The Unquiet Bones

The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr was a fun, light read. Nothing too dark or gory, which doesn’t generally bother me as long as it doesn’t involve kids anyway, but having just come off a long string of Harry Bosch novels, it’s a refreshing change all the same. I also missed the Middle Ages.

This novel opens with a brief introduction to our protagonist Hugh and his story. Readers learn how he ends up turning from studies as a clerk to becoming a surgeon, and ending up in the small town of Brampton, ultimately in the employ of the local lord. Hugh is called in to help investigate when human bones are discovered in the cesspit and he is elevated to the position of bailiff. The investigation takes a few wrong turns before resolution, which is a tad too convenient, but it can be forgiven since it was a nicely written story throughout.

This was my first Hugh de Singleton book I’ve read and I liked him quite a lot. I found him sympathetic and not pedantic, cynical, or Mary Jane-ish, as some similar characters can be. The negative trade off is a bit of a lack of character development, but I can live with it in a novel of this short length. It’s barely 200 pages, so it seems a fair trade to me for now. I would gladly read more of these novels.


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