Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Pages: 579
Date: 09/03/2010
Grade: 5-
Details: no. 3 Matthew Shardlake Historical Mystery

Setting: Autumn 1541
            King Henry VIII's Progress to the North

This series of historical mysteries is so well researched that I always feel a bit like I'm time travelling when I read them. There is no polishing of reality in these books; Tudor England is described in, sometimes gruesome, detail, showing a fascinating but scary world with very little safety or security for anyone.
It's 1541 and Matthew Shardlake's hopes of a quiet life now that Cromwell has died are shattered when Archbishop Cranmer sends him to York to assist with some legal work for the Progress. Shardlake is also to take charge of a dangerous conspirator, who needs to be delivered to the Tower in London, fit for "interrogation".
Once in York, Shardlake witnesses the murder of a local glazier. The investigation of this murder uncovers the existance of documents that could upset the Tudor claim to the throne. But before the documents can be studied in detail, they are stolen and soon afterwards Matthew manages to survive three attempts on his life. And while his assistant Barak finds love, he and Matthew also find themselves involved in Royal intrigue and facing old and very powerful enemies.
The long awaited return to London should bring Matthew back to safety, but instead he finds himself facing the most terrifying situation a person could find themselves in in those days.
These are not light or quick reads, so I'll give myself a little break before progressing to the next one. Only a little break though since I am fascinated by these books.

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