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A CORPSE AT ST. ANDREW’S CHAPEL: THE SECOND CHRONICLE OF HUGH DE SINGLETON, SURGEON By: Mel Starr June 17, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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Not being a big reader of mysteries, the Lycan Librarian had picked up this selection and then put it back on the shelf quite a few times before she was compelled to give it a read. The title and the gargoyle on the cover kept luring her back to it again and again. And it’s a good thing, because this selection is a highly enjoyable historical piece. At first, the 14th Century voice makes it seem it could be a difficult read, but the writing flows smoothly and easily and the reader becomes so embroiled in the details that they don’t stumble or trip over the olden voice and terms, and there is a small dictionary provided to help enlighten one as to as certain words of yore.

The story moves swiftly and is an engaging mystery filled with vividly real characters. Often, the Lycan Librarian is an impatient reader of mysteries because she wants to snag the culprit but often misses clues. In this one, she caught some of them, perhaps because she read so carefully, not wanting to miss any colorful turns of phrase or fascinating historical details. The author, Starr, is a retired history teacher, and his knowledge shines through continuously and makes this a thoroughly intelligent and intriguing novel. As usual, don’t expect this reader to expose either plot or mystery, but be assured both are as gripping as the cover art.

This book is the second in a series, and this reader will certainly be grabbing the first book, THE UNQUIET BONES, when returning this one to the library. She is certain this is a series that does not have to be read in order; the character of Hugh, the surgeon and bailiff, is readily in view, and those of his neighbors are quickly exposed. Readers will finish this book, put it down, and breathe a sigh of relief for the luxury of living in the 21st Century.

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