Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a secret mission for Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure ...more
Description the First:
Take Sherlock Holmes and...
1. Crook his back "Quasimodo" style (oh how I wanted to say “bend it like Beckham” instead, but I figure it's time we all move on from that one)...and make sure you include a nice hump;
2. Surgically remove 92.7% of the arrogant, ego-maniacal self love;
3. Replace Watson with a street-wise, well connected tough guy while deleting all hints of “bromantic tension” between the two;
4. Change the setting f ...more
“I looked at the little houses along Petergate and thought again of the rule preventing citizens from casting sewage in the streets or in the river while the Progress was here. It would be piling up in their backyards. It was symbolic of the King’s visit: all glitter and show in front, a pile of turds behind.”
My, how things have changed (not, sadly). Henry VIII’s England. C. J. Sansom drops you straight in it, stink and all. I love the Matthew Shardlake series, but I find I have to come up f ...more
What does the obese tyrant do to cause such a reaction?
Well he publicly humiliates Shardlake by mocking his appearance because clearly the king is the very essence of physical perfection, clearly he is no ...more
Matthew Sharlake comes face to face with Henry's reign of terror (and the machinations of his henchman such as the conniving Sir Richard Rich) the book revealing Henry as a cruel tyrant , while discovering embaraasing facts that put his life in danger , and keep us speculating in an excellent cross between historical and detective novel.
The sights ...more
“I would not have anyone under false suspicion. Even Radwinter.”
“Maleverer’s smile turned into a cruel smirk. ‘Jesu, sir, you are a righteous prig. I wish I could afford your scruples.’”
For most histories, the Progress to the North of 1541 is given little comment. Yet, this was a critical time for Henry VIII in securing his rule after he had disposed of his “handyman” Thomas Cromwell. C.J. Sansom gives us many of the intimate details of th ...more
Sovereign is a mystery set in the 16C. The Great Progression occurred in 1541; King Henry, his court, servants, and a thousand soldiers left London for the northern city of York, a total of over 3,000 people. The inhabitants in the north, mostly still Papists, were less t ...more
Of course this is historical fiction, so I really appreciate C.J. Sansom's Historical Note at the end of the book, which provides some helpful information ...more
Revisit is via R4 dramatisation: Atmospheric dramatisation of C. J. Sansom's third Tudor crime novel featuring hunchback lawyer detective Matthew Shardlake.
Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Royal Progress to York, aiming to strike fear and awe into his rebellious northern subjects. Shardlake, and his assistant Barak, arrive in the city a day ahead of the 3,000-strong procession. Officially there to prepare petitions for the King, t ...more
This should have been an out-and-out 5 star score from me, but I've deducted a half for the patchy editing. It is a shame that a best-selling writer of the calibre of C.J. Sansom does not get the 5 star treatment from his editorial team.
Having said that, this is a thoroughly enjoyable mystery novel, suitably labyrinthine in its plot, as was so typical of the goings-on in the court of Henry VIII.
One of the reasons I'm such a fan of the Matthew Shardlake series is the thoroughness of the re ...more
Sansom, C.J. – 3rd in series
*** Lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak are sent to York to ensure the welfare of a prisoner being returned to London for interrogation. Matthew is also to assist with processing legal partitions King Henry VIII during the King’s Progress to York. When local glazier is killed, Matthew and Jack uncover a locked box containing several papers, including a genealogical chart. Before Matthew ...more
The story was a good historical mystery but the involvement of too much brutality toward ...more
Well this one was an absolute treat!
The story starts about a year or so after the events of Dark Fire. Hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak have been keeping their heads down after the fall of Cromwell. Peace doesn’t last forever though, now they are thrown into a new mission thanks to Archbishop Cranmer. Tasked with the welfare of a prisoner, one who is to be taken from York to the Tower of London for questioning and torture, Matthew and Jack find their way ...more
This is the third book I have read in this series and for me, it is the best one so far. A rich tapestry of history and character development that is hard to beat.
In this instalment of Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in York awaiting the Royal Progress of Henry VIII. Shardlake is ordered by Archbishop Cranmar to assist a senior York lawyer, Giles Wrenne, in organising and presenting petitions to the King on his arri ...more
Sansom's characterizations are still very good and he delivers historical detail effortlessly. His action scenes are clumsy and unre ...more
Details of the Progress were quite good.
Am moving forward to #7 Tombland which features a young Elizabeth and Boleyn relatives. ...more
In Dissolution, reformist Matthew Shardlake works with Thomas Cromwell to investigate the death of a royal commissioner; in Dark Fire, he defends a young woman accused of murder. Critics agree that Sovereign is as good as, or even better than, its predecessors. Themes of political ruses, conspiracy, religious fanaticism, and murder, combined with sophisticated plotting, meticulously researched details, and convincing characters (including a cruel, paranoid Henry) recreate the repression, tyranny...more
Oh, the history! No other writer will immerse you in Tudor England the way CJ Sansom does. The man is a genius, causing the reader to see, smell, and hear the 16th century as effectively as a time machine. The little details th ...more
This time he and his assistant Jack Barak are sent to York in the north of England where King Henry VIII and his latest wife, Catherine Howard arrive on a spectacular progress.
Matthew has been employed by Archbishop Cranmer to protect a prisoner accused of treason and conspiracy against the king and make sure that he arrives safe ...more
I have to say, I'm really not that enamoured with this series. They're clearly well researched, and Sansom writes competently enough, but I just don't find them that engaging. Historical fiction isn't a genre that I've ever really been that interested in, and I only started t ...more
He came to promi ...more
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“When the Queen is dead? Perhaps to be a servant in the household of a new Queen, watching to see how long she will last, what secrets I may accidentally hear that could get me into trouble? No, I will never go back to work there, whatever they pay ... They say at Whitehall Lady Rochford has gone mad in the Tower, screams and raves and can make no sensible answer. The poor Queen is held at Hampton Court, Jesu knows what state she is in. Still, a woman must smile and be cheerful, must she not?” She twisted her face into a parody of a girlish smile, then turned and ran from the room.”