A Tudor Mystery


I see that Henry VIII, monster and accidental founder of one of the better versions of Christianity going (as one wag put it, with a founder like ours, how can we not be all about forgiveness) died on this day in 1547.

And I can think of no better excuse to take the opportunity to point those interested in such things to a wonderful mystery series. Christopher John “C. J.” Sansom, who holds a doctorate in history as well as a law degree has among his other writings (I gather he caused a bit of a stir in England with a one off alternative history where some living or with living relatives are part of a collaborationist government following Germany’s defeat of England in the Second World War), has written a compelling series, five at this moment, of mystery novels that take place in Tudor England.

The hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake is a delight to follow.

Sansom’s Tudor England is a gritty affair, drawing just short of my personal comfort level for relaxation reading.

And the novels are complex affairs with lots going on. Not the least for me, religion, as a driving force. Not always for the good, actually only rarely for the good. Sort of like life…

A delightful cold winter read.

I’m sure they work on a beach, too.

Strongly recommended.

The first is Dissolution, followed by Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation (which I am reading at the moment) & Heartstone. More to come, I hear, and hope…

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