The Shardlake backlist is being reissued in B format alongside the paperback of the third in the series, Sovereign Sovereign has been shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award 2006 This series is winning a loyal following - over 160,000 copies of the first two Shardlake novels sold in Pan paperback Guaranteed to appeal to readers of all kinds - clever, witty, atmospheric, and featuring a wry, rueful, compassionate hero Dark Fire won the 2005 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Ecstatic reviews: 'It's in his Tudor novels that Sansom's remarkable talents really blaze out' Sunday Times; 'This series just gets better and better' Bookseller
C J Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. He lives in Sussex.
It is 1537, and Thomas Cromwell is charged with protecting the newborn Church of England. So when one of his commissioners is murdered in a monastery, he sends his sharpest lawyer to investigate. A debut from (you guessed it) former lawyer Sansom. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"This is a humdinger of a whodunnit. Read it!"
The sights, the voices, the very smell of this turbulent age seem to rise from the page. With his remarkable debut, C. J. Sansom can lay claim to a place among the most distinguished of modern historical novelists. (P. D. James) Sansom seems to have been born with, or instinctively acquired, that precious balance of creativity and research that lets a mystery set in another time walk a delicate line between history and humanity. ("Chicago Tribune") With this cunningly plotted and darkly atmospheric effort, Sansom proves himself to be a promising newcomer. ("Publishers Weekly") This is a humdinger of a whodunnit. Read it! (Colin Dexter)
Murders on the grounds of a monastery, 16th-century intrigue, an unconventional sleuth-readers might wonder if this is a knock-off Name of the Rose set two centuries later, but Sansom's debut is a compelling historical mystery in its own right, with fewer pyrotechnics and plenty of period detail. 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. The scope of the investigation quickly expands when a novice is poisoned and Shardlake finds the remains of a girl who served the monks in the monastery pond. Shardlake presses on by testing the alibis of the various corrupt monks, but Poer's objectivity is compromised when he becomes involved with the girl's successor, a bright, attractive woman named Alice Fewterer. As the investigation unfolds, Shardlake survives a murder attempt, and finally returns to London to tie his findings to higher-level intrigue. Sansom paints a vivid picture of the corruption that plagued England during the reign of Henry VIII, and the wry, rueful Shardlake is a memorable protagonist, a compassionate man committed to Cromwell's reforms, but increasingly doubtful of the motives of his fellow reformers. With this cunningly plotted and darkly atmospheric effort, Sansom proves himself to be a promising newcomer. (Apr. 28) Forecast: Readers who want something a step up in complexity from Ellis Peters's Cadfael series will find this satisfying fare. Foreign rights have already been sold in England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain, and Sansom will be introduced in the U.S. with a six-city author tour. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.