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Dissolution: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery (Matthew Shardlake Mysteries) Paperback – April 27, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Murders on the grounds of a monastery, 16th-century intrigue, an unconventional sleuth-readers might wonder if this is a knock-off Name of the Rose set two centuries later, but Sansom's debut is a compelling historical mystery in its own right, with fewer pyrotechnics and plenty of period detail. It is 1537; the English Reformation is in full swing; and Lord Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's vicar-general, is busy shutting down papist institutions. When one of his commissioners is beheaded at a remote Benedictine monastery, Cromwell dispatches a second emissary, hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake, to investigate the murder. What Shardlake and his companion, eager young Mark Poer, discover is a quietly bubbling cesspool of corruption, lust and avarice. The scope of the investigation quickly expands when a novice is poisoned and Shardlake finds the remains of a girl who served the monks in the monastery pond. Shardlake presses on by testing the alibis of the various corrupt monks, but Poer's objectivity is compromised when he becomes involved with the girl's successor, a bright, attractive woman named Alice Fewterer. As the investigation unfolds, Shardlake survives a murder attempt, and finally returns to London to tie his findings to higher-level intrigue. Sansom paints a vivid picture of the corruption that plagued England during the reign of Henry VIII, and the wry, rueful Shardlake is a memorable protagonist, a compassionate man committed to Cromwell's reforms, but increasingly doubtful of the motives of his fellow reformers. With this cunningly plotted and darkly atmospheric effort, Sansom proves himself to be a promising newcomer.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
From Library Journal
It is 1537, and Thomas Cromwell is charged with protecting the newborn Church of England. So when one of his commissioners is murdered in a monastery, he sends his sharpest lawyer to investigate. A debut from (you guessed it) former lawyer Sansom.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top customer reviews
I really recommend this book as highly as possible to anyone either interested in fiction set in sixteenth century England or just in search of an interesting mystery.
My only complaint is nothing to do with the book, rather with the pricing . Over fourty dollars for an ebook series is way out of my budget and so I shall not be able to read the rest unless they are offered for free at some time.
Surrounding Shardlake is a host of other interesting characters - his ward, Mark, Alice, an assistant in the infirmary, and an array of monks at the monastery where a murder has taken place. The monastery, Scarnsea, is surrounded by fetid, dangerous marshes and surrounds an equally dangerous cesspool of corruption, sexual misconduct, ugly secrets, and a deep fear and resentment of the Reformation. Shardlake is mystified and takes the reader on a complicated journey to the surprising truth. Take the journey with him, you'll enjoy it!
I couldn't put this down,its well written,figured out who the killer was towards the end of the book. The author is a former lawyer,I know about some legal procedures because,I worked as a 'gofer' in local law firm back in late 70's early 80's,. My late father was a lawyer too. I highly recommend the book Sue