairly straightforward, Hugh soon learns that there's more to the story, and he seeks to uncover a murderer. Along the way, he faces danger himself—and he finds several opportunities to use his skills as a surgeon.

The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton are unique novels—I don't know of any other inspirational novels set in the Middle Ages that feature a ma
Rebecca Kightlinger
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
England, 1369. Surgeon Hugh de Singleton, bailiff of Bampton, is summoned to examine human remains—bones—discovered in the ashes of the St. John’s Day bonfire, and the search for the victim’s identity is on. Clues wrested from reluctant villagers lead de Singleton into a web of secrets woven over decades in the nearby village of Kencott, whose bailiff, rumored to have been highborn, has gone missing.

An engrossing tale of medieval forensics, Ashes to Ashes is narrated in lean prose by de Singleto
Jo-anne Atkinson
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
In the village of Brampton the annual Midsummer's Eve bonfire is a cause for celebration for all the villagers but the next day the bones of a man are found in the ashes. Surgeon and bailiff Hugh de Singleton takes it upon himself to investigate and his enquiries lead to a neighbouring village where the local bailiff has gone missing. Ascertaining that the body is that of the missing man Hugh looks for the culprit but the lord of the local manor has a already found the perpetrator and hung him. ...more
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Ashes to Ashes" is a historical novel set in 1369 in England. It's the 8th book in a series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one. This novel referred to events from previous novels.

The story contained many details about life during this time period, and these details were worked into the flow of the story. The story was told from a distant viewpoint. We're told what Hugh thought and did like he's telling us the story after the events. The characters were intere
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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 gra ...more

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Unquiet Bones (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #1)
  • A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #2)
  • A Trail of Ink (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #3)
  • Unhallowed Ground (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #4)
  • The Tainted Coin (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #5)
  • Rest Not in Peace (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #6)
  • The Abbot's Agreement (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #7)
  • Lucifer's Harvest (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #9)
  • Deeds of Darkness (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #10)
  • Prince Edward's Warrant (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon, #11)

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