Sunday, December 21, 2014

Review: The Tainted Coin by Mel Starr

Description (from cover):

'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, begins to make progress--but there are men of wealth and power in league with his old nemesis, Sir Simon Trillowe, who wish to end his search...permanently.

But 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--who needs Master Hugh's surgical skills and in return provides clues that assist Hugh in solving the mystery of the tainted coin.'

My thoughts:

This book is the fifth installment in a series that I discovered many years ago. I fell in love with the author's writing and characters basically from the first book in this series. It has been some time since I have read this series, so I had a little catching up and remembering to do while reading this book. These books always are an adventure and this book was no different. Master Hugh de Singleton is a surgeon by trade, but he is also the bailiff for Lord Gilbert in Bampton. He uses his medical knowledge to assist the sick and the hurt, but he also is known for solving murders and mysterious crimes. He is a very smart man that many look to for guidance and assurance. 

Master Hugh is awaken early one morning when a man has been beaten nearly to death. Hugh rushes to try to attempt to save the man's life, but alas, he is unsuccessful. Hugh finds a unique and rare coin in the dead man's mouth right before burial and it sets off a search for the assailants. Hugh stops at nothing to see that justice is done, even if it is dangerous for him to do so. He is a strong believer that justice should always win and he does everything in his power to see that it is done so. Somehow, Master Hugh ends up entangled in things deeper than the chapman's murder and he must keep his wits about him in order to stay alive.

The ending of this one was a little disappointing, as I was expecting more of a conclusion to this mystery. It does wrap itself up, but not quite to my satisfaction. I do like this series, but I have to say that this book was a little disappointing. I expected so much more adventure and a more final conclusion that this book couldn't offer. A little disappointed in the way that this book was and hope that the series does not continue in the same vein. I am reading the next book in this series now and I have my fingers crossed that this is a better read. 

Overall Rating: 3

Title:  The Tainted Coin
Author:  Mel Starr
Series:  The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #5
Publisher:  Monarch Books
Publication Date:  December 3, 2012
Pages:  240
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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