I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
My life would have been more tranquil in the days after Martinmas had I not seen the crows. Whatever it was that the crows had found lay in the dappled shadow of the bare limbs of the oak, so I was nearly upon the thing before I recognized what the crows were feasting upon. The corpse wore black. Master Hugh is making his way towards Oxford when he discovers the young Benedictine - a fresh body, barefoot - not half a mile from the nearby abbey. The abbey's novice master confirms the boy's identity: John, one of three novices. But he had gone missing four days previously, and his corpse is fresh. There has been plague in the area, but this was not the cause of death: the lad has been stabbed in the back. To Hugh's sinking heart, the abbot has a commission for him . . .
The Abbot's Agreement is the 7th book in Mel Starr's series, The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon but is the first book I have read by this author and in this series. This series follows the adventures of Master Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon and Bailiff who on his way to Oxford when he sees crows and knows it cannot be a good thing. As he and his companion search the wooded area a half a mile from an abbey they find that the crows are feasting on a corpse. The Novice Master confirms that it is the body of one of the three novices at the abbey named John. As Master Hugh investigates he finds out that the novice had been missing a few days and his corpse is fresh. The Plague has been in the area but Master Hugh knows that is not what killed this novice, he has been stabbed multiple times in the back. Now Master Hugh has been tasked with helping them investigate what happened to John.
The Abbot's Agreement, The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton Book 7 is the first book by Mel Starr I have had the pleasure of reading. When I requested this book I didn't know that it was the 7th book in the series so I was worried about being able to follow, but I was pleasantly surprised. This book can be read as a stand alone, as I didn't feel like I was missing much in this story. Maybe a few references to other investigations but nothing that had any impact on this story. This book takes place in the 1300's and Mel Starr writes with authority about this time in history and the gives the reader the feel of being in that period. The language and the events of that time period are portrayed in this work of fiction. This book read like a journal written by Master Hugh, giving insight into his thinking and methodology in solving this crime. For the most part this book kept me engaged and I had a hard time putting it down, in bits and pieces I got lost in some of the details but it did not last long. I have found a new author to read, cannot wait to read the other books in this series. I recommend this book anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.