Monday, January 21, 2013


I received a copy of THE TAINTED COIN by Mel Starr from Monarch Books via Kregel.  It is the fifth installment of the Hugh de Singleton, surgeon, series.  I recently read the book before this one, UNHALLOWED GROUND, and found it delightful.  I haven’t had a chance to read the other novels in the series, but they are on my to-read list. 

I adore history, can’t get enough of it, so most of my bookshelf revolves around historical fiction.  This series is just that, with mystery thrown in.  Somehow, danger and lies follow Hugh de Singleton.  This time the mystery involves a man so severely beaten that he dies.  Before the burial, an ancient coin is found in his mouth.  The coin on the cover of the book reminds me of props from when I volunteered at Fort Stanwix.  Old coins have always fascinated me.  Who else touched them?  What story could the coin tell?  It was a treat to be able to learn more about coins through this fast-paced read. 
Mel Starr has a great knack for introducing readers to the middle ages – 1367 to be exact.   I love the glossary in the front.  It’s so much fun learning new things.  I also enjoyed reading about the foods eaten back then.  I had to look up “capon” when I came upon that delicacy. 

I recommend this series to fans of historical mysteries.  The characters and time period vibrate to life off the pages.  

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