Title: Lucifer’s Harvest (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton #9)
Author: Mel Starr
Publisher: Lion Fictioin
My rating is 3 stars.
Hugh de Singleton is summoned with his employer, Baron Gilbert, by Prince Edward to go to battle against France. Hugh is taken along not in his role as bailiff, but as a surgeon to treat battle wounds. He leaves behind his wife Kate and two young daughters not knowing if he will return or be the victim in battle, even though he isn’t in the fighting ranks. Upon reporting to their first stop on the journey to Dover, England where they will then cross the English Channel into France, Hugh makes an unsettling discovery. His old enemy Sir Simon Trillowe is among the other fighting men called by Prince Edward.
Sir Simon holds no love for Hugh and goes out of his way to let Hugh know that he still holds a major grudge. However, while waiting for the battle to begin, Sir Simon’s body is found face down in a poisoned well. Hugh is the first suspect as he and Simon have had a couple of run-ins at the encampment. Hugh enlists Baron Gilbert’s help and they both persuade Prince Edward to give Hugh time to find the real murderer. Hugh ferrets out the guilty party and a confrontation ensues.
While the story is good, I kind of felt cheated at this abbreviated novel. In the past, his novels are usually about fifty pages longer with more time spent with Hugh, his internal musings that I find very interesting and sometimes funny, as well as his interactions with other characters. This one definitely surprised me in a negative way and that is that homosexuality or “perversion”, as it was referred to in the book, was included. I did like the setting of France and the details about the life of a medieval soldier. I love Hugh’s wit and tenacity in his search for the culprit. I look forward to reading more medieval tales of the adventures of Hugh de Singleton in the future, but now I will be a bit wary as to the contents. Book ten is titled Deeds of Darkness, but as of now there is no release date.
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