Without a Trace by Mel Starr

Sir Aymer, his wife Lady Philippa and their household have traveled to Brampton to visit Sir Gilbert. On their arrival it is discovered that the Lady and her maid have disappeared from the wagon in which they were traveling. Were they kidnapped by felons or has Lady Philippa fled a marriage she could no longer bear? In order to save them Sir Hugh de Singleton, Sir Gilbert’s bailiff, must uncover the truth behind it all. 

I’ve read several of the Hugh de Singleton series and enjoyed them all up until now. While I appreciated the historical aspects of the story and was curious about the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Lady Philippa and her maid Millicent, the book never fully came together for me. The plot was interspersed with Hugh musing about his life and his family. These diversions were distracting and made the storytelling uneven. The characters were two-dimensional and never fully fleshed out, so I never really felt anything for them. The narrative felt very unnatural. From a historical perspective the language was fine, the dialogue just felt wooden…stilted.

I wish I’d been able to appreciate this book more.  Maybe if you’re a more enthusiastic reader of this series, you may enjoy it more than I did.

My thanks to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Ltd. for the advanced reader copy made available for my review.

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