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Reviewed by Caleb Shadis
The Unquiet Bones is the first book in the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton and the next six books are already written! I think that is great news and have already put the next two on my wishlist. I also received the seventh book, The Abbot’s Agreement, to review and it was just as good as the first. So I have high hopes for the intervening five!
Hugh Singleton has a couple older brothers and as such is expected to go out into the world and make his own way. He is smart so his first idea is to join the church and study. But by a twist of fate, he is given a book on medicine and decides to study to become a surgeon instead of a priest. He even travels to Paris to learn the latest techniques and theories.
Hugh uses up the last of his allowance from his father’s estate to learn and get back to England. He sets up shop on a street in Oxford and scrounges for enough to keep himself fed. He has just enough income to keep his belly and his landlord happy until one day he witnesses an accident in the street out front–a noble gets his thigh cut badly from a servant’s horse rearing.
After fixing up the noble, Hugh tells him that in a few weeks he will remove the stitches. He also advises him to watch for specific signs that would require his immediate attention. The wound heals well and when Hugh travels to check up on his patient, he is offered a position in the local village. He is honored and readily accepts. Hugh is soon given the opportunity to prove his worth; when a skeleton is discovered in the castle cesspit Hugh is tasked with investigating.
I thought this was a very well written book and I really enjoyed reading it. For those that have read Sister Fidelma I think these books will fit right in. There is less history and law but still a great story and a pretty good mystery. It’s also hard not to like Hugh de Singleton as the modest hero of the story.
Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.
Review copy was provided by Mel Starr. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.