“With pain and effort he opened his swollen lips and said, so faintly I had to ask John Kellet if he heard the same words, ‘They didn’t get me coin.’ I had learned two things: whoso attacked the fellow had sought a coin, or perhaps many coins, and more than one had done this evil. I would learn no more from him, for as I began to inspect a bloody laceration between two ribs, his chest heaved and was then still.”
And so we have the fifth murder mystery in author Mel Starr’s Hugh de Singleton series. In The Tainted Coin Master Hugh not only has to solve the murder, he has to first learn the identity of the man killed. The both paths lead him to cross an old enemy, face harm to him and his family, and put him at odds with his lord, Gilbert. Before the end he may be unemployed or even dead!
The Hugh de Singleton, surgeon novels are set in the fourteenth century and these murder mysteries offer none of the glitz and bling of modern murder investigations…nor the speed. What they do provide is a good story, lots of mystery and perhaps a glimpse of what it might have been like to have been alive and a detective 600 or so years ago. As Master Hugh is also a surgeon you also get a glimpse in to “modern” medicine of that time as de Singleton is rather progressive in his treatment methods. I have always enjoyed this series and was again not disappointed.