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Customer Reviews for Monarch Books Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook

Monarch Books Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook

Thomas atte Bridge, a man no one likes, is found hanging from a tree near Cowley's Corner. All assume he has taken his own life, but Master Hugh and Kate find evidence that this may not be so.

Many of the town had been harmed by Thomas, and Hugh is not eager to send one of them to the gallows. Then he discovers the priest, John Kellet, atte Bridge's partner in crime in A Corpse at St. Andrews Chapel, was covertly in Bampton at the time atte Bridge died. Hugh must return to Bampton and discover which of his friends has murdered his enemy.

Average Customer Rating:
4.462 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
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Customer Reviews for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Review 1 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 10, 2012
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kpersin
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Singleton did not disappoint in the latest in this series. Enjoyed it from cover to cover.
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Review 2 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Enjoyed this book!

Date:January 28, 2012
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ibjoy1953
Location:Virginia
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was my first book in this series so I had fun figuring out some of the words, which I thought was neat. Maybe because some of my family no longer with us used some of the same words? And Hugh’s herbal medicines would interested a lot of people today, I wonder myself if some of these remedies will work just as well as prescription medicines.
I felt bad that Hugh was on his own thinking that someone else murdered old atte Bridge, instead of him taking his own life. Well except Hugh’s new wife that is. I enjoyed the love, and trust of this couple, and the dependence they had for each other. At least Hugh knew he could talk to his wife about his feelings about the murder when he didn’t have anyone else to talk with.
This is a well written book set in this small town with characters that you grow to love and enjoy, some so humble, and some not so humble. Leaning about the 1366 culture was interesting, and I wouldn’t a lot of people today love their primitive living. I really enjoyed this author’s writing. As you read the book, you will see his own thoughts about different situations through the character Hugh. And Hugh and Kate is just a couple we all want living in our neighborhood!
I recommend this book to anyone that likes historical fiction, or really anyone that just likes a good read! Grab a copy to read and enjoy for yourself!
I received this book from Kregel Publications to participate in their blog tour. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.
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Review 3 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An enjoyable book

Date:January 27, 2012
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Nate
Location:Poland, ME
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
In Mel Starr’s fourth tale of Hugh de Singleton, medieval surgeon, Unhallowed Ground, we find our protagonist investigating the murder of one Thomas atte Bridge after this unlikable fellow is found hanging from a tree. While Master Hugh would like to believe the popular opinion that the victim took his own life, his finding of evidence to the contrary requires him to investigate his friends and neighbors to determine who took the life of their common enemy.
I enjoyed this book immensely. The story, which is written in the first person, pulled me in and helped me to understand the culture through the eyes of one of its inhabitants. A thorough glossary is included in the front of the book for assistance in understanding some of the more archaic terms that are used throughout the book. That is to say, the book is not only enjoyable but also educational. The story is also aided by a map in the front of the book that shows where locations in the book are in relation to each other.
One of the things that I enjoyed about the book was seeing the author’s own modern-day thoughts expressed through the Master Hugh. Numerous times in the book the narrator explains a religious or other practice or belief and then offers his disagreement with the practice or belief. It is fascinating to see some aspects of the culture of 1366 and these comments helped to remind me that it is unrealistic to believe that the entire population agreed with all of what we would now consider primitive ideas.
Among other things, the book shows that Christ can change our hearts and that we must not assume that this fact applies only to ourselves. Master Hugh learns this lesson when he takes a long journey to find the man he is certain committed the murder only to find someone else entirely.
I was afraid that a book about a medieval surgeon would include descriptions of medical practices that I would rather not know about (or be reminded of), but this was not the case. While it did describe some medical procedures, I found the descriptions non-nightmare-inducing.
This is an excellent book and I encourage you to read it if you like mysteries and/or historical fiction.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 4 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

BRILLIANT!!!

Date:January 27, 2012
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tweezle
Location:PA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Unhallowed Ground" is the fourth book in the "Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon", however it is easily read as a stand-alone. This is the first of the series I have read, and I found no problems with starting at this point. There is enough information and character development that I could easily connect and not feel lost.
Taking place in 14th Century Bampton, England, "Unhallowed Ground" centers around Master Hugh de Singleton who is both a surgeon and bailiff to Sir Gilbert. Master Hugh is a walking contradiction because he's looked at with suspicion because of his job as bailiff and revered because of being a good surgeon. This makes for a very interesting protagonist.
Written in first person and being able to see through the eyes of Master Hugh was fascinating and made for a captivating and unforgettable story. When he sees Thomas atte Bridge hanging from the tree and studies him, he discovers that the apparent suicide is possibly not a suicide at all. As he continues his investigation, he discovers not only was Thomas atte Bridge a despicable man (worse than he originally knew), but he wrestles with the thought of possibly arresting a neighbor or "good" person who was involved in the murder.
Master Hugh is newly married and discusses this information with his wife, Kate. She is an intelligent woman who also noticed from the beginning that Thomas atte Bridge's death was not as it seemed. With each dead end Master Hugh would hit, Kate would be there as a sounding board and help him decide if it was worth continuing the investigation.
This book was an amazing read! I am so taken with the writing style of Mr. Starr, that I really want to read all the books in this series. He is truly a brilliant writer who seems to effortlessly bring to life 14th Century England. His prose and ability to describe in detail day-to-day life transports the reader back in time and allows one to actually feel like they are a part of that time period.
This book comes HIGHLY recommended!
I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publishers to read and honestly review.
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Review 5 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Disappointing

Date:January 26, 2012
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lovespurple
Location:Las Vegas, NV
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
I must admit I’m drawn to almost anything medieval, which is why I requested this book for touring on my blog.
I also must confess that I have NOT read the previous three offerings in the series.
But the concept of a 13th Century Surgeon cum Detective intrigued me, not to mention an endorsement from Davis Bunn, whose writing I really enjoy.
The back cover blurb further tickled my interest. the plot is good. Love the characters , and the setting, location and time period captured me. (It’s my heritage) I also believe the author did an impeccable job with research, and presented his story with solidity and knowledge of his subject. Kudos!
Alas, the forward motion was . . . uh . . . a tortoise. It eventually got there, but plodded in too many places that tempted me to flip pages or set the book down. Not good.
Perhaps that’s why most publishers limit series to just three. Having the same characters reappear through four+ books, the only thing that changes is the plot . . . again, not good. I have to say I’m disappointed.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Kregel Publications, and was asked to give my unbiased feedback on the book.
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Review 6 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

another great book in this series

Date:January 25, 2012
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Mark
Location:USA
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Huge de Singleton, Surgeon, and possibly the best so far.
For those unfamiliar with the series, these are mysteries set in medieval times. The 1300's, to be exact. The main character is a surgeon, Hugh de Singleton, who also is a bailiff and has to do his share of solving crimes.
These books have some very interesting aspects for me. The author has studied medieval times and the ways of medicine and surgeons in that time, so I have found it extremely interesting to read of the methods used in that time. Also, it is interesting to read of crime solving in a time period where they didn't have the modern day methods that we take for granted.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In it, the main character has to solve the murder of his enemy, a man who did him and many others wrong. The story part was enjoyable, but the author also got some great points in about God's mercy and hit on themes of forgiving others.
This book, as the ones that precede it, are totally different reading than the Christian suspense authors I read, but they are all enjoyable reads. After reading this book, I am looking forward to the next book in this great and fascinating series.
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Review 7 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

great historical mystery tale

Date:January 23, 2012
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is the fourth in the Hugh de Singleton chronicles. Master Hugh is bailiff to Lord Gilbert as well as a surgeon in 14th century England.
Hugh is now married to Kate, the woman he courted in A Trail of Ink. A much disliked fellow of Bampton village, Thomas atte Bridge, is found hanged at Cow-Leys Corner. The Corner is where suicides were buried, being forbidden burial in consecrated church ground.
The coroner declares it a suicide but Hugh is not so sure. He spots evidence that seems to indicate Thomas was dragged to the spot. High also spies a reddened patch on one of Thomas' wrists.
No one is sorry that Thomas is dead as he was a mean and argumentative man. As Hugh goes about his daily tasks, he finds an increasing number of people with reason to see Thomas dead. It is with dread he realizes that the murderer may be one of his friends. One by one he eliminates the suspects.
Hugh is just about ready to give up on the case when there is an attack on his home. When there is a second attack, Hugh is himself stabbed in the arm. Kate plays the role of surgeon, sewing up the gash.
With renewed efforts, Hugh continues his pursuit until he can identify the murderer.
I like this style of historical mystery. I like Starr's writing. It is of the period as contractions are not used. Hugh is a methodical man, plodding along to the final revelation of the murderer. I like the addition of Kate. I hope I see more of her observational skill and thoughtful insight in novels to come.
Reading the book is informative as well. You learn lots about the daily life in that era. I was astounded to read as Hugh performed cataract surgery on an elderly priest. While not like the surgery of today, moving the cataract away from the pupil was accomplished and better sight was restored. I had no idea something like that would have been done in that era.
And thank you for putting the Glossary right in the front, where it belongs. It made reading about a different place in a different time quite a joy.
Although this is the fourth in the series, the novel is contained enough that one could enjoy it without having read the earlier three.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review.
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Review 8 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great series

Date:January 23, 2012
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Brenda
Location:WV
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is the fourth installment of the Hugh de Singleton series and Hugh and Kate have been married for about three months when Thomas atte Bridge is found hanging from a tree. While the coroner wants to call it a suicide, the evidence points to foul play. Even though atte Bridge has had run ins with most of the townsfolk and is disliked by all Hugh is determined to figure out who the murderer is.
This book takes place in 1366 in England, and it's easy to see the author does an amazing job of researching the time period. Not only am I intrigued by the suspense and mystery of the story but I also enjoy reading about the medical procedures that took place during that time period, as well as medieval life in general. The food in particular that Hugh ate sounded quite different. I found the glossary included in the front of the book quite useful in understanding what was being said. I also enjoy the relationship between Hugh and Kate and look forward to reading more about these two characters.
This book is the fourth in the series and while the author provides a bit of background about the characters ,I recommend reading the series in order to get the in depth background on the reoccurring characters.
rating 4/5
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 9 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent pacing, interesting characters -a winner

Date:January 23, 2012
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Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of Bamptom in the year 1366, believes that Thomas, a man found hanging from a tree, has been murdered. All others, with the exception of his wife, believe that Thomas took his own life. As Hugh sets out to uncover the truth, he begins to uncover more and more evidence supporting his belief Thomas was murdered, but soon finds himself in a dilemma of having to investigate his friends for the murder of a man who was once his enemy.
This is the first chronicle of the Hugh de Singleton series that I have read, and I find myself wishing I had been able to read the first three! This novel was easy to get into despite not having read the others in the series, and Hugh is a fascinating medieval character, from his role as bailiff to his unique skills as a surgeon. Scenes such as the one where he removes a cataract added a unique flavour to the story as I considered the state of medicine in the 1300s. Overall, I greatly appreciated the rich historical detail in the book, such as learning of the "childwite", a fine for having a chlid out of wedlock. I cannot imagine such a fine today - seemingly half of all parents out there would be paying such a fee! The mystery itself was finely orchestrated and kept the pages madly turning, and the book is chock-full of godly wisdom. My favorite quote is "What is justice but truth with it's sleeves rolled up, ready for labor?".
Mel Starr is a gifted writer, with excellent pacing, interesting dialogue, and strong characterization. All in all, I greatly enjoyed this book and will be looking for future works from this talented author. I highly recommend Unhallowed Ground to those who love historical mysteries, and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Book provided courtesy of the publisher, Monach Books & Kregel, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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Review 10 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An interesting way to solve a mystery

Date:January 23, 2012
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fictionbuyer
Location:Grand Rapids, MI
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I am writing this review as part of a blog tour for Kregel publishing. They sent me the book and then asked any of us who received the book to write a review and post it.
I read book #1 of Mel Starr's Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon, series, The Unquiet Bones and really really enjoyed it. I meant to read the next couple that came out, but missed them. I may have to go back to read them, but not sure if I will ever have time.
Unhallowed Ground is book four of the series. They are set in 1300 England, which in and of itself is very interesting to read, but then Mel makes them mysteries besides and that really adds that element that make these books fun to read. Hugh de Singleton himself is an interesting man, he is really just trying to do his job to the best of his ability. Because he is the local Bailiff, many people are leery of him. Because he is also a surgeon, many people like him. It is a conflict for them, but because he is a good person he is a very likable character.
When Thomas atte Bridge seems to have taken his own life, the village people are willing to let it go at that and not worry about a murder that did them all a favor. There is probably not one person in the area that has not had dealings with either Thomas or his brother Henry. No one's dealings with Thomas were on purpose as he was just an evil man who was always trying to get ahead by cheating/threatening/blackmailing... I think you get the idea. So Hugh isn't sure he really wants to know who the murderer is.
That all changes when Hugh and his wife seem to be the target for the murderer. He thinks that because he is getting close to the answer the murderer is willing to kill to keep that secret. Is he really getting closer or did he just open a different can of worms?
Maybe because of the time it is set in, maybe because I really like Mel's characters or maybe just because :-), I really like this series. It is well written with very interesting characters. Ones that you almost feel like you could meet walking down the street (of course one of us would be very confused). Even with a time that is very unusual for us all it has the feel that any one of us could just step right into this story. I really just plain and simply like this book and its series.
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Review 11 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent!

Date:January 23, 2012
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OhioSarah
Location:Ohio
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had the privilege of having read Mel Starr’s A Trail of Ink and as much as I enjoyed that one I’d have to say I’ve enjoyed Unhallowed Ground just as much or maybe more. This is the fourth chronicle of a surgeon by the name of Hugh de Singleton who is living and working in the 1300′s and as one will start realizing as they read, you will be taken fully back into that time with the language as well as how operations are performed – I found the performance of the couching surgery for cataracts quite interesting. The author has provided a glossary at the beginning so that unfamiliar terms can be understood at a glance but it’s not really hard to figure out what certain terms mean, although figuring out the holidays celebrated then does take some calculation.
This is written by de Singleton, it’s his journal of his daily life as he goes about his life being a bailiff, surgeon, newly married and soon-to-be father. This book isn’t being written about him but rather by him so if you don’t want to read a book that is detailing events by the main character then you may want to pass this up. Yes we are told what he has for breakfast several times as well as other dining details, but I found it to be the mundane parts of the book that had me more relating to the characters.
Some parts really struck me, such as how Hugh de Singleton struggles with not believing everything the Church teaches or the current medical ideas of the day, such as back in the day Galen (I had to google this man) taught that a woman who was raped couldn’t become pregnant during said assault unless she was a willing participant – this mind set occurs in one of de Singleton’s cases that must be dealt with while he is investigating what most believe is a suicide when he believes otherwise.
The historical accounts are what draws me in, since I enjoy history this book really intrigued me as I read about certain beliefs, including those of the Church, that some physicians of the day were questioning but couldn’t say much out loud for fear of reprisals. Hugh de Singleton mentions a few times how he fears that something he writes could be found by a Priest or Bishop but questions whether they’d concern themselves with him. I almost forgot I was reading a book by a real, living author because I got so wrapped up in Hugh’s life in this book that he became almost real and it felt like I was truly reading his account. A book to be truly enjoyed and savored.
**I was provided a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.
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Review 12 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A middle ages C.S.I.

Date:January 22, 2012
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A Cluttered Mind
Location:Rochester, MN
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I'll state right up front that I have not read any of Mel Star's other novels involving Hugh de Singleton. There are three and they may be found here. I found, however, this story was not connected to the other three in plot, but simply in characters. Thus, I didn't feel like I was missing out on something and I enjoyed this very much. I find it difficult to keep up with multi-volumn books these days and reading #4 in a series of at least four (there's a teaser at the end looking toward book #5) was not a bothersome task to me.
I enjoyed this book a great deal. Some have indicated that it is not as exciting as Star's earlier works, but I'm wondering if they are a bit jaded, having read all the others and are living on the law of diminishing returns without realizing it. Star's descriptive backgrounds of both countryside and people fascinated me. I found many of them to be colorful. And I simply adored the marriage relationship between Hugh and Kate.
If there was any frustration, it came in sympathizing with Hugh in trying to find a killer who just might not exist. And doing so among people you know, do business with nearly everyday and are friends with only made this tension rise as the book moved on. Coming up short at nearly every turn and discovery at first made me want to yell at the author. Yet, I've discovered this usually means they've done an excellent job of drawing me in without my being aware.
So, well done and an excellent read. I recommend you get a hold of all four of the existing books by Mel Star and get ready for book number 5, due out sometime in 2012.
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Review 13 for Unhallowed Ground: The Fourth Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Well written, highly researched historical mystery

Date:January 21, 2012
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tiinaj1
Location:Omaha, NE
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I found this book rather hard to read. What I did like about the book was the depth of the history, the research and the author's understanding of the period written about in the book. I also really liked the characters of Hugh & Kate who are both very strong, suited to each other and even though they (especially Hugh) have to make tough decisions when it comes to people they know - they do it.
Unhallowed Ground refers to the church's stance that someone who either has committed suicide or is an executed criminal being refused burial in the church graveyard. The book opens with the scene of atte Bridge hanging from a noose outside the burial area for said suicide victims and criminals. The only sign that something may have happened was a little mud on the back of his shoes and a very short trail that looks like someone may have been drug. Everyone hated atte Bridge and so no one seems to inclined to consider that foul play may have ocurred - even our hero Huge has a hard time making the decision to do what's right.
I'm not really going to say much else about the book. I personally had some trouble reading this book. Unfortunately it wasn't for me. It's very well written, thoroughly researched and if you like regency or period pieces along with a good mystery you'll more than likely like it.
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