Monday, March 21, 2011

My Review of A Trail of Ink, by Mel Starr

A charming medieval mystery

About the book: 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.

My review: When I picked this up to read it, I had just finished reading a very different novel, and I was kind of still in that world. You know what I mean?

So I have to admit, I had a bit of difficulty getting into this novel. I think I was about forty pages into it before I really started to adjust to the gentle, courtly pace and the very dry wit.

But once I did, I was hooked. Hugh de Singleton is an extremely likable character, and as the book is written from his viewpoint, we get to know him very well.

In fact, it's nothing short of amazing how well the author, Mel Starr, is able to make Hugh's medieval world come to life. At times I felt I was actually watching a movie, so real were the scenes and characters.

According to his bio, Mel Starr is a retired history teacher who has studied medieval surgery and medieval English--facts that are obvious when you read this book. (Fortunately, there's a glossary to help the reader with some of the archaic words and phrases.) Truly, no one could have written this book without having extensive knowledge of the era.

Ultimately, I truly enjoyed this novel and I would definitely recommend it, especially to Anglophiles and lovers of history and mysteries.

A Trail of Ink isn't a thrill-a-minute suspense-fest that will keep you on the edge of your seat. But if you'd rather enjoy a pleasant journey to a long-ago era with a delightful hero as your guide, sit fully back in your armchair, a good cup of Earl Grey at your side, and enjoy this charming novel.


Kregel Publishers is graciously donating a $50 gift card for the Litfuse Blog Tour Contest! Woo-hoo (thanks Kregel!) All you have to do to enter is either tweet (see TWEET THIS below) or share the book on Facebook using this link:

TWEET THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. RT for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon! #litfuse

  • (and be sure to use the hashtag #litfuse to be entered into gift certificate drawing and no need to email that you tweeted - we'll be able to track it via the hashtag.)

FACEBOOK THIS: A Trail of Ink by Mel Star. An excellent medieval whodunit. Share on your wall for a chance to win a $50 GC to @amazon!

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  • Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from LitFuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This one looks really good - definitely going on my to-read list!


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