In DISSOLUTION: A NOVEL OF TUDOR ENGLAND, C.J. Sansom introduces the character of Matthew Shardlake, a reformer who is summoned by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s vicar general. Employing the skills of a professional historian and novelist Sansom takes the reader on a journey through sixteenth century England, at a time when the kingdom was split between those who supported the Tudor monarchy and those who supported the Catholic Church. Shardlake is charged with solving the murder of a royal official on the south coast of England. During the investigation what emerges is the paranoid nature of English politics of the period, the byzantine workings of the Catholic Church and its corruption, in addition to the accurate portrayal of the historical characters on display. The book has many plot twists and keeps the reader engrossed as the author exhibits a superior knowledge of Tudor England, the inner workings of Henry VIII’s court, worthy of Hillary Mantel, and it is well worth the read. Fortunately, DISSOLUTION is the first in a mystery series that continues with DARK FIRE, Matthew Shardlake’s next challenge!

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