The Tainted Coin
The fifth Chronicle of Huge de Singleton
The medieval mysteries of Mel Starr intrigue me with their uniqueness. Master Hugh, bailiff to Lord Gilbert is crime fighter extraordinaire. Given to details, Hugh must solve the crimes and murders on Lord Gilbert's lands. His expertise in detail reaches further into his career as a surgeon. A surgeon with new techniques that challenge the tradition steeped times.
A dead man is found on the steps of the chapel with a rare coin in his mouth. Hugh's search for the answers leads him to a merchants cart abandoned in the forest. It's wares still in place though scattered. The assailants were after much more than buckles and buttons.. but what? He finds the man's name to be John Thrale of Abington, and learns more from neighbors near by. He is engaged to Amice Thatcher so Hugh goes in search of her and her children and finds her in Abington. Thugs later kidnap Amice, seeking the same info that Hugh does, where is the rest of the coins? Amice knows nothing about it but the thugs do not believe her and keep her hostage in a slave shack. Hugh along with Arthur seek to rescue Amice, a couple of times.
I get a little confused as Hugh is always on the go from one town to another, trying to find criminals or return stolen maidens. There are a lot of Sir's in the novel as the time would dictate and I get them mixed up a bit as well. If you are used to reading medieval novels it won't be a problem, but my brain had to work a bit harder than normal. The novel never lacks for adventure, and Hugh is in quite high demand not only for his baliff skills, but those of surgeon.
I love Mel Starr's description of the times in 1367. The descriptions take you back to the time, that as you read the story in completion unfolds in your mind.
Sir Hugh has a wittiness and humor that is subtle, but makes me laugh often. I smile to myself as I catch on to his dry humor. I love a book that can keep you entertained and make you smile!
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.