Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sansom's Dissolution

I have to talk about Dissolution by CJ Sansom on Thursday night at the Township Library.

I've read it already, but I'm fairly sure that this group will have questions regarding historical details and be interested in reviews. This is just a quick (informal) organization of links I've found about the book, for purposes of reference.

Historical background:

The Suppression of the English Monasteries Just what it says; source authority not verified.
From the University of Wisconsin, Henry VIII, monasteries and the Bible. (Note the maps)
The Old English Cathedrals (aimed at tourists, but perhaps useful)

About the book itself:

Interview with CJ Sansom (questions pertain to first and second titles in the series).
Interview with CJ Sansom (marketing the third title in the series).
Penguin Reading Group Guide (bio somewhat dated; I don't use reading group guides as a basis for discussion, but they can stimulate thinking about the book in different ways)


From "Reviewing the Evidence" site, Fellowes review
From "Reviewing the Evidence" site, Wheeler review
Grumpy Old Bookman (blog), Review of Dissolution
From the Blog Critics site, C. Michael Bailey review (somewhat problematic on a few points)
The Mystery Reader site, Review of Dissolution (note take on Shardlake as a character)
The Best Reviews site, Review of Dissolution (includes blurb by Harriet Klausner)

It's a well-done mystery, as others (including PD James) have pointed out. From those on my personal blogroll, Mary of Marys Library liked it and moved on to the second title in the series, Dark Fire. Ann of Patternings liked Dissolution and then read Sovereign.

Even on the second read for this upcoming discussion, I consistently picked out the wrong suspect as the murderer. (I think I first read this back in 2004.)