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C J Sansom. I am hooked! Is there anything similar?

(53 Posts)
BendyBob Fri 26-Mar-10 09:44:22

I'm sure I've cottoned onto this much later than most bookworms on mn. Still better late than never. I have read Dissolution and now coming to the end of Dark Fire.

I'm so hooked, I don't think I'd notice if the house fell down the books are so gripping (wouldn't they make great films?)

I have Sovereign lined up..but then what? Help!

I haven't really read historical crime books before and had no idea I'd enjoy these so much. Where can I go when I have exhausted the wonderful Shardlake? Any suggestions welcome smile

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animula Fri 26-Mar-10 14:02:36

Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel is the obvious choice, not crime but large overlap.

Q - ?? is about the Reformation in Europe but not crime.

Name of the rose - Umberto Eco is not the same period and is Europe but is crime and historical and religious.

Some experts on historical crime will surely be along shortly.

janeite Fri 26-Mar-10 19:20:57

Try Frank Tallis for crime ones set in Freudian Vienna. The first couple are v good, though they get too formulaic later.

Also a series that begins 'Mistress Of The Art Of Death' is quite good.

Also for the original, try The Moonstone and the Sherlock Holmes books.

BendyBob Fri 26-Mar-10 19:37:48

Thanks so much! I will keep an eye open for your suggestions.

(I keep hearing about Wolf Hall)

I think I've got a couple more Shardlakes too so that'll keep me going for a bit.

Thank you!smile

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hocuspontas Fri 26-Mar-10 19:42:10

I LOVE Shardlake so I bought Wolf Hall. I can't read it. sad So dry and written in the present tense, I was really disappointed.

Revelation was the last Shardlake I read - has there been another one since?

BendyBob Fri 26-Mar-10 19:44:32

Oh nosad I don't tend to like things written in the present tense either for some reason. I wonder why that is?

I believe there is another Shardlake due out this summer. So I read anyway.

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specialsmasher Fri 26-Mar-10 19:56:01

Ariana Franklin - she's really good. She wrote 'Mistress of the Art of Death' as mentioned above.

purpleturtle Fri 26-Mar-10 20:03:23

Wolf Hall is very different from Shardlake. I found it pretty hard work, but persevered because DH gave it to me for Christmas. I felt like I was reading and reading and reading, yet nothing happened. Which is not what happens with Shardlake at all!

Scanning my bookshelf, the other novel I found really well written, and gripping in a way similar to Sansom's stuff is The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Subject matter is Dracula, so entirely different, but might be worth a look?

KurriKurri Fri 26-Mar-10 20:18:43

I like C.J. Sansom too, so you might enjoy 'Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follet-story set around the building of a cathedral.(Not a detective story, but it has a mystery in it.) I didn't think it would be my kind of thing, but I got very engrossed in the story.

janeite Fri 26-Mar-10 20:22:06

Yes - The Historian is brilliant.

BendyBob Sat 27-Mar-10 11:50:11

Just revisiting my thread. Thank you all for the suggestions!

To my surprise I have really enjoyed the crime/mystery aspect of Shardlake; I don't usually read crime books - don't know why really. It just shows you shouldn't get stuck in a rut! I will def try some of your recommendations. Thanks!smile

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Dumbledoresgirl Sat 27-Mar-10 12:02:38

I love the Shardlake novels too. The fifth one is coming out this summer - can't wait.

Just be prepared to be slightly disappointed by Sovereign. I thought it was the weakest of the four. I liked Dark Fire best.

No idea what else you can read. The Shardlake novels are not my usual thing. I usually like a bit more battle and violence (which makes me sound like a psychopath blush)

janeite Sat 27-Mar-10 17:28:51

Was Sovereign the one set in York? If so, yes, it is the weakest but the dungeon bit is good!

Arthur And George is v v good indeed for a novelisation of a real life case.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 27-Mar-10 21:28:12

Yes janeite, it is the one set in York and I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO agree with you about the dungeon bit. It shone like a beacon through the gloom of the rest of the story. How exciting that you should feel the same way about it!

(PS,Don't know about you but I fell a bit in love with Shardlake in the first book, then came along Dark Fire and I fell head over heels in love with Barak!)

BendyBob Sun 28-Mar-10 11:50:28

Lol yes I did that DG! Aren't we fickle..grin

I keep thinking what good film or tv these would make (if they did them well).

I was googling the books to find out about the next one (just started Sovereign so will let you know what I thought!) and it said the BBC were thinking of making them with Kenneth Brannagh as Shardlake. Although what I read was from a year ago, so maybe it's on the back burner.

I think KB might actually be rather a good Shardlake if they do go ahead. What do you think?

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hocuspontas Sun 28-Mar-10 12:08:40

Ooh no I don't like KB much. I see Shardlake as a small man like David Tennant. Or is that me having Dr Who withdrawal symptoms? grin

Sovereign was the first one I read and I agree that the others have been better so I'm glad I read it first.

BendyBob Sun 28-Mar-10 12:18:34

I've just remembered KB is Wallender though. Hmm...I'm not keen on Wallender but I think that's more to do with it not being my cup of tea than the actor. I feel influenced by that now..

Hmm..David Tennant, not sure. How about Martin Shaw? I imagine Shardlake looking a little like that.

And who to play Barak of course..??

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Hetaira Sun 28-Mar-10 12:25:20

Ah, Bendy Bob don't listen to the naysayers! i really liked teh CJSansom books but I Am LOVING Wolf Hall - am half way through and can't put the blardy thing down.

The glimpse of Cromwell that you get in the Shardlake books really intrigued me so WH is great for that obv. And there's no one huge crime that you follow BUT you get closer to the nuances and intrigues of henry's court and of course you know what happens to Cromwell in the end, when he falls from favour which is a murder of sorts.

her style does take a chapter or two to adjust to. Well for me it did, not read any of hers before... (it helps to remember that 99.9% of the time the pronoun 'he' refers to Cromwell)but once that happens its seamless. her writing is beautiful, eerie, not a word wasted. perfect.

Didn't mean to write an essay blush I shuld really get commission or sth. grin

MrsDanversBites Sun 28-Mar-10 13:07:25

Agree r.e Wolf Hall It's fantastic, I would say the best historical fiction I've read. 'A Place of Greater Safety' is another excellent one of hers (about the French revolution if that interests you?).

Interstingly there is a quote FROM C.J Sansom on the back of WH : 'Captures wonderfully the extrovert, confident, violent mood of the age.'

You sold yet BB? wink

Now this is weird, I see Shardlake as a dark Gerard Depardieu (!)- i think i associate him with the hunchback in Jean De Florette![lack of imagination emoticon] For some reason I see Barak as Eric Bana gratuitous pic


Dumbledoresgirl Sun 28-Mar-10 13:23:58

Oh yes, no idea who Eric Bana is, but the minute I saw the photo I could see he fits my mental image of Barak. Good one MrsDanvers.

I can't think who should play Shardlake. I had heard that KB was down for it and thought that was a good choice until I saw him in Wallander. He is not that old really is he? Late 30s? early 40s? (I have forgotten). KB might be too old.

Dumbledoresgirl Sun 28-Mar-10 13:25:10

"He is not that old" = Shardlake.

BendyBob Sun 28-Mar-10 13:31:59

I will def def be giving Wolf Hall a go! If only that I keep hearing so much about it and must decide for myself.

Eric Bana! YES! What an excellent suggestion grin

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hocuspontas Sun 28-Mar-10 13:33:10

Nice Barak!

Unfortunately I get a mental image of Barak Obama when I read the books.

hannahsaunt Sun 28-Mar-10 13:36:59

I've just started Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora somebody. It's very good and set at the same time as Shardlake. It's about Thomas More, his family and their portrait by Hans Holbein. Apparently it's thriller meets Phillipa Gregory and very good so far (60 odd pages in).

BendyBob Sun 28-Mar-10 13:54:03

Thank you hanna - that sounds a very good one too.

There's enough on this thread to keep me going for a nice while now, I should thinksmile.

I can now be thinking of yummy Eric Bana/Barak whilst reading Sovereign too, which will add to the enjoyment.

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