30 Aug 2019

First Line Friday: Without A Trace by Mel Starr

I was at camp last week: well, actually traveling for a large part of the day so there was not post from me. 
Today I am posting the 13th title in a Medieval Mystery series which my followers might know I am madly keen on. 

The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton follows a surgeon and bailiff living in the late 14th century. In the 1370s, so be precise. Hugh uses his skills as a surgeon, his office as Bailiff to the nobleman Sir Gilbert Talbot and his keen wit to solve various murders and other crimes. 

As the series has progresses, the novels have come to be set outside Oxfordshire, and Hugh has come to move in the circles of some very prominent people, including Edward, The Black Prince, who was the eldest son and heir of the Plantagenet King Edward III and the theologian John Wycliffe. 

Without A Trace is the 13th novel in this series, of which one novel comes out per year. I would really recommend it if you want a historical mystery series that doesn't contain graphic sex scenes or lots of blood and gore. 

The wife of a knight disappears while traveling from her husband's manor to Bampton, on the way to another of the knight's properties. She and her maid are travelling in an enclosed wagon, whilst her husband and his grooms and a squire are mounted. When the party arrives at Bampton Castle neither the lady nor her maid are within the enclosed wagon: they have simply vanished.

As the disappearance may have happened while the travellers were on Lord Gilbert's lands, his surgeon and bailiff, Hugh de Singleton, is assigned to discover what has happened to the lady.
Has she been taken? Her has she fled her husband? A few days later her husband receives a ransom demand, and Hugh is named to deliver the money. Why him? The ransom is paid, but the lady is not returned. Can Hugh help find her, or is it already too late?

Today I am posting the first two lines, since the First Line is really short. 

"June and July are hungry months. Hogs slaughtered and smoked and salted at Martinmas have been consumed, and unless a man is adept at setting snares to poach his lord's coneys and hares, he and his family will go without flesh on their trenchers" 

 Martinmas, in case you're wondering, was a festival in Mid November.

 Now its your turn. Click the Meme and Comment with Your Own First Line. 



  1. Happy Friday! Today I'm sharing the first lines from A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson: "Anne Norris knew two things for certain. Some things could be forgiven. And some things most certainly could not."


  2. Happy Friday!

    I shared the first few lines of my current read Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron on my blog. But, here, I’ll share the first lines of a book I recently finished – City of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty.

    “He was an easy mark.

    Nahri smiled behind her veil, watching the two men bicker as they approached her tall. The younger one glanced anxiously down the alley while the older man – her client – sweated in the cool dawn air. Save for the men, the alley was empty; fajr had already been called and anyone devout enough for public prayer – not that there were many in her neighborhood – was already ensconced in the small mosque at the end of the street.”

    Hope you enjoyed that. Have a great weekend!

  3. Sorry I didn't get around yesterday! The book I shared on my blog this week was In the Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse but I am now currently reading Out of the Ashes which is the next book in the series. I just recently started but I'll share the first line from chapter 2 here: "Gazing down at the coffin that housed his father's physical body, Jean-Michel counted the scoops of dark soil as they hit the lid and began to cover its surface." Hope you have a great weekend with plenty of quality reading time! :)

  4. Happy Labor Day Weekend! My first line is from A Love So Real (New Hope Falls Book 1) by Kimberly Rae Jordan:

    "Elijah McNamara gave the lightbulb one final gentle turn then glanced down at the man holding the ladder for him."


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