Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Trail of Ink - Book Review & Giveaway

*If you missed the Traveling Tuesday link up or are looking for the latest ebook lists, please click here.  
In case you haven't noticed, I love reading. I was the weird kid at school that would take a book outside during recess. I have never been real fond of physical activity ;0)

My dad was a reader and I would watch him devour books when I was younger. He was a very wise man and I know most of that came from the books he read. I am thankful there is that part of him in me and I love to watch my kids get all wrapped up in a good book. Their grandpa would have been very proud.

So a big thank you to all of the publishers and agents who send me free books in exchange for my opinion. If you know me at all, you know that I love sharing that with anyone who will listen!

A Trail of Ink: The Third Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon (Hugh De Singleton 3)A Trail of Ink by Mel Starr
From the publisher:  
An excellent medieval whodunit by the author of The Unquiet Bones and A Corpse at St Andrew's Chapel

Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh's investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh's pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?

One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn't think so, but it will take all of his surgeon's skills to prove.

So begins another delightful and intriguing tale from the life of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon in the medieval village of Bampton. Masterfully researched by medieval scholar Mel Starr, the setting of the novel can be visited and recognized in modern-day England. Enjoy more of Hugh's dry wit, romantic interests, evolving faith, and dogged determination as he pursues his third case as bailiff of Bampton.

First, I would like to say that each of the books in this series stand alone. I was a little worried about that when I received the book. I hate starting anything in the middle, I think it comes from not wanting to miss anything... 

To be totally honest, I had a hard time getting started when this book arrived and it stayed on my dresser for a while. I tried a couple of times to get into it and couldn't. I finally picked it up again the other night and found that I couldn't put it down. I fell asleep reading, only to finish it the next day.

The author has a very unique writing style and I am not sure how to explain it, except that it reminds me of Dickens or Austen. I even looked him up to see if he was British! His attention to detail was amazing (remember, I am a history fanatic...) and impressive. 

The story twisted and turned and kept me guessing until the end and I always appreciate a romance thoughtfully woven into history! 

I am really looking forward to reading the other books in the series and sharing them with the Soldier. I know he would enjoy them as well.

About the author: 
Mel Starr
Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.

Note: My post is just one stop on the tour, check out the rest of the blogs here and enter to win a $50 gift card to Amazon.

And now for the book giveaway! (Who doesn't love a free book?)

How to enter:
1. Main entry - Leave a comment answering the following question:  Name a book that you had a hard time getting into, but once you did, you thoroughly enjoyed.

Bonus entries - Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

2. Like "Our Crazy Life" on Facebook (or if you already do, leave a comment letting me know!)

3. Share this post on Facebook - or any other Social Networking Site using the "Share the Love" buttons below the post. One Bonus entry per 'share', make sure to leave a comment for each entry!

4. Follow me on Google Friend Connect (or if you already do, leave a comment letting me know!)

5. Add my button to your blog (Worth two entries, leave two comments!)

Make sure you leave a way to contact you, either by having your reply-to email address set or by leaving your email address in your posts.

Contest will end Wednesday, 3/16/11, at 10:00 pm CST and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

Winner will be mailed a copy of Mel Starr’s  A Trail of Ink via media mail. 

*Fine Print: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are all mine and I was not required to give a positive review.

I hope you win ;0)



  1. Ooooh, I ADORE Dickens and Austen! I am MOST DEFINITELY going to look into this book!

    As to a book I had a hard time getting into and ended up liking?...Hmmm...I actually had to force my way through Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy) from beginning to end. It wasn't until after I finished it and discussed it with one of my high school teachers that I found I liked it, and the next time through, I just couldn't put it down!

  2. Sounds like a fun book to read!

    I think one book I had a hard time getting into and then actually enjoyed was "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt". I'd never read Anne Rice before so I was skeptical... but once I got into the book it was hard to leave. I even got the second of the series "Road to Cana" and devoured it pretty quick.

  3. The Bible was the hardest to get into,but glad I did
    waitesrd at yahoo dot com

  4. I have a hard time getting into most books, my attention span is short, but once I'm hooked give me sequels to the end of time. Since thats the case I'll give you the one I just recently read. Warrior by Bryan Davis. I love love love fantasy sci fi and it was a freebie which made it even better. I ate it up so I went back to the begining of his writings and downloaded Raising Dragons. That way I have a boatload of hooks to read and don't have to wait for him to finish the next one. It was meant for teens I think, but I really like it so far. Hoping they all tie together somehow.

  5. Facebook fan
    waitesrd at yahoo dot com

  6. I had a hard time getting into Agatha Christie at first, now she is one of my favorite authors and I've read almost all her books. I also enjoy Austen and Dickens so I think I would enjoy the book you reviewed. my e-mail is