Rest Not in Peace, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (12 ratings)


Master Hugh is asked to provide a sleeping potion for Sir Henry Burley, a friend and guest of Lord Gilbert at Bampton Castle. Sir Henry, (with his wife, a daughter by a first wife, two knights, two squires, and assorted servants), has outstayed his welcome at Bampton Castle.

The next morning after Master Hugh provides the potion, Sir Henry is found dead, eyes open, in his bed. Master Hugh, the target of the wife's wrath, is asked by Lord Gilbert to determine the cause of death ...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Hudson Plc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical mysteries
  • ISBN: 9781782640080

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Showing 1 - 5 of 12 reviews.

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Sir Henry Burley and his entourage have overstayed their welcome at Lord Gilbert's castle. Unfortunately Lord Gilbert must allow them to stay a little while longer after Sir Henry is found dead in his bed. Lady Margery, Sir Henry's widow, is quick to point an accusing finger at Hugh, who gave the knight a sleeping draught. Although the death appears natural at first, Hugh's keen sense of observation soon takes the investigation in another direction.Lady Margery is eager to move on, but before she can, Hugh must clear his name and find out who in the castle wanted the man dead. It seems that the penniless knight had no shortage of enemies, but who would have access to commit the crime? After all Bampton castle is secure at night. It is up to Hugh to uncover clues and family secrets that will lead him to the real murderer before the grieving widow takes flight.The Bottom Line: This well-told tale will appeal to a wide audience and is highly recommended for readers who enjoy cozies, medieval mysteries, and Christian fiction. Written in first person, the writing style is accessible and reveals the main character's thoughts and observations. This is a very fast paced book with lots of twists and turns. Author Mel Starr keeps the reader guessing in this house party style mystery. This series continues to get better and better as Hugh's character continues to grow and struggle with both his sense of responsibility and faith. While it is not necessary to read the books in order, the series can be best appreciated if one does. Also, this book includes a glossary of medieval terms and a map of Bampton. Finally, descriptions of several medieval medical procedures are included, but are not too graphic for the average reader.

Review by

My second review for LibraryThing! Woohoo!!! I've read all the Hugh de Singleton books, so I was really glad to get this one. Reading books with continuing characters is like visiting old friends. I've watched Hugh go from a single man looking for a good woman to a caring, family man. It's always great to read his interactions not only with his wife and child but also with his employer and the denizens of the castle and village. This time Hugh is called on to determine if Sir Henry's death was God's work or man's while defending himself against the sharp tongue and withering glances of the widow who insists it was Hugh's sleep potion. There are plenty of suspects to choose from, and as each one is examined, you're sure that's the one. Eventually, Hugh determines the guilty party. We're also given some good news and bad news. Can't wait for the next book in Hugh's saga.

Review by

Hugh de Singleton, bailiff and surgeon, is at it again. The year is 1638, the place is Lord Gilbert's castle. The victim is Lord Henry, a guest of Lord Gilbert. Although Lord Henry at first appears to have died in his sleep, a single drop of blood on the floor leads Hugh to further investigation and the discovery that Lord Henry was murdered.Lord Gilbert asks Hugh to find the murderer. Hugh follows a variety of clues--some helpful, some misleading, of course--and in turn suspects the late lord's squires, his knights, his wife, and his daughter. Other crimes are also discovered and another murder is committed. In the end, Hugh is able to determine the culprit and turn him over to the "local" (a day's ride away) sheriff to await his fate. I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to others who enjoy historical mysteries. While there are references to events from previous books, this book is easily capable of being read on its own.I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers group.

Review by

This is the sixth book in this series about medieval surgeon and bailiff Hugh de Singleton. I read the fourth, Unhallowed Ground, but missed the fifth. It isn't really necessary to read this series in order but the back story would probably make more sense if you did.In this chronicle Hugh is summoned to Bampton Castle early one morning to examine a guest, Sir Henry Burley, who died overnight. Hugh had provided some crushed lettuce seeds the night before for the guest because he was having trouble sleeping. Although lettuce seeds are quite a mild sedative (who knew?) and even a large dose would not kill a man, the widow has accused Hugh of poisoning her husband. On careful examination Hugh discovers a small drop of blood next to the man's head. He then finds a puncture wound in his ear which was probably made by an awl or thin blade. The sheriff of Oxford is summoned to investigate the murder but his tactics are rather rough and ready. It will take Hugh's tact and skill to find out who committed the murder and why.As in Unhallowed Ground there are lots of details about medieval life, especially the food. Hugh uses his intelligence to solve the crime when modern sleuths would rely upon forensics. It is hard to say which method is more successful.Anyone who is a fan of the Brother Cadfael books or The Mistress of the Art of Death will enjoy this book and series.

Review by

Sir Henry Burley arranged to visit Lord Gilbert using a service he had done for His Lordship a decade earlier in battle at Poitiers. After a long month of Sir Henry and his company comprised of his wife, Lady Margery, daughter, two knights, two squires, several valets and a groom many at Bampton Castle were looking forward to his departure. This was achieved through murder where upon Lord Gilbert turned to his bailiff and surgeon, Master Hugh de Singleton, to determine the culprit.The method of murder is intriguing and could pass for natural causes. It requires conjecture and skill to determine the motive and murderer.This is the sixth chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, I read and reviewed the third ”A Trail of Blood” for Early Reviewers in April, 2011. I ended the review with this sentence “I enjoyed the book but would not go looking for another to read.” I had forgotten about “A Trail of Blood” when I requested “Rest Not in Peace.” In the latter book the character development is better, except for the one character who previously stood out, Kate, Hugh’s wife. Now that they are married she is much more of a one dimensional medieval wife and mother, not the independent women she showed signs of in “A Trail of Blood.” For me this is close to a cosy medieval mystery and I don’t like cosies of any period.

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