Saturday, June 28, 2008

The 'Dark Fire' of 1540

Matthew Shardlake is a lawyer in 1540's London who, because of his ethics and honesty, is entrusted with many politically sensitive cases that involve Henry VIII and his advisors, especially the work he does for Oliver Cromwell. Of the 4 mysteries in this series, Dark Fire is the 2nd. Matthew has to solve whether a young girl murdered her 1st cousin or not and also find a lost cache of 'dark fire,' a weapon that could destroy England's navy. Tudor England is brought to life in wonderful period detail in all of C.J. Sansom's excellent historical mystery series. She does, however, take liberty with a few historical facts -- mainly in my opinion to make it a little more gruesome (Oliver Cromwell actually died of malaria, not a botched, painful beheading). Except for that one detail, I found Dark Fire to be an excellent read. The other titles in the series are Dissolution, Sovereign, and Revelation.

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