DISSOLUTION (Historical Mystery) – VG C. J. Sansom – 1st book
It is 1537; the English Reformation is in full swing; and Lord Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's vicar-general, is busy shutting down papist institutions. When one of his commissioners is beheaded at a remote Benedictine monastery, Cromwell dispatches a second emissary, hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake, to investigate the murder. What Shardlake and his companion, eager young Mark Poer, discover is a quietly bubbling cesspool of corruption, lust and avarice.
Sansom creates a superb sense of time and place providing incredible detail of daily life in the 16th century, an interesting cast of characters, a decent mystery and an exciting black-and-white movie ending. I particularly liked the character of Shardlake and felt for him when he realizes the cause and a person in whom he believed, isn’t motived by pure purpose, but by self-preservation and greed. For fans of English history, this is a very good historical mystery.