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11.15.2017

Deeds of Darkness ~ Review

Deeds of Darkness
The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #10
By Mel Starr

When Bampton's haberdasher and coroner, Hubert Shillside goes missing Hugh is called upon by the man's son. Will Shillside is concerned that his father is late returning from a purchasing expedition in Oxford. But clues are few and no evidence can be found of foul play other than Hubert's unexplained disappearance. But a stop at Osney Abbey reveals that others have fallen prey to the same apparent fate as Hubert.

Putting his skills to use Hugh is hard-pressed to find the victims he seeks. But as the days pass crime seemingly has moved into the area. Homes are robbed. People attacked. And an unidentified victim has been found. The road to Oxford is no longer safe to travel day or night. And unless the guilty party makes a mistake Hugh may be unable to bring justice to those in sore need of its administration.

Deeds of Darkness is a truly captivating mystery. And just when one thinks "Ah, he has discovered his villain" something occurs to throw this thought into doubt. This is one tangle that will take all of Hugh's skills to unravel.

If your cup of reading runs to historical mysteries, you simply have to give Hugh de Singleton a try. The story is set in the late 14th Century outside of Oxford. And for those who like to have historical figures in their historical fiction will enjoy scenes with Hugh's former professor of philosophy - Master John Wycliffe.

This is the tenth book in this series, but if you have not before read any books in this series that should not be a problem as the book can be read-alone and easily understood. There is a glossary of terms at the front of the book that you'll definitely make use of.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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.