27 Oct 2017

First Line Fridays 13# Deeds of Darkness by Mel Starr

Back again after last week's hiatus. I've been a bit naughty this week since I have actually only just finished my last book The Dishonorable Miss Delancey by Carolyn Miller, which I received from Kregel. You can read my review here.  

So today I am going to feature one of the books I am going to start in the near future. Its the latest in a series of Historical Mysteries, set in 14th century Oxfordshire, which features a Surgeon and Bailiff who solves crimes. The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton is Published by Kregel's UK sister company Lion Hudson (it was originally Publisher by Monarch books) and has actually been around for many years since this is the tenth in the series of which one book is published each year. 

I am a mystery buff generally, but there are two things I enjoy about the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton: the historical background, and the details about Medieval Medicine and surgery.  Also, the series is set in the late 14th century, during the lifetime of John Wyclif, the famous Medieval English Church Reformer, who was based at Oxford University and makes an occasional appearance in the books as a friend and mentor of the hero, Hugh.  

When Bampton’s coroner, Hubert Shillside, does not return from a trip to Oxford, Master Hugh de Singleton is called. Concerned for his old friend, Hugh takes to the road to investigate. Travel is safer than in times hence but, out of sight of prying eyes; it is still unwise to travel alone…
Hugh finds a body, stabbed and left to rot, but it is not the body he was expecting to find. Indeed, reports of pillage, attacks, and chaos on the roads out of Oxford suddenly seem rampant. Hugh must ascertain whether the incidents are random, or whether something darker is afoot. The guilty cannot afford to be caught, but what lengths will they go to cover their tracks, and will Hugh escape unscathed?

The first line (well actually the first two lines) are: 

"Plague has made travel somewhat safer. Many folk have died of the great pestilence in the past twenty-some years, so that those who yet live can find employment where they will have no need to rob other men upon the roads, and risk a hempen noose."

Back again next week; click the Meme to visit the Hoarding Books site and see what the other members are reading.



  1. This looks like an interesting read. Kind of a sad first line though.

    I’m featuring Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh on my blog, but I’m currently reading a non-fiction book called She’s Got The Wrong Guy: Why Smart Women Settle by Deepak Reju so I’ll use that today.

    Part 1:
    From Problems to Faith
    When it comes to dating and marriage, what problems do you face as a single woman?

    Happy Friday!!

    1. Thanks for visiting. This one does start on a dark note, but the books are usually great.

      Your book looks like a good read too. Declared singleton here.

  2. This story look super interesting. I've been to Oxford, so I love the setting for the book. :) Happy Friday Anna!

  3. Advantages to the plague... who knew?! lol!

    My current first line is from A MOTHER IN THE MAKING by Gabrielle Meyer: "John Orton stared at Anna's portrait, his grief nothing compared to his pulsing guilt."

    1. Supposedly there were some: though I'm not sure the people at the time would have seen it that way. Your book looks interesting.

  4. My first line is from The Color of Redemption by Lynn Cornell:

    "An eerie foreboding had jolted me from my sleep this morning, vexing my spirit - the kind of vexing that made me want to cower under my covers and stay in bed."


I like to hear from readers, so feel free to leave a comment!

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