Ashes to Ashes


Title:  Ashes to Ashes (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton #8)

Author:  Mel Starr

Pages:  224

Year:  2015

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, bailiff and fourth son of a knight returns in his eighth adventure.  This time a midsummer celebration in the village of Bampton with a huge bonfire is the setting for the beginning of the story.  On the morning after the bonfire has burned out, some village men are gathering up the ashes when they discover a human skeleton.  Hugh is immediately called as is the coroner.  Hugh is given the task of identifying the bones as they are found on Lord Gilbert’s property.  As Lord Gilbert is Hugh’s boss, what Lord Gilbert wants is what Lord Gilbert gets.

Hugh begins to investigate, but has trouble identifying the body as no one claims to know of any missing men in the area.  Hugh spreads his search further and thinks he has identified the body only to be proven wrong.  Starting over, he begins his questions in a nearby small village and meets with animosity.  After questioning again and again, he thinks he knows who the skeleton is.  Now he has to determine motive and find proof, which proves to be a daunting task.  He is accosted and beaten badly, but refuses to give up.  He will see justice done!

Mel Starr deftly recreates life in England in the 1300s in this wonderful series.  I like history and mystery, so I get a double dose with Mel’s books!  Hugh’s character continues to develop and I appreciate the questions he poses regarding what the Lord Christ would want him to act or respond in certain situations.  Hugh also ponders some great truths of life that apply to life in today’s time period as well.  I like Hugh’s stubborn nature, refusing to give up on seeking justice even if it means sacrificing something of himself.  I eagerly look forward to book nine in the series, Lucifer’s Harvest, and can’t wait to see Hugh in action again.

My rating is 5 stars.

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