Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery, No 5
Jan 20, 2011 /ISBN: 978-0-14-312065-0
Historical Mystery / Thriller
by Claudia VanLydegraf
This is the first book I have read by C.J. Sansom, and I have some
catching up to do. This man is a fabulous writer and he nails the
history of the Tudor period in all of its reality. He lives and
breathes it, and it seems that he may be channeling someone from
that time to make it so real today.....
Heartstone is a story set during the time of the war between England
and France in 1545. The English are amassing in the southern part
of the country to fight off the French, after failing in an attack
forged by Henry VIII. Many English citizens are putting together
militias for protection and Queen Catherine wants to find out what
caused a young man,Hugh Curteys, to think himself wronged.
Matthew Shardlake is an investigator, a man of legal services, who
gives those services to the Queen, Catherine Parr. One of the Queen's
retired ladies-in-waiting had a son named Michael Calfhill who was
tutoring a young boy named Hugh Curteys. Calfhill thought that some
"wrongs" were being committed against Curteys and, shortly
after the Queen decided to look into this, Calfhill committed suicide.
Or so it is thought.
Shardlake is deeply engulfed in this investigation. He travels to
the South of England and becomes embroiled in many of the things
that are happening there. Besides the intrigue involving Calfhill
and the monstrous wrongs done to Hugh Curteys and a woman named
Ellen Fettiplace, who Shardlake has known before and who is currently
an inmate of Bedlam (a mental institution) Sharlake is also trying
to find the facts dealing with several other deaths he is figuring
out. He meets up with an old friend who helps him a bit and then
a nasty foe of his, named Sir Richard Rich, all of which only makes
all the questionable things more questionable and more skeptical
and, eventually, Shardlake ends up ship-bound.
This book is a huge effort and takes a long time to read (beware
600 some pages) and there is a lot of ground covered in this story,
so I will not spoil it and give you all the details, as they are
many and there are lots of people attached to this investigation.
Suffice it to say: It is well worth the time to read.
I love Tudor history and the many things that motivated English
citizens to come to America. This book shows a lot of true monarch
history, the laws of the time and those shady political decisions.
This is a romp and an eye opener that so much happened in English
history; possibly your history and definitely my ancestors' history.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan on getting hold of the prior
four books that make up this series.
Reviews of other titles in this series
Note: Shardlake, the main character is a Hunchback which
makes his work all the more difficult