Hugh de Singleton's Adventures

Hugh de Singleton 'trail'

Bampton doesn't have a trail but part of Bampton Castle still exists although it is under private ownership. From the road you can just see part of the curtain wall and a little of the gatehouse. In Church View (where Hugh lives) you still get sight of St Beornwald's Church (now St Mary's) that has many interesting features. Hugh's house may be no more but there are several thatched cottages in Bampton, the oldest being in Church Street. Cowleaze corner, just beyond the castle remains although there is no hanging tree. There are plenty of walks including one past the old mill stream and Burford Mill is an easy car journey.


Hugh de Singleton's Adventures - a note from Mel Starr his creator

Lucifer’s Harvest: The ninth chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon was published by Lion Fiction on September 16, 2016.

In the summer of 1990 we visited Lichfield cathedral and found a B&B that evening in a small village nearby operated by the Pages who had just then retired.  We became friends and stayed with them again in 1997.  Before our next visit to the UK the Pages had moved to Bampton and so when we again travelled to England we visited them there.  I had already planned to retire from teaching in 2003 and try my hand at writing a medieval mystery.

The first Starr to immigrate to North America was a Puritan surgeon Comfort Starr.  He arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1636.  When I discovered this I became interested in early surgery and so created a sleuth who was a medieval surgeon.  Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael was an inspiration here, as well.

I learned that in the 14th century there was a castle in Bampton, most of which is now gone, so that made the town a good setting for what I wanted to do.  The proximity to Oxford also would provide numerous plot possibilities.  The Pages have been wonderfully helpful in providing information about Bampton history.

Rookie writers usually have a difficult time finding a publisher, and I was no different.  A friend who teaches English literature and creative writing at Spring Arbor University (Michigan) put me in touch with a friend of his who was Editorial director of Monarch, an imprint of Lion-Hudson, of Oxford.  In 2008 Monarch decided to take a chance and publish THE UNQUIET BONES.  The book has sold well, about 35,000 copies, and is published in Dutch, Turkish, and Polish.  The sequels have also been successful, with total sales of the series of five books now approaching 100,000.

If you have any more questions visit Mel's website