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Mel Starr Books In Order

Publication Order of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles Books

The Unquiet Bones (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Trail of Ink (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unhallowed Ground (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Tainted Coin (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rest Not in Peace (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Abbot's Agreement (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ashes to Ashes (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lucifer's Harvest (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Mel Starr was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Mel graduated from The Spring Arbor High School back in 1960, and then Greenville College in 1964. He later received an MA in history from The Western Michigan University back in 1970. Mel taught history in the Michigan public schools for around 39 years, 35 of those years in Portage, where he later retired in 2003 as the chairman of social studies department of The Portage Northern High School.

Mel Starr married Susan Brock back in 1965. They have 2 daughters; Amy (Kevin) Kwilinski, of and Jennifer (Jeremy) Reivitt. Mel Starr and Susan Brock have a total of 7 grandchildren.

The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series is one of the best-selling series by Mel Starr. This is a series of the fictional medieval mysteries. The first book in the series, The Unquiet Bones was published by Monarch Books back in 2008. The second book in the series, A Corpse at St. Andrew’s Chapel was published later in 2009. Hugh de Singleton is presented as a newly practicing surgeon in Oxford, England just when he comes to help a local lord who has been injured.

The Lord then hires him to come into his manor of Bampton, and then become his Bailiff at the Bampton Castle (this was an existing castle back in the 1360s). In his two roles as bailiff Hugh and as a surgeon, he is called upon so as to solve a series of some mysterious murders along with other crimes that make up the plots of other books in the series.

Hugh is at the same time in search of a wife. This imparts a great romantic subplot to the start of this series. Another minor character in the series is Master John Wycliffe, who happens to be Hugh’s mentor. John Wycliffe was a real person who was famous for the translation of the Bible to common English couple with his arguments with church hierarchy. The characters of the Bampton citizens have also been based on the real historical people just as the writer explains in all his book notes. Here’s a description of 2 early books in this series:

The Unquiet Bones

This is the first book in The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon by Melvin Starr. This is an agreeable mystery novel by Melvin Starr. The book will take you to 14th century Oxford and Bampton by visiting an England that’s pretty well mapped in the fiction by now. Still, Mel Starr’s characters have managed to make agreeable traveling companions, and his plot will certainly keep you interested.

A university-trained surgeon decides to go and set up practice in the small English village after he accidentally helps the village’s Lord when he suffers from a minor injury. A murder then takes place, and the newly minted surgeon, Hugh de Singleton, uses his wits and knowledge to seek the killer of the local light skirted lass. There are more murders that occur, and the perpetrator is finally brought before the law. However, Hugh, as Mel Starr has made him, seems to be unsure whether justice was done, or whether the law was merely served.

Religion looms quite large in the book, but quite appropriately since this was the time of Catholic Church’s greatest ever power. John Wyclif, a proto-Rreformation figure and one behind the vernacular Bible, was just a mere irritation during that point. As such, hegemony over the spiritual matters and the temporal powers of the Church were not in serious question.

Entertaining and enjoyable, The Unquiet Bones presents an engaging tale of a very compassionate man who lives in uncertain times. The book is highly recommended to fans of Mel Starr’s series.

A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel

This is the second book in The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon series by Mel Starr. The book is set about a murder mystery in a small area of Bampton in England. You will follow Mast Hugh de Singleton, the detective, as he tries quite hard to solve a case of brutal murder. There’s a man who has been found with the throat slashed in bushes just near the road that leads to St. Andrew’s Chapel. As he investigates the murder, Mast Hugh de Singleton uncovers a certain unusual trail of the related crimes that lead to a stunning conclusion.

When venturing in the pages of this novel by Mel Starr, you’ll step into the medieval England in mid 1300s. Thoroughly enjoy all these sojourns within the villages and also across Shill Brook along with the incomparable bailiff of Lord Gilbert’s village and Hugh de Singleton Surgeon. For those who might be unfamiliar, Hugh de Singleton is a character of several fine points that the writer develops quite well. Singleton has been educated in Oxford and medically trained and read. He is a close friend of John Wycliffe (the Bible Translator). Even though he isn’t married, he actually longs for the warmth and comfort of a wife.

The story has been written in the first-person using the voice of Singleton. The author, Melvin Starr is a historian by trade and education, and has thoroughly researched this series consisting of several period novels. Included at the front of this book are terms and words that will help you in understanding the terminology of every period. However, you do not feel as though you’re reading one of the history books. As Hugh rides Bruce, a horse that was given him for use across the village and the castle’s business, he ponders about the varied events which he must resolve and also charge the culprits for the murders and poaching that constantly trouble his village.

The story will take the reader through daily journeys and treks, mental exercises, meals of the loaves of as well as knowledge about the times, status and treks of different people. How every person’s status or job determined the lodging as well as the frequency, quantity and food types that they are capable of eating. The reader will also gain appreciation for laws of the period concerning ownership, curfews, poaching and lack of rights or simple rights. You will grasp the social order as well as the privilege of ranks that exists.

Singleton has tried to solve multiple poaching and murders that occurred on the Lord’s estate and by going through this book, you will realize that his skills as a bailiff/detective have been used as well as his knowledge, skills and “cutting edge” opinions as a surgeon.

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