I had heard great things about C. J. Sansom’s mysteries set during the reign of Henry VIII and starring a “crookbacked” lawyer named Matthew Shardlake, and indeed, Dissolution, the first in the series, did not disappoint. Dissolution sees Sharlake sent to a desolate monastery on the south coast of England; his predecessor, who was sent to assess the monastery’s revenue with a view to its dissolution, has been murdered. Sharlake arrives with his assistant, Matthew Poer, and they stumble into a world of intrigue, where Shardlake learns that not all monks are hypocritical men of the senses.
I think I was a little less sanguine about the dissolution of monasteries than Shardlake was at the beginning, but by the end, we had a meeting of the minds!
(Read from March 31-April 2, 2010)