Monday, November 6, 2017

Deeds of Darkness by Mel Starr - REVEIWED

About the Book:
To bring justice, Master Hugh must foil the corrupt power of great men

Many medieval scholars discontinued their university studies before completing their degree. Some lacked funds; others became bored with a scholar's life. Occasionally these young men formed lawless bands, robbing and raping and creating chaos. They were called goliards.

In Deeds of Darkness Master Hugh learns that the Bampton coroner, an old friend, has been slain while traveling to Oxford. As he seeks the killer (or killers) he discovers a band of goliards in the area between Oxford and Bampton. But how to apprehend these youths? They have protectors far above Hugh's station. He must deal with the claims of justice on the one hand and the power of great men to protect their henchmen on the other.

My Thoughts:
Evil men cannot be discovered and apprehended from a distance.”  (p. 113)

Hugh de Singleton has sought many an evil man throughout his adventures while serving as both surgeon and bailiff to Lord Gilbert Talbot.  I’ve followed Master Hugh through marriage, fatherhood, and, along the way, injury at the hands of the evil men he pursues.  By now, is precious wife and children provide more than enough incentive to ensure the safety of everyone in his realm. In his installment, there seems to be an abundance of loss of both life and property, and Master Hugh cannot seem to make all of his clues reveal the culprit behind the many losses.

As always, this medieval CSI detective observes the very smallest detail of every crime scene.  As he makes his discoveries, he is always stitching the wounds of those on the receiving end of the weapons, and I absolutely relish the way he follows one leader in the field of medicine and shares with the reader why one form of treatment is better than another.  But, I digress…

This mystery seems layered with complications because there seems to be a band of men perpetrating the crimes.  At some crime scenes there are three men, at others four…and not very much consistency beyond that. As Master Hugh ventures out into the surrounding communities seeking answers, he discovers his father-in-law is also in need of his aide.  It is in the daily ministrations of Master Hugh’s life that answers begin to emerge.  

I remain a HUGE fan of this series, and I look forward to each new adventure.  The details of life in the 1300’s continue to fascinate me, and I come away very thankful that God placed me further along the time line of history!  Master Hugh is the epitome of a gentleman, and if it were possible, I’d order up a medieval surgeon and bailiff of my own!! Until next time… 

About the Author:
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 chaired the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel retired in 2003. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.

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