Red Ned Tudor Mysteries

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tudor Novels- Dissolution CJ Sansom

More Tudor Fiction

Good day to my growing legion of devoted readers.  First before we start this instalment of Red Ned’s Tudor blog I would like you to take a moment to think of your friends and neighbours who may be experiencing problems or difficulties, I mean have you actually asked them if they are okay?  Or like so many of us are you isolated by family stress, work or illness and now I think about it are you okay? 

Anyway here’s a little entertainment to brighten your day.  It has been too long since we looked at the state of Tudor fiction, for that I plead the pressures of writing and the long long struggle to get The Cardinal’s Angels ready for publishing.  While the plan was to release it first in ahh… February, ahh (cough, cough, embarrassed mutter) life and other trivial irrelevances got seriously in the way.  So while in theory the third Red Ned novel is soon to be available in Amazon Kindle I won’t stick my neck out and promise next week.  In the meantime back to the exotic, lively and treacherous world of Tudor Fiction. 
The book I’d like to review today is CJ Sansom’s first Tudor novel Dissolution, I must state here publically that while Red Ned Bedwell and Mathew Shardlake are both lawyers in Henry VIII’s London, there the similarity ends.  His work did not serve as an inspiration for Red Ned, nor is Ned an attempt to ‘cash in’ on someone else’s well deserved praise.  Though considering the excellent quality of Sansom’s series it is definitely a target for me as a writer to aim for.  So firstly, a thank you to those of you who’ve flatteringly compared me to Sansom, it is an accolade I will endeavour to fulfil.

Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1)Dissolution by C.J. Sansom

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A very sound first novel

I must admit to coming to Sansom’s historical mystery stories only very recently, although I had been aware of the series for a couple of years. Since at the time I was writing my own collection set during the reign of Henry VIII and while my main character like Sansom’s Shardlake is a lawyer in London, Ned is but a lowly apprentice. So rather than be accused of plagiarism I stuck well clear until I’d finished my first quintal of stories. In fact I finally read my first Shardlake novel over Christmas- Dissolution. Put off by the publicity write up and a little wary of the use of a hunchback hero in Tudor times, I hesitated then daring all I took the plunge and dove in. On the whole I’m glad it did, though it is true that at the conclusion I found that I had to  seriously think about my reaction to the story. As a first novel it was a little rough around the edges with a few flaws in the characters, plot and historical interpretation which I personally found annoying and distracting. But I am admittedly a tad picky. Now for the positive, the overall quality was reasonable, interesting plot, a good attempt at fitting the characters to a ‘living time period’ good quality research for the story background, credible characters and a decent and engaging storyline. I feel that I can recommend it to anyone with a taste for historical fiction. I’d certainly recommend continuing through the series, his later work picks up dramatically in quality and suspense, stunningly so! As the budget allows I will be buying all of the Shardlake series.

Dissolution Amazon Kindle UK

Dissolution Amazon Kindle US

Regards Gregory House

The Liberties of London

The Queen's Oranges

View all my reviews

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