Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: Dissolution

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom is the first book in a new (rather, new to me, but published several years back) historical mystery series set during the reign of King Henry VIII.
The year is 1537 and England is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is murdered in the monastery of Scarnsea on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general, summons fellow reformer Matthew Shardlake to lead the inquiry. Shardlake and his young protégé, Mark Poer, uncover evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason, but when two other murders are committed, they must move quickly to prevent the killer from striking again.
I really got a lot out of this book. There was an almost equal mix of politics and history in with the mystery and I think I learned a lot about the politics of the Anglican Reformation. This is not to say that I "liked" it the whole way through - the politics were dirty and it could be uncomfortable to read about attacks on the church that left the common people bloodied. But Dissolution is well-written and has an excellent story. I think it will appeal to mystery readers and those who like their historical fiction a little on the brainier side (brainier than, say, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory).

Buy Dissolution on Amazon.

Thanks to Laura at The Infusion for bringing Dissolution by C.J. Sansom to my attention with her review.

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