Book - 2010
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Shardlake goes to war...

Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis. Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of "monstrous wrongs" committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant, Barak, journey to Portsmouth.

Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions with both an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King's great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour...
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2010.
ISBN: 9780307356192
Branch Call Number: SAN
Characteristics: 633 p. : map


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Jul 26, 2019

Sansom is such a gifted writer that each of these Matthew Shardlake books is a joy to read. Whether it's the period detail or the sharp dialogue or the extremely rich characterizations, Sansom never falters. Shardlake is a complicated, admirable, frustrating, and truly unforgettable character. If I have any problem with the series, it's that I want Shardlake to catch some kind of break already. Even when he commits an error, he's still trying to save someone - and he usually does. Time for him to have a fuller, happier life. Other than that, the only downside is the wait for the next one!

Nov 19, 2018

Excellent. I really like the Shardlake series.

Jan 18, 2016

Highly recommend this one! I read the entire series.

Jan 16, 2012

I’m reading more of this series. Thank you Mr. Sansom for a historical novel without too many of those galling in-your-face inaccuracies of the politically correct kind. This one is set in Tudor England, when King Henry VIII was at the end of his long reign and England did not quite yet rule the waves. I liked Sarjeant Matthew Shardlake, our protagonist, with his coif and robe, humpback and tender heart, friends with great last names, and penchant for stepping on some pretty important toes. He also seems to love women who can never love him and have a horrifying fear of drowning. Still, he is tenacious as a bulldog, relentlessly getting to the bottom of things. Things like: Why did Michael Calfhill hang himself? What monstrous thing did he discover when he visited his former pupils, now wards of a country gentleman? And what of Ellen Fettiplace, consigned to Bedlam, but not really mad? You know, some mysteries really are better off not solved. Or are they?

Dec 16, 2011

I didn't like this as much as the earlier books in the series.

Apr 15, 2011

Sansom has become one of my favourite authors. This tale flows well and is full of interesting historical details.

Apr 13, 2011

Maybe one of my favourites from this series! Find that Shardlake does a lot of back and forth between his investigations, this seemed to move better than the others.

debwalker Nov 08, 2010

This wonderful Tudor era series is must reading for any devotee of historical mysteries. - Margaret Cannon Globe & Mail Nov 6 2010

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