The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr

In July, we're having a slight change of plan.  You're probably wondering why the text shows The Unquiet Bones and the picture shows Death Comes to Pemberley.  We originally chose The Unquiet Bones without checking to see if the library systems had sufficient copies.  Turns out, they don't.  Cleveland Public Library only had 2 copies.  Cuyahoga County Public Library had none.  So, we chose a second book, Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James. If you can't get hold of the Mel Starr book, you can read the P. D. James one.  Or you can read both - we'll be ready to discuss both at this meetup.

So, first up, we're visiting the 14th century at the time of the Black Death with The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr.

Hugh of Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight, has been educated as a clerk, usually a prelude to taking holy orders. However, he feels no real calling-despite his lively faith-and he turns to the profession of surgeon, training in Paris and then hanging his sign in Oxford. Soon after, a local lord asks Hugh de Singleton to track the killer of a young woman whose bones have been found in the castle cesspool. Through his medical knowledge, Singleton identifies her as the impetuous missing daughter of a local blacksmith. The young man she loved-whom she had provoked very publicly-is quickly arrested and sentenced at Oxford. But this is just the beginning of the tale. The story of Singleton's adventure unfolds with realistic medical procedures, droll medieval wit, romantic distractions, and a consistent underlying sense of Christian compassion.

Mel Starr has spent many years teaching history, and has studied medieval surgery and medieval English. He lives in Michigan.

We then jump forward in time to 1803 for P. D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley.

A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.

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  • Jill

    One of the best discussions we've had in a long time. No one wanted to leave.

    July 22, 2012

  • Kate Hathway

    How sad for us, but how interesting for you, Gloria! Hopefully your new city will have a few book clubs you'll enjoy.

    June 28, 2012

  • Kate Newland

    Best wishes Gloria!

    June 27, 2012

  • Caroline Griffith

    Just to let everyone know, Gloria left the group as her husband has a new job and she's moving out of the area early next month. She hopes to be able to come to one last meeting. If she can't make it, I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing her well and thanking her for her input to the group. We'll miss you, Gloria.

    June 27, 2012

  • Caroline Griffith

    Thanks for the tip, Sandy. I will get it for my kindle also!

    June 24, 2012

  • Sandy Carroll

    I read BOTH choices, and the Unquiet Bones is worth the trouble to hunt down!!

    June 24, 2012

  • Kate Newland

    I got my "Unquiet Bones" for my kindle online. I know - I know - Kindle - but it works for me.

    June 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I found a list of discussion questions for "Death Comes to Pemberly." I've printed out what should be a sufficient number of copies to bring to our next discussion.

    June 19, 2012

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