Friday, July 6, 2012

Dissolution by C J Sansom

History! Mystery! Dissolution is a well-written book that will satisfy the fans of both genres.  The first in a series of mysteries set in Tudor England, it combines the historical problems encompassing King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the English monasteries with a murder investigation. Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer and King’s Commissioner, is sent by Thomas Cromwell to a monastery in southern England to investigate the murder of the previous commissioner.  This official had been sent by Cromwell to investigate corruption in the monastery.  Proof of corruption would lead to certain dissolution, so suspicion falls on every monk living there. Before he is done, Shardlake is investigating multiple murders and finds his own life is in danger. This series will appeal to fans of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, although it portrays Thomas Cromwell in an entirely different light.