Susanne's Reviews > A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel

A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel by Melvin R. Starr
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Sep 07, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, mysteries, faith-related, ancient-paths-of-faith
Read from August 26 to September 07, 2017

I don't usually start book series with the second book, but in this case, books #2 and #4 of the wonderfully medieval mysteries Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles were sitting on the paperback cart besides our small town library's door, and the covers, then the titles, struck me. I invested my quarter and purchased book #2, and once I had started it, made sure I acquired book #4 on my next library trip.

I quite enjoyed this leisurely mystery, full of details of medieval life in a village outside of Oxford. John Wyclif is also a character as Hugh's mentor, so Hugh often makes pre-Reformation remarks about the abuses of the Church and the value of reading Scriptures for oneself. So I value these insights into medieval faith and practice and the contemplative life of those who follow Christ very much.

The mysteries were also quite intriguing. The books are written in first person, so we get all of Hugh's thoughts and musings along the way. I can't help but to like Hugh; he's an unassuming man of 25-ish, knowing well his weaknesses and well as his strengths. We also get to see him fall in love with the daughter of an Oxford stationer whose beauty and sweetness are a great pull for the students at Oxford.

Not only is Hugh a surgeon, but he is also Lord Gilbert's bailiff, so any problems on the lord's lands end up as Hugh's problems as Lord Gilbert is often at his other holdings.

So this series has quite drawn me in, and after the wonderful cliffhanger in the last sentence of this volume, I may have to hunt down the third book before proceeding to the fourth volume that I already have at hand. We shall see....
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Reading Progress

08/31 marked as: currently-reading
09/07 marked as: read

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