Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Surgeon Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton

I began this series upon a friend's recommendation. I also loved Ellis Peters' Cadfael Chronicles. Once I started I couldn't stop until I caught up with the author and the publisher.  They are fast reads-no more than 200 to 250 pages. My reviews are all on  They are included below as I read and reviewed them.

I think Michael Jecks, author of The Templar series, said it best: "At last a worthy successor to Ellis Peters. Mel Starr brings medieval crime to life, He has a brilliant understanding of the language and nature of the people of the 1300's."

The Unquiet Bones (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #1)The Unquiet Bones  Chronicle No 1
Well, I found another series-again recommended by my library friend. I normally do not read this far back in history; however, the characters and the mystery of this story brought the time period to life for me. Learned a lot while being entertained.

A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #2)A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel Chronicle No. 2
I am still loving this Mel Starr mystery series. The history is intriguing. The details of the life and times of the 1300's are seamlessly woven into the story. I didn't even know I was getting a history lesson. Then again, the life and times 650 years ago does seem like fiction.

A Trail of Ink (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #3)A Trail of Ink Chronicle No. 3

This story is getting even better. Mel Starr is giving us a little romance along with the mystery. Our hero may even be getting a partner in crime. Can hardly wait for the next installment.

Unhallowed Ground (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #4)Unhallowed Ground Chronicle No. 4

The more I read the more I am hooked on this series and its characters. I am not particularly fond of this period of history, but I am learning a lot about it. The mystery and the personal stories are woven together seamlessly. I don't get a sense that Mr. Starr is giving a history lesson one moment and a mystery in the next. This story is a little more bloody that the last one, but I can skip over the gruesome parts.

The Tainted Coin (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #5)The Tainted Coin Chronicle No. 5
This is by far the most complicated mystery in the series to date. Now it seems we will have a continuing villain. He seems to appear in each book and escapes before he or his accomplices can be brought to justice. Hugh is getting more sophisticated in his surgery and his job as bailiff.

Rest Not in Peace (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #6)Rest Not in Peace Chronicle No. 6
This series is still holding my interest. I love the history and the characters. Mel teaches/taught history. I wish I had him for a history teacher. He makes it come alive in his characters as they go about their daily lives. Hugh is a multi-faceted character and I love that he is now a family man in addition to being a surgeon and a bailiff.

The Abbot's Agreement (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #7)The Abbot's Agreement Chronicle No. 7
Still enjoying reading about the adventures of Hugh de Singleton. However, I am getting used to some of the process he goes through to solve a crime/mystery. I found myself skipping through some of it to get to the solution. This story was a little complicated and I am not sure how some of his tactics would work in real time.

Ashes to Ashes (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #8)Ashes to Ashes Chronicle No. 8
Seems to be a formula setting into these stories. However, the story is still worthy and I really like living in Bampton for a couple of days with Hugh and his family. I could see where this was going, but there is always some surprise to keep the reader guessing. Mr. Starr is educating me in an entertaining way.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Come Rain or Come Shine

Come Rain or Come Shine (Mitford Years, #11)Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jan Karon is the Queen of 'feel good' stories. She has a way with words that make you smile, laugh, and cry all in the right places. I love the Mitford stories. Finally, glad to see Lace and Dooley come together and to catch up on all of the supporting characters in this saga. You will love it! Recommend!

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thinking of my Father today*...

He took me everywhere
with him before I had
to go to school!
I loved it! Can you tell
by the smile?
...on this Father's Day*
He was Daddy until I thought it wasn't cool. Then, he became Dad! 
He'll always be my Daddy!

Dad on Jasper's knee with Lucy
and his older sister, Edna,
who died of a fever not long after.

He was born, William Idus  to Lucy and Jasper Grant in Dover, Arkansas, USA, on December 29, 1907.  He left us almost 24 years ago on June 19, 1991.  

On the farm...yes, I lived on a dairy farm and
got to ride on the baler while 'Daddy'
was baling hay. It was baled and wire-wrapped.
I think of him often and hear his voice in my mind...
Daddy, me, and Hank, my best
friend's little brother (read 'pest':)
on Red.

"Lynne, that's a lazy man's load"...on carrying too much at a time instead of carrying a small load and going back for another small load.  Still guilty!  I think of it as weight training:)  

Dad was a real Razorback fan.  He is holding
a football signed by the players and Coach Broyles
after they won the
1964 Southwest Conference Championship

"Lynne, if you ever make a 'D' at the UofA (Arkansas, Fayetteville), you will be coming home."  Well Dad, I never made a D, but never made much over a 'C'.  Yea, I didn't have to go home!

"Lynne, you never need to tell anyone that you have a college degree."  Just be yourself and they will know that you do. Note: a college degree for me was very important to him. He went to the UofA and his name is on the walk in 1933 and mine in 1962.

We came to understand each other!
"Lynne, you and your Mother have conflicts because you are so much alike.  Please give her some slack." (I don't think 'slack' was in his vocabulary. But, I did for the rest of her life:)

He never said he loved me, but I know he did.  I love you, too, Dad!

On this Father's Day-
Your loving daughter and only child,

Photo Gallery:
At 20

At 26

He was proud to be a Mason
and a Shriner
At his Father's funeral ca. 1953
Although we were not a close
family, he always loved it
when he could get with any of his family...'
4 brothers and 3 sisters
L to R Neil, James Earl, Norman, O.E., 

Dad was the oldest...
Rest in Peace
Dad and Mom are at rest in the Garden of Eden
Crestview Cemetery
Hot Springs Arkansas

*Posted every year on Father's Day