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I had never seen Master John Wyclif so afflicted He was rarely found at such a loss when in disputation with other masters He told me later when I had returned them to him that it was as onerous to plunder a bachelor scholar's books as it would be to steal another man's wife I had at the time no way to assess the accuracy of that opinion for I had no wife and few books ' So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton near Oxford and bailiff of Bampton Castle at the behest of Lord Gilbert Talbot


10 thoughts on “A Trail of Ink The Third Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton Surgeon

  1. says:

    These Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton are pretty good reads for those fans of medieval or historic books I agree with other reviewers this third book in the Chronicles is better than the second as it has a varied mix of mystery crime love monasteries Oxford university life at the time very enjoyable What amuses me about this writer is that he pays particular interest to the food which comes to the table every day described in detail and the potages vary in uality ; This writer is I think well prepared to write a historic story shows knowledge of the times but at the same time knows how to put down an entertaining story Look forward to the next book


  2. says:

    A Trail of Ink The Third Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton Surgeon is the 3rd book in a luminous medieval series by Mel Starr This brilliant time capsule of a novel is tailor made for fans of historical fiction and detective stories Hugh de Singleton is a character so real so human that the reader identifies with his duo plights that of finding stolen books and at the same time winning the hand of Kate a merchant's daughter The writing is both crisp and inviting capturing each emotion and action perfectly Master John Wyclif is an especially noteworthy character in that he is both a scholar and held in high esteem yet also a man who values his books at the time so very valuable as each were handwritten over most other things Mr Starr has created a world of his very own this one taking place near Oxford in which even the most discerning of readers will want to return to over and overA JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READRICK FRIEDMANFOUNDERTHE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB


  3. says:

    Not really much of a mystery but to be fair it's hard to make missing books into an interesting plot It seemed like the real point of this book was to show Hugh's efforts to get a wife


  4. says:

    Hugh de Singleton is a reluctant detective in the tradition of Brother Cadfael A fourteenth century surgeon turned bailiff on the Cotswolds estate of Lord Gilbert Talbot Hugh has a knack for solving puzzles This one involves the stolen books of none other than Master John Wyclif the non conformist and translator of the Bible into English for whom the Christian mission organization Wycliffe Bible Translators is named As a librarian myself I was particularly anxious to have these books found and returned undamaged As he looks for the books Hugh is able to court Kate Caxton daughter of an Oxford bookseller William Caxton brought the printing press to England in a century later I doubt Starrs choice of name was accidental Alas Kate is an only child so we cant imagine William as a book loving descendantI am enjoying this series tremendously for its authenticity and dry wit as much as for its mystery Pigs are much like men Or perhaps men are like pigs we think little of what todays pleasure may cost tomorrow p 32 33 I admit that I did feel a bit disappointed that Hugh arrived just a few minutes too late for us to enjoy the action of the climax although he was there to stitch up the wounded Hes not a man of physical action but I would have liked to see him ducking and perhaps tripping up a malefactor during the melee Starr uses uite a bit of period vocabulary Most of it is or less understandable in the context but there is a glossary if you want precise meanings The books stand alone but like in the Brother Cadfael series relationships develop along the way so they are most enjoyed in seuence


  5. says:

    35 stars which is I really like this on my personal rating scale; it didn't make it to 4 stars because it took me five days to read this slim volume it just didn't pull me in and make me rush back to read I read a lot of historical mysteries so I don't necessarily expect gripping action and a spanking pace but I do expect a sense of urgency that makes me want to keep reading This series which I do intend to keep reading is character driven and very enjoyable for the wry self deprecating young hero Hugh de Singleton surgeon and bailiff of Bampton Castle His friendship with Master John Wyclif of Oxford adds a lot of interesting insights into the religious thoughts and feelings of the period 1365 This entry in particular is really about the romance between Hugh and Kate Caxton daughter of an Oxford stationer; Hugh treated her father for a back injury in the last book Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel Here Hugh faces off against a rival for Kate's affections as he searches for books stolen from Master John; Kate helps in his investigation as their courtship continues apace The story is fun and funny as deals with the powerful men trying to hold up his investigation; is it to cover up the whereabouts of the stolen books or for personal reasons? An easy going and enjoyable read I look forward to following the further adventures of Hugh Kate Master John and friends in both Bampton and Oxford


  6. says:

    A Trail of Ink Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton #3 Mel Starr By this point in the series Hugh should be dead about 100 times over He just has this knack for getting himself into situations that he should see coming from a mile away I'm not entirely sure how he ever actually solves a mystery My favorite character at this point just might be Hugh's horse Bruce All of that aside I'm still reading the next book They are uick light reads I have all of the available books in e book form They are my bedtime books 


  7. says:

    Hugh seemed unusually dense in this one Why he was so slow on the uptake regarding Sir Simon's malicious ill will might be the real mystery in this book He kept on dismissing it as a somewhat trivial matter And he also kept missing or misreading clues about the missing books Seems this case was solved by good luck than skill I also wish the author had chosen a rival suitor for Kate's affections other than Simon Left with these two choices Hugh and Simon only an idiot would choose Simon over Hugh I'd much rather see Hugh win Kate's favor in an even contest not by default One good thing however It wasn't a long drawn out affair as Simon showed his true colors early on While I think the author does a good job rendering the essence of the times he may have laid it on too thick this time around in regard to Hugh's meals We were giving a detailed rundown every time he ate A bit much Also I thought I would puke if I had to hear how comely Kate was one time I've enjoyed the series thus far only three books into it though but I hope the next is a bit better like the first two I do think it will be interesting to see Hugh and Kate married and working together


  8. says:

    Thoroughly researched and well written A Trail of Ink drew me with the writer’s individual and uniue style It took me a few pages to get used to it but as the mystery continued I grew to really like the way it was written Sounding everything like a personal diary of Hugh’s it reminded me of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books Hugh was a pretty interesting character He had a very funny sense of humor – I found myself chuckling at a few points in the book His courtship with Kate was very cute She seemed a very strong character and I love how she put Hugh at ease with calling on her They will make the perfect coupleThe characters in the book were all very well fleshed out in just about every way except appearance Since this book was written like Hugh’s own personal diary I can understand how guys wouldn’t be taking up a few paragraphs to describe how a person looks But it would have been nice to know what Kate looked like beyond extremely comely or what Jack looked like beyond immense in stature and strength But while these details would have been nice it didn’t ruin the book for me I still was able to connect with the characters – obviously because it is written as a personal diary I connected with Hugh the most But I grew to really like Jack’s protectiveness and Kate’s fearlessness and strength Wonderful charactersThe mystery was well thought out And using John Wyclif’s books as the object to center a mystery around was brilliant on the part of the author Very uniue The mystery made me realize how prized books were back then in comparison to now – where they are nearly growing out our ears Not that that’s a bad thing All in all it was an enjoyable read though if you don’t appreciate the way it is written I think it would be a very hard read for someone A few times in the book the plot dragged but not much and it usually picked up uickly Mel Starr has a very interesting voice in his books and I would probably pick up another of his books in the future


  9. says:

    This was a speed read There is so much travail in the world during the pandemic that I couldn't linger during the suspenseful bits and just turned the pages uickly Still love these characters Still love the authentic medieval medical miracles Still enjoy the respectful romance Still like the theological reflection Don't dispense with the theological reflection please We need of that


  10. says:

    Mel Starr is a good writer who manages to create a believable English medieval world I found the pace of this book slightly faster than his others I think because it is set in a busy city Oxford and the action is on the go throughout I also like the way he has built his story up in stages; initially our hero Hugh goes to Oxford to find some missing books only 22 of them but in those days that was than most educated scholars would collect in a lifetime and try to win himself a bride at the same time Complications start to set in uite early and it's not long before murder and violence raise their ugly headsIf I have a criticism and it's a small one the villains are bad throughout they might as well wear black and a sign saying I'm a bad 'un Despite that this is an easy enjoyable read that I would recommend wholeheartedly