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Richard K Sledge

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Monk's Hood (The Cadfael Chronicles Book 3)
Monk's Hood (The Cadfael Chronicles Book 3)
Price: £3.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A murderous heart loses control, 29 July 2015
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This is an enjoyable story. At the Abbey Church in Shrewsbury a visitor is given a lavish meal, but is poisoned. The poison contains herbs (such as monks hood) that are used by Cadfael among his healing ointments and medicines though he had no part in preparing the meal. The characters of the monks and other people associated with the abbey are well brought out, and the search for the poisoner spreads into the countryside around and across into Wales. There is plenty of action but the basic pace is controlled by the ordered life of the monks and their daily services. There are no other deaths but the peaceful security has been deeply disturbed.


Missing Joseph: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 6
Missing Joseph: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 6
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars With no 'father figure' things fall apart., 8 July 2015
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I was disappointed. I enjoy the partnership of Lynley and Havers, disparate characters but intelligent detectives.but in Missing Joseph there was no clear crime, just a surprising death. There was not much action, but a lot of reflection and much attention on the sexual emotions pf teenage girls. Lynley was on hand in Cumbria, brought in St. James and Deborah; Havers was sent to Cornwall with a flimsy base for enquiries.

Frequently in a crime story there are at the beginning several separate narratives but eventually we learn how they are connected. Certainly this happened but the different strands did not easily weave together into a satisfying pattern. Some details did not fit in easily.


Dark Fire (The Shardlake series Book 2)
Dark Fire (The Shardlake series Book 2)
Price: £3.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark shadows fall across every path, 23 Jun. 2015
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This is a gripping story - or three stories - from the later years of Henry VIII. What is the chemistry of the black liquid, Dark Fire, that has been shipped across the English Channel that can ignite with a ferocious blaze and how would the King use it if he knew of it? Who are the lawyers using money from the closed monasteries for their own benefit? Did the young girl who is now in the Tower push her cousin, sole family heir, down the well in their own garden?
Lawyer Matthew Shardlake is caught up in each story and answerable to Thomas Cromwell. There is tension and urgency at every point. It is London in a hot summer. The streets are a haze of dust, the Thames smells, water supplies are low. Those who are suspected of experimenting with Dark Fire use axes and clubs against any who get near them.
This is not a story for those with weak stomachs. The conditions for prisoners in the Tower are deep squalor; the suspicions and fears that pollute the dealings of lawyers taint every word, the fear of the Kings's wrath is a constant dark shadow. It is strong stuff, but a great read!


For The Sake Of Elena: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 5
For The Sake Of Elena: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 5
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A killing on a misty morning., 8 Jun. 2015
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Those who are familiar with Cambridge will feel at home when they read about the Engineering Labs near Coe Fen and Garrett Hostel Bridge with the fictitious St. Stephen's College nearby But who killed the student runner in the dank early morning is a mystery. There are a few possibilities but as each is explored the number and the motives get wider. They all have different connections with Elena but none could have wished he dead - or have effected the way she had been killed. The life of each person is real in its own setting and to read of them is interesting in itself. This is a long and enjoyable read with a credible, but not happy, conclusion.


A Suitable Vengeance: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 4
A Suitable Vengeance: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 4
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Strong feelings are given release, 13 May 2015
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This is different from the other Inspector Lynley stories that I have read. It is around his family, introducing his mother and his younger brother Peter. It is mainly place in the family estate of Hownestow in Cornwall, he has the title of Lord Asherton and the first death is in the neighbouring village. But his friends and associate, Deborah and St. James become closely involved both emotionally and as colleagues. There is thoughtful sleuthing and the reason for the vicious death steadily unfold. It is an intriguing story told with human sensitivity.


Dissolution: Tenth Anniversary Edition (The Shardlake series Book 1)
Dissolution: Tenth Anniversary Edition (The Shardlake series Book 1)
Price: £4.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Did the monasteries of England deserve to be closed?, 18 April 2015
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England during the reign of Henry VIII was deeply troubled. Politically the crown was feeling vulnerable because there was no heir to the throne; there was religious ferment because the split from the papacy had produced divisions between the traditionalists focusing their worship in the Mass and the reformers who wished to read the Bible and affirm personal faith; and socially there was much poverty and sickness. The London lawyer, Matthew Shardlake is sent by Thomas Cromwell to look into the affairs of a minor religious house in Kent with a view towards its closure.

This book is a compelling description of life in a monastery. The hours that the monks gave to prayer, the responsibilities they carried for surrounding land that they owned, and the emotional tensions they faced in their celibate lives. An earlier commissioner sent by Cromwell has been dramatically executed in a manner similar to that of Anne Boleyn. It is a story full of drama and complex issues. An imaginative and broad picture. A memorable read.


Well-Schooled in Murder: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 3
Well-Schooled in Murder: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 3
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Death behind good behaviour., 3 April 2015
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At a lesser public school in Sussex a junior boy, 12 years old, is murdered and his body is found many miles away in the Chilterns; he had been tortured. Inspector Lynley and Sergeant Havers of Scotland Yard become the investigating officers. This pair are from totally different social backgrounds and their work is often clouded by this but here they work together in equal standing in good co-operation - she even drives his silver Bentley! The other area of interest is the interviewing technique of Lynley. He relentlessly puts questions, and then rephrases them until he draws out the information that he is seeking. He does not sound frustrated (though he is) and he does not explain his line of questioning (which may seem unrelated to the crime). There is a good field for enquiries into the world of adolescent behaviour and relationships between staff and students. Not surprisingly the answers are from an unexpected direction. It is a very good story which never loses its interest and progression.


King Richard III
King Richard III
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3.0 out of 5 stars A malevolent monarch, 30 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: King Richard III (Kindle Edition)
Disappointing in presentation. Too often the name of the speaker came at the bottom of a page and the words on the next page.Was this the size of font I was using? There were no summaries of the way the play was developing.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium series Book 1)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium series Book 1)

4.0 out of 5 stars Hidden forces in a family business, 7 Feb. 2015
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This is a powerful book with a few strong scenes of masochism. But it is also a magnetic story of journalistic intrigues and the world of big businesses. 'The Girl' is a clever and fascinating person in her own right. A memorable read.Hidden forces


Lamentation (The Shardlake series Book 6)
Lamentation (The Shardlake series Book 6)
Price: £5.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Henry's Queen fears that the King will learn of her beliefs., 31 Dec. 2014
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The closing period of Henry VIII. He is short tempered and unpredictable. In London religious division between reformers and traditionalists is an underlying tension in every conversation. The lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, is asked by the Queen, Catherine Parr, to find a small book of her religious feelings which has been stolen. Her life is at risk. The story is full of tension and never slackens . The crowded city is a jostling mass of people all engaged in their own business but with suspicion and fear constantly present. This is a good read and C J Sansom brings so much detail to the life of the streets and the appearance of the people as well as the smells and sights of city that the situations ring with life. Will the lawyer see justice?.


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