adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.47

Buy for $24.47

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's 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

More from the same

What listeners say about The Unquiet Bones

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    149
  • 4 Stars
    87
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    168
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    128
  • 4 Stars
    77
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!!

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.


6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing and Interesting

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

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Heart warming

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect narrator for this tale!

Set in the 1600's and related by a very fitting voice. I'm delighted to have discovered this series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Happy with the First Installment

I have listened to and am a huge fan of the CJ Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake series. When we found out of Mr Sansom’s terminal illness not only were we grieved for the fine author himself but the end to a wonderful series that had become a favorite.
Then I downloaded The Unquiet Bones and am thrilled to be listening and enjoying the same well-written Medieval historical mystery.
If you are a Shardlake fan, you’ll be happy with this as well!

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. Stephen Gould
  • Mr. Stephen Gould
  • 09-20-20

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for james k s smith
  • james k s smith
  • 03-21-20

well told interesting story

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

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jennifer Chennell
  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 03-18-20

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for The Curator
  • The Curator
  • 01-15-20

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-21

history come to life

I so enjoyed the Shardlake stories I felt quite saddened to have read them all. And then I discovered Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and found myself happily back in the medieval world of intrigue. This was an interesting story with great characterisation, brought to life by the excellent evocative narration of Stephen Crossley. I can highly recommend this book

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian Smith
  • Ian Smith
  • 11-20-20

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Judith Horth
  • Judith Horth
  • 03-24-21

Ponderous.

The author clearly knows a lot about the period and, having written a book myself I know the effort that must have gone into the writing of this novel. However, although the author is clearly very knowledgeable for the most part about the daily lives and feudal structure of the period, this actually tends to get in the way of the story, which is seriously lacking in pace. There is too much repeated detail, for example, of various meals, and much of the dialogue could have been cut and the information given in reported speech, which would ramp up the pace somewhat. There is no sense of jeopardy for the protagonist - he bumbles along, deliberating and commenting, without there ever being the sense that he is under pressure to discover the identity of the murderers - even at the climax of the book, where we are told that he must find out the truth before Christmas day, three days hence, he still keeps bumbling along. I wonder if the choice of a first person narrator was the best one, or whether a third person narrator would have helped with the pace? Whatever - the book badly needed a structural edit.
As for the motive of one of the murderers, it just does not stand up, given the hierarchy at the time.
I don't think the performance helped either. The reader reinforces the pompous and ponderous tone of the novel with a very slow delivery and some rather odd intonation, to my way of thinking.
I listened to the whole novel but am not enamoured enough of the protagonist to venture further with him.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for pixiepaws
  • pixiepaws
  • 08-01-20

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for cyndy foard
  • cyndy foard
  • 07-11-20

unquiet bones

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sylvia Mackay
  • Sylvia Mackay
  • 07-01-20

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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-21-20

A Gem.

At last a medieval mystery that's exceedingly well researched, and sufficiently descriptive without rambling on over background minutia. Easily followed and very well plotted. Credible! Plotpoints very clearly and logically illustrated.

The narrator was excellent. The first person dialogue and voice changes were convincing. I really enjoyed looking up the obsolete words used at this time. The medical side is fascinating and equally, the role of bailiff. My view, superior to Sister Fidelma and Cadfael.

The lack of surplus adornment and convoluted spider web plotlines was greatly appreciated. I am turned off by books that unceasingly launch into prose at every opportunity as filling or padding. A great yarn well told, is what I want, and one that is inherently believable and interesting.

The author, in a very simplisic and circumspect way, suceeds in bringing vividly to life the time and place whilst involving the reader intimately with his characters. No razzamatazz, hearts and flowers, action aplenty stuff here, just courtesy, courtly respect juxtaposed with humbly superior yet fallible, sleuthing and investigation.

Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-27-20

For insomnia suffers

Narrator was excellent, story so so. ENTERTAINMENT for insomnia suffers. If you like a mystery with an historical background, you might get a bit excited about this book.