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Summary

First in the medieval whodunnit series set in Bampton, Oxfordshire, during the plague years and featuring a newly qualified surgeon

Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, feeling no certain calling despite a lively faith, he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris and then hanging out his sign in Oxford. 

A local lord asks him to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspit. She is identified as the impetuous missing daughter of a local blacksmith, and her young man, whom she had provoked very publicly, is in due course arrested and sentenced at the Oxford assizes. 

From there the tale unfolds, with graphic medical procedures, droll medieval wit, misdirection, ambition, romantic distractions, and a consistent underlying Christian compassion.

©2008 Mel Starr (P)2019 by Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Unquiet Bones

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Shardlake's Younger Brother, the surgeon

Anyone who admired the Shardlake series and especially Stephen Crossley's narration, as i did, will enjoy this book and hopefully the series, I have immediately downloaded book 2! The plot seemed slightly less edgy and aggressive than the Shardlake plots but was still enjoyable and Stephen Crossley was once again excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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well told interesting story

enjoyed the narrative, story well told thank you plot was good , love story well told too

3 people found this helpful

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pleasant book

Its a reasobable book, story quite good and goes at a reasonble pace. Not particularly taxing so great for when listening to while doing other things just not while operating machinery because the narrator is soporific.. not so terrible that you cant dtand listening to him but not a real story teller.

3 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

Surgeon turned Bailiff hunts killers. Rattled along decently and was a good solid plot. The main character didn’t grab me but but might grow on me in later books.

3 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and engaging

I enjoyed this audiobook. It was nicely performed, and the reading was done smoothly and at a nice pace. The story itself was entertaining, although not the most challenging of mysteries, pretty well-researched, with interesting characters, and a good first person narrative. I found Hugh to be an engaging character, an unenthusiastic and not exactly brilliant detective, a bit uncomfortable in many social situations, and a lonely romantic on the quiet. His fixation on food was amusing, and, in a time when famine was common and the range of food available was restricted, a nice touch. His religious faith was nicely included, and it came across as natural for someone brought up in 14th century England. The author had clearly done their research and wove the facts neatly into the story. The way it was written made it "feel" like an old form of English without making me work at following it.

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didn't always keep my attention

it was fine but there wasn't enough twists and turns for me to keep me on a knife edge.

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unquiet bones

loved it and a great storyline easy listening too looking forward to book number 2

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Excellent

Easy listening and you could easily pick up the story. Love the narrator who acts out all the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AKowalczyk
  • 05-01-20

Wonderful!!!

So glad to have found this series!! Very well written and Steven Crossley’s narration is superb! If you enjoy CJ Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake or Susanna Gregory’s Matthew Bartholomew- I’m sure you’ll enjoy this!!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Chana Goanna
  • 29-12-19

Thrilled to have found this series

It’s hard to find a book that combines interesting history, good writing, a great narrator, and an excellent mystery. This one is a winner in all four aspects. If you’re a fan of CJ Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake series, try this book. Surgery in the 14th century was a ghastly affair, and Starr provides enough grisly detail for interest while not overdoing it. Stephen Crossley of the Shardlake series narrates this one as well, and he’s wonderful as always. I listened to this in two sittings, and it kept me distracted and entertained while deep-cleaning my kitchen. I can’t think of a better recommendation than that!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Gail N.
  • 29-02-20

Enchanting medieval mystery

This book has much to enjoy: a bit of philosophy, a bit of theology, a bit of pleasure in nature, reflections on the human condition and several captivating mysteries. The characters are interesting and not at all stereotypical. The writing is first rate with quite a bit of wry humor and quite a bit of drama to enliven this medieval story. Above all, the narration is understated and relaxing, a perfect pairing. I look forward to enjoying the rest of this series.

6 people found this helpful

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  • george
  • 19-06-20

Investigating Murder with an odd Twist.

Fellow Reader / Listeners - I suspended disbelief for the first of this series as the idea of a Surgeon being asked to investigate a death, was to the best of my understanding very unlikely, if only because of how low down the social order Surgeons were., (At the time, the title would likely have been Barber/ Surgeon although this isn't userd in the novels). I ended up reading / listening to the First 5 in this series as there are links from one to the next and a few common and crucial characters. This was skillfully done. However, there are increasingly obvious and almost ridiculous situational and social actions that do not ring true. Without revealing plot lines as these are for others to discover: I cannot believe that a lowly Barber / Surgeon would defy a Knight and escape sanction I will not believe that a lowly Barber/ Surgeon would defy his all powerful Lord, putting his own future at risk, for a scullery maid or that a A woman in Medieval England would be given the choice to reject a Knight Suitor in favour of a Barber Surgeon by her upwardly mobile businessman Father. I wont be reading the rest in the series.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Paul M. Stackhouse
  • 23-01-20

Intriguing and Interesting

What a multi-faceted character Starr has created! Looking forward to "reading" the next books in the series. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pro Bachlor
  • 03-03-20

Heart warming

Good guys win, bad guys die. just as it should be. Nice narration. Relaxing listening

2 people found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 05-07-20

Needs way more suspense

Nice, un-offensive story, but there is no character development or suspense, The narrator speaks in a monotone for the entire time, which is how the character comes off. Other than one red herring the story proceeds predictably and I could see the ending coming way ahead of time. The character never really has any problems to overcome, nor ever gets into danger or trouble. So there is no suspense to keep you turning pages.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-02-20

Light but enjoyable

Quite an easy and unchallenging read but enjoyable. I may read more in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • barbara
  • 22-01-21

Not one that will grip you

Have to admit i like a mystery that pulls you in and won’t let you go til you reach the end. This isn’t one of those. If you like a likable narration and a main character you want to read more about then this is for you. Its a story you can pick up and put down but still want. To read to the end

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  • dr
  • 16-01-21

Worthwhile

The story is a bit plodding. However, in many ways the details add rather than detract from the novel.