Monday, March 7, 2011

Litfuse Blog Tour - A Trail Of Ink

An excellent medieval whodunit by the author of The Unquiet Bones and A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel

Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh's investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh's pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?

One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn t think so, but it will take all of his surgeon s skills to prove.

So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton. Masterfully researched by medieval scholar Mel Starr, the setting of the novel can be visited and recognized in modern-day England. Enjoy more of Hugh s dry wit, romantic interests, evolving faith, and dogged determination as he pursues his third case as bailiff of Bampton.

Purchase the book here.


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 grandchildren.


Kregel Publishers is graciously donating a $50 gift card for the Litfuse Blog Tour Contest! Woo-hoo (thanks Kregel!) All you have to do to enter is either tweet (see TWEET THIS below) or share the book on Facebook using this link:

TWEET THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. RT for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon! #litfuse
  • (and be sure to use the hashtag #litfuse to be entered into gift certificate drawing and no need to email that you tweeted - we'll be able to track it via the hashtag.)

FACEBOOK THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. Share on your wall for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon!

Check out the tour page HERE!

The Review:
My Ranking: 7 out of 10
Ages: 13 & up

A Trail Of Ink, the third chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon was my first book by Mel Starr. I love medieval fiction and also mysteries, so when I learned that this had both I was eager to dive into it. While this isn't an action filled, intense suspense, it was still a pleasant read. It reminded me of a few of Agatha Christie's Professor Periot mysteries books in the way it read, though the mysteries in Christie's are way more intense and gripping. The medieval language took me a bit to get used to but after about 5 chapters I was reading it with ease.

Hugh's character was witty and caring, and the type of man I would enjoy associating with. While he took his job seriously, I appreciated the somewhat funny remarks he made on occasion.
Perhaps it is because I haven't read the previous two books, but I was left wondering what the characters look like. It did allow me to use my imagination which I liked somewhat, but I didn't even know how old he was. The same was for all the characters. With Kate, the girl Hugh fancies, all I know is that she's mind-blowingly beautiful. I wanted to know what color hair and eyes she had but was left to come to my own conclusions. While this did not cause me to enjoy the book any less, I was wondering throughout the book what the characters looked like.

The romance between Hugh and Kate was very sweet, proper, and not excessive. I found myself smiling at some of their conversations. They were a perfect couple! I did long to know more about them both, but I suppose that's what I get for reading the third book in the series first. ;)

As for content, there was nothing at all! After thinking for a while, the only thing I could think of to mention is that Kate is very beautiful and Hugh notices many men attracted to her. Other than that, there wasn't even a kiss! Very clean. There was some mild gore but it was very minimal. As a surgeon, Hugh had to set a a broken collar bone, find out of a corpse they found in the river really drowned or if it was foul play, and inspect a man with a few knife wounds. Nothing is really graphic or anything. I wasn't out of ease at all.

All in all, this was a good, simple, story set in medieval times. If you are looking for an action-pact suspense or a surprise ending or anything, this book won't amount - but if you are looking for an interesting story with some mild mystery, this is a book for you!

I received this free book in return for an honest review from Litfuse Publicity. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Katy said...

Nice review - I have to agree. :-)

~ Katy

Jane said...


Diane said...

I really enjoyed this book too. Can't wait to get my hands on his other books. :O)

Jane said...

Yes me too! Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

Nancy said...

The author's historical education allowed him to bring much accuracy in background to his story, I'm sure! Sounds like a good book!

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