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Cannonball Read #9: Dissolution

12/02/2009

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom was recommended to me by a friend who knows how much I love historical mysteries. When I was midway through, I thought I was going to have to tell her I didn’t find it as good as she did. However the second half and ending really came through, and now I am looking forward to reading more in this series.

The novel takes place in Tudor England as Thomas Cromwell is dissolving monasteries as part of the Reformation. His hunchbacked agent, Matthew Shardlake, is sent to Scarnsea monastery to investigate the murder of one of Cromwell’s commissioners. Shardlake and his assistant, Matthew Poer, find intrigue, treason, and sexual crimes as they try to solve the mystery. Everything Shardlake believes comes into question, and the resolution is not what he expects.

Thankfully the language in Dissolution didn’t interfere with the story (I’m lookin’ at you, Four Corners of the Sky.) Though there were quite a few interjections: “God’s nails, was there ever such weather;” or “God’s bones, that mixture stinks;” the rest of the writing was pretty plain and modern.

This was a very good first novel, and it really improved (or my concentration level did) towards the end. I won’t give it away, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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