Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ashes to Ashes Book Review


Ashes to Ashes

Mel Starr

About the Book:
The morning after the festivities of Midsummer's Eve, the villagers of Bampton make a grisly discovery

Ashes to Ashes by Mel StarrMaster Hugh, Kate, and their children attend the Midsummer's Eve fire. The next morning Hugh hears the passing bell ring from the Church of St. Beornwald, and moments later is summoned. Tenants collecting the ashes to spread upon their fields have found burned bones.

Master Hugh learns of several men of Bampton and nearby villages who have gone missing recently. Most are soon found, some alive, some dead. Master Hugh eventually learns that the bones are those of a bailiff from a nearby manor. Someone has slain him and placed his body in the fire to destroy evidence of murder.

Bailiffs are not popular men; they dictate labor service, collect rents, and enforce other obligations. Has this bailiff died at the hand of some angry tenant? Hugh soon discovers this is not the case. There is quite another reason for murder . . . -

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My Thoughts:
Like everyone else on planet earth, my time is severely limited. I don't have time for frivolities unless it's going to be worth my while. When I received notification that another Hugh de Singleton book was coming out, it was a no brainer. I knew this would be a book that I would enjoy spending time on. Perusing. Reading. Enjoying. I wasn't disappointed.

Set during the 1300's, we get a glimpse into the everyday life of peasants, lords, and bailiffs. Not many fiction books out there are written in this timeframe. That alone sparked my curiosity with the first Master Hugh book I read, The Tainted Coin. (Another good book.) In short, Mel Starr is a very gifted writer that puts time and much research into his Master Hugh books. All I've read enthrall me and make me anxious for the next one. The characters aren't cardboard cutouts that are all perfect and pretty (Master Hugh has a large nose) and they are written so that we care for them.

If you like time period books set during a time that hasn't been over-written, this is a great series of books to begin. Very good read.

My thanks to Kregel and the author who provided this book in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts are my own.