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An English girl living in Penn's Woods. I live in an old Dutch style colonial house, with my husband Mr Bit Brit, our son Rob, and our two cats Tinkerbell and Tuppence. E-Mail:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dissolution, By C. J. Sansom

I read this book back in March, it was on my Inaugural World Book List from the UK.

Dissolution is a mystery set in the time of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Catholic monasteries (1536 - 1540) The main character is Mathew Shardlake, a lawyer and hunchback, who is commissioned by Cromwell to investigate the murder of one of his agents sent to St. Donatus of Scarsea, to make an assessment of the monastery with a view to closing it down.

Mathew Shardlake with his young assistant travel the long arduous route, to be received with coldness and surrounded by suspicion.  Why is there a young girl working in the apothecary?  Who will be the next victim?

The setting of the south-east marshlands of England both lonely, isolated with creeping mists is an ideal setting for intrigue and murder at a Benedictine Cloister.

Dissolution is wonderfully rich in historical detail, also architectural detail of how a monastery would be laid out and the everyday routine of the monks.  The Latin terminology of the different rooms, their clothing and life all add to the richness of text.

I enjoyed this historical mystery and will read more of C. J. Sansom's books.


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