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I love to read fiction. Granted most of my books (and reviews) are for non-fiction, but after working and learning everything about, well, everything, it’s good to just veg. I love historical fiction because it enables me to learn without it being “work.” The chronicles of Hugh Singleton are fabulous. When I had the opportunity to read the latest installment, I was greatly looking forward to a little brain candy. Well, maybe more like a breakfast cookie :).
Anywho. Rest Not in Peace is the 6th installment of the series by Mel Starr. Hailing from my home state of Michigan, Mr. Starr has written another fabulous medieval murder mystery. Hugh Singleton is a surgeon & former bailiff to a nearby Lord. When a guest of the Lord’s is found dead in his home Hugh is called in to try to determine a cause of death. It turns out to be a murder which was almost not discovered. Upon investigating, Hugh is more perplexed than ever.
Seemingly everyone has a reason to have wanted the man dead. And then another man ends up dead and the urgency increased. Hugh travels up and down the countryside chasing rabbit trails and setting up traps to catch the murderer. In the end, he gets his man, but its a delightful journey.
The setting & time period are fascinating in their depth and probable accuracy. I enjoy the rich Catholic history that is presented as well, when church fast and feast days were widely practiced. Since Rest Not in Peace is the third book in the series I have read, the characters feel like old friends. (You can read my reviews of book three and book four.) Each novel, however, is a stand-alone book. Little carries from book to book, but I was delighted to see that his wife Kate is expecting again :).
If you are interested in murder mysteries that aren’t gory, Rest Not in Peace is excellent. Because the motives are as old as time, the murders aren’t twisted as they seem to be in modern times. Mr. Starr is almost academic about the murders and the details are not gory or disturbing. The historical setting is fun for anyone, but especially for fans of English or church history. Another excellent installment in the chronicles of Hugh Singleton, surgeon.