Master Hugh, Kate, and their children attend the Midsummer's Eve fire. Next morning early Hugh hears the passing bell ring from the Church of St. Beornwald, and moments later is summoned. Tenants collecting the ashes to spread upon their fields have found burned bones. Master Hugh learns of several men of Bampton and nearby villages who have gone missing recently. Most are soon found, some alive, some dead. Master Hugh eventually learns that the bones are those of a bailiff from a nearby manor. Someone has slain him and placed his body in the fire to destroy evidence of murder. Bailiffs are not popular men; they dictate labour service, collect rents, and enforce other obligations. Has this bailiff died at the hand of some angry tenant? Hugh soon discovers this is not the case. There is quite another reason for murder . . .
Alan, the beadle of the medieval 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 sought out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor. Two days later Alan's corpse was discovered in the hedge, at the side of the track to St Andrew's Chapel. His throat had been torn out -- his head was half severed from his body -- and his face, hands and forearms were lacerated with deep scratches. Master Hugh, meeting Hubert the coroner at the scene, listened carefully to the coroner's surmise that a wolf had caused the great wound. And yet ... if so, why was there so little blood?
Another slice of medieval skullduggery from the surgeon-turned-sleuthMaster Hugh, surgeon and bailiff, is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle. Sir Henry--with his current wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants--has outstayed his welcome at Bampton. The next morning, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, despite shrill accusations from the grieving widow, is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death ... which had nothing to do with the potion. The sixth tale following Hugh de Singleton, Rest Not in Peace is sure to find its place among fans of detective and medieval historical fiction.
"Fans of medieval mysteries will revel in Starr's lively blending of intriguing suspense and telling historical detail. " - Library Journal It is the autumn of 1367. Master Hugh is enjoying the peaceful life of Bampton, when a badly beaten man is found under the porch of St. Andrew's Chapel. The dying man is a chapman -- a traveling merchant. Before he is buried in the chapel grounds an ancient, corroded coin is found in the man's mouth. Master Hugh's quest for the chapman's assailants, and his search for the origin of the coin, make steady progress - but there are men of wealth and power who wish to halt his search, and an old nemesis in league with them. Master Hugh, and his assistant, the groom Arthur, are determined to uncover the thieves and murderers, and the source of the chapman's coin. They do, but not before they become involved with a kidnapped maiden, a tyrannical abbot, and a suffering monk ...
Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh's investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh's pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate? One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn't think so, but it will take all of his surgeon's skills to prove.
Thomas atte Bridge, a man no one likes, is found hanging from a tree near Cowleys Corner. All assume he has taken his own life, but Master Hugh and Kate find evidence that this may not be so.
A young woman's remains are found in the castle, and a surgeon is challenged to dissect the mystery and uncover the truth.
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