In this third story of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, Hugh travels to Oxford. He left Bampton Castle, where he is bailiff (general overseer of operations), to remedy his solitary state. He goes to Robert Caxton's stationer's shop with the cover task of buying some parchment and ink. But his real goal was to see and court Kate, Caxton's “comely” daughter.
He pays a visit to a teacher he had at Balliol College, Master John Wyclif. Wyclif is greatly disturbed for his books have been stolen. He implores Hugh to find them and thus begins Hugh's third adventure.
Hugh faces opposition on every side. There is another suitor after Kate and he is a nasty man. And in the task of recovering the stolen books, evidence is lacking. Hugh has to use his wits to determine an effective method of discovery.
I really enjoyed the writing style of Mel Starr. He is a master of creating beautiful sentences. It felt like I was reading a novel from a generation ago when authors, I think, spent more time in perfecting their craft. This novel was a joy to read.
At the front of the book are two additions that help the reader. The first is a glossary. Having it at the front of the book is a brilliant idea. (Many times I have struggled through a book to find an unannounced glossary in the back. It is too late to use it then as I have already finished the book!) The other great feature is a map of Oxford as it was around 1375.
This is a well written book. If you enjoy fine literature (and a good whodunit), you'll like this book.
I am participating in a Litfuse Publicity tour for this book. If you would like to see the other reviews from this tour go to - http://www.facebook.com/notes/litfuse-publicity-group/blog-tour-a-trail-of-ink-by-mel-starr-march-4-19/10150108963107161
Find out more about Mel Starr at his website: http://www.melstarr.org/
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Kregel Publications, for the purpose of this review.