Matthew Shardlake is back!

I’ve been finding it strangely difficult to formulate coherent reviews of late. It’s left me feeling a bit tongue-tied on the blog. But, even if reviews are not coming easy, I realised I could still natter about books in a less structured way.

Today’s informal book nattering is about C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake books. The sixth one, called Lamentation, has just been published in a handsome hardback.


I love these books. They’re set in the Tudor period, a time I’ve never lost my childhood affection for. They have a wonderful hero in Shardlake, a lawyer trying to behave according to his principles, and are exciting stories that feature a cast of very famous sixteenth century faces. They are a mix of historical crime, mysteries, and political intrigues  – simply put, they are very very good.

I was handed a little sampler of Lamentation at Euston station last week, by people dressed in Tudor costume. It obviously brightened up my journey home, but what a great idea – I don’t know who at Mantle thought to do it but I’d happily accept excerpts of books from appropriately dressed folk everyday of the week!

 I have read my sneak preview, even though I now have to confess that I am one book behind. Somehow, despite having a very splendid proof copy, I have not read Heartstone. Part of me feels quite simply terrible that I’ve neglected one of my favourite series. Another part is more gleeful, because now I have two to look forward to. I’m going to try and fit Heartstone into November’s reading pile – now it’s in my head I want to spend some time with Matthew sooner rather than later.

The rest of the Matthew Shardlake books line up like so:
RevelationDissolutionDark FireSovereignHeartstone

All of these are available in paperback. Looking at them lined up does make me want to read them again from the beginning…possibly fortunately, all but Heartstone are in the loft so I’ll make do with the unread ones. For now.

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