A Corpse at St Andrew’s Chapel – A Hugh De Singleton mystery

A medieval murder mystery by Mel Starr set in the 14th Century and the second novel in the Hugh De Singleton Chronicles.

Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had not returned home, his young wife Matilda had sought out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor. Two days later his corpse was discovered in the hedge.

Hugh has doubts that Alan has been killed by a wolf, as the coroner suggests, and sets out to investigate the murder. During the investigation Hugh’s chief suspect is then murdered and Hugh becomes a target himself.

I have always enjoyed Medieval Murder mysteries and this is a pleasant read by Melvin Starr.  The author has obviously thoroughly researched the period in great detail and brings to life the day to day of the medieval world.  There are occasions when the depth of research detracts from the book, I found myself at first pleased with the glossary of medieval terms provided in the contents, and then annoyed that the author could have substituted a more obvious term.  I gave up flicking backward and forward to check the glossary and tried to understand the gist of the paragraph.

This book is easily read as a standalone from the series; in fact, I started with book two and haven’t read the first in the series.  Occasionally the description of every meal Hugh eats becomes tedious; however, it is all in all a thoroughly entertaining read if you enjoy the genre.