Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Kregel Tour: The Tainted Coin by Mel Starr

on January 24, 2013

About the Book:

It is the autumn of 1367. Master Hugh is enjoying the peaceful life of Bampton when a badly beaten man is found under the porch of St. Andrew’s Chapel. The dying man is a chapman–a traveling merchant. Before he is buried in the chapel grounds, an ancient, corroded coin is found in the man’s mouth.


Master Hugh’s quest for the chapman’s assailants, and his search for the origin of the coin, begins to make progress–but there are men of wealth and power in league with his old nemesis, Sir Simon Trillowe, who wish to end his search . . . permanently.


But Master Hugh, and his assistant, the groom Arthur, are determined to uncover the thieves and murderers, and the source of the chapman’s coin. They do, but not before they become involved with a kidnapped maiden, a tyrannical abbot, and a suffering monk–who needs Master Hugh’s surgical skills and in return provides clues that assist Hugh in solving the mystery of the tainted coin.



My Opinion:



I’ve had the pleasure of reading two other books in this series, Hugh de Singleton, A Trail of Ink and Unhallowed Ground  and like the others I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well.  I don’t know if I enjoyed this one more because we’ve been studying the Middle Ages and the Plague in our history in our home school or just because I really enjoy the actual series – regardless this book is the next excellent installment for Mel Starr.  Again, we meet Hugh who is recording his story of his continuing job as bailiff and surgeon and he is now a dad to a toddler.  The character of Hugh has really evolved and developed as when I began the series Hugh was single with really no interest but his own – now he is faced with protecting not just his wife but his child and the reader can see and feel this struggle in this book as he carries out his job duties.


The reader also gets a feel for the struggle Hugh has with the laws regarding villeins and the Lord’s of the manors – his struggle is like all men and/or women – against what the world says is okay versus what God says is okay.  I won’t give away the story suffice to say Hugh’s conscience is eased and all is right in Bampton once again – until the next installment.  The every day happenings continue in this book as it’s still being written by Hugh instead of about him and some of the food stuffs mentioned has me wanting to try to find a reproduction Middle Ages cookbook – although fish every Friday doesn’t appeal to me, much like it didn’t appeal to Hugh.


I again enjoyed reading about the medical procedure in which Hugh helps to improve the condition of a monk’s life by fixing his fistula regardless of the Abbott who thinks God gave it to him so he can learn a lesson.  Hugh is a character that I think will continue to grow and learn and ultimately come into his own as he negates the stick path of following what God wants versus what the church or the King wants.  I found some things very interesting such as the last rites that the monk wanted to give a character (won’t say who or what or who) but he turns it down because apparently if given last rites, even if you survive one must walk barefoot, fast perpetually and cannot enjoy relations within the marriage for the rest of their lives – they are effectively dead.  Also of note, Hugh questions the reading of the banns – which apparently are still read in churches in England today.


I could probably go on and on about this book, but I won’t because I want you to read it!  Fall into Hugh’s world and discover his Medieval  world as he seeks to do the Lord’s work within the law of the land and the church as well as trying new medical procedures, such as leaving wounds to the air instead of festering in blankets and wraps and while reading this work of fiction learning some great historical content as well!


For a limited time you can purchase The Tainted Coin for Kindle at Amazon for $5.00


**Disclaimer:  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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