November 29, 2017

Taking a Break

I just can't read these days.  I've been on the same book for over 4 weeks.  I'm taking down my challenges.  I'll probably be using this blog now and again for my thoughts.  Maybe a comment on a book I especially enjoyed....assuming I ever finish one!

Life has a way of throwing curve balls.  My fiance has been quite ill for several months and I lost him to a heart attack over Thanksgiving weekend.  I just am worn out and worn down.  I don't even care right now if I read or if I don't.  And I'm giving myself a break -- all these unfinished challenges eat at me and I just don't need that right now.

I know things will get easier and better with time.  Meanwhile, I'm signing out for a bit.

November 3, 2017

Heartstone by C. J. Sansom

Title:  Heartstone
Author:  C. J. Sansom
Pages:   634
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Series:  Shardlake, Book 5

Synopsis:  Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis.

Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam.

The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King's great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour: the Mary Rose...

Review:  I love these books.  Matthew Shardlake is such an interesting and likable character.  This was a great mystery.  I had no idea what had happened in either of the cases being investigated and when the answer was revealed, I was completely surprised.  I love when that happens!

The historical portions of these books are always very detailed and it's obvious that much time and research went into making them as realistic as possible.  How the common man lived in these times is horrendous and wartime is even worse.

Some of the previous stories were more exciting, but this one was very good.  I can't wait to get the next (and I'm afraid the last) book of this series.

Rating:  10 / 10
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