DISSOLUTION, by C. J. Sansom

1/series, with Tudor-era lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Absolutely marvelous! Mesmerizing! Authentic! If you love historical mysteries with details galore and a winning protagonist (in this case a brilliant but troubled hunchback lawyer), this is the book - and the series - for you. Henry VIII has become Head of the Church, Catholicism has been outlawed, and the powerful religious houses are being - literally - dissolved. Under the supervision of the ruthless Thomas Cromwell, Henry's right-hand man, agents are sent to monasteries to coerce them into agreeing to their own dissolution. But one agent is murdered, at a remote Benedictine house in the Sussex marshes. Click below for more...
Matthew Shardlake, Cromwell's man through his rise to the King's right-hand advisor, is sent to the monastery to clear things up. Solve the murder, get the monastery to sign off on its own death, and prepare the way for Henry's team of wreckers. It would seem an easy task to find, in this enclosed world, who had decapitated his predecessor. But the potential culprit is not apparent. Shardlake's assistant proves a surprise, as well. Complex, many-layered, deeply-researched, the human cost of one man's selfish desire for a different woman is illustrated with precision and pathos. A treat for any lover of Tudor-era historical fiction.  
Find the author at www.cjsansom.com
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