C.J. Sansom Books In Order

Matthew Shardlake Books In Publication Order

  1. Dissolution (2003)
  2. Dark Fire (2004)
  3. Sovereign (2006)
  4. Revelation (2008)
  5. Heartstone (2010)
  6. Lamentation (2014)
  7. Tombland (2018)

Medieval Murderers Books In Publication Order

  1. The Tainted Relic (2005)
  2. Sword of Shame (2006)
  3. House of Shadows (2007)
  4. The Lost Prophecies (2008)
  5. King Arthur’s Bones (2009)
  6. The Sacred Stone (2010)
  7. Hill of Bones (2011)
  8. The First Murder (2012)
  9. The False Virgin (2013)
  10. The Deadliest Sin (2014)

Standalone Novels In Publication Order

  1. Winter in Madrid (2006)
  2. Dominion (2012)

Matthew Shardlake Book Covers

Medieval Murderers Book Covers

Standalone Novels Book Covers

C.J. Sansom Books Overview


It is the winter of 1537 and England is divided into those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the King and the newly established Church of England. Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s feared vicar general, crusades against the old Church with savage new laws, rigged trials, and a vast network of informers. Queen Anne Boleyn has been beheaded and monasteries are being dissolved their treasures pillaged and their lands eyed greedily by courtiers and country gentry. But having put down one people’s rebellion, Cromwell fears another might topple the realm. So, when one of his commissioners is murdered in the monastery at Scarnsea on the south coast of England, he enlists his fellow reformer, Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer renowned as ‘the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England,’ to head the inquiry. When Shardlake and his young clerk and prot g , Mark Poer, arrive at Scarnsea, the two are greeted with thinly veiled hostility and suspicion as their investigation quickly uncovers evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason. While the community of brothers is revealed to be far less pious than they would seem, Shardlake himself is shocked to discover truths about Cromwell that undermine his own beliefs and threaten to cost him his faith, and even his life. But when a novice is poisoned and a year old corpse dredged up from a nearby pond, Shardlake must act quickly to prevent the killer from murdering again Exciting and elegant, Dissolution is a riveting historical novel and a brilliant debut by a writer who is sure to attract fans of Iain Pears, Ellis Peters, and Umberto Eco.

Dark Fire

It is 1540, and the hottest summer of the sixteenth century. Matthew Shardlake, believing himself out of favour with Thomas Cromwell, is busy trying to maintain his legal practice and keep a low profile. But his involvement with a murder case, defending a girl accused of brutally murdering her young cousin, brings him once again into contact with the king’s chief minister and a new assignment…
The secret of Greek Fire, the legendary substance with which the Byzantines destroyed the Arab navies, has been lost for centuries. Now, an official of the Court of Augmentations has discovered the formula in the library of a dissolved London monastery. When Shardlake is sent to recover it, he finds the official and his alchemist brother brutally murdered the formula has disappeared. Now Shardlake must follow the trail of Greek Fire across Tudor London, while trying at the same time to prove his young client’s innocence. But very soon he discovers nothing is as it seems…
‘A creation of real brilliance.” ‘Sunday Times’. ‘I’ve discovered a new crime writer who’s going to be a star. He’s C. J. Sansom.’ James Naughtie, ‘Glasgow Herald’.


Autumn, 1541. Following the uncovering of a plot against his throne in Yorkshire, King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to overawe his rebellious subjects there. Accompanied by a thousand soldiers, the cream of the nobility, and his fifth wife Catherine Howard, the King is to attend an extravagant submission of the local gentry at York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation. But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. As the King and the Great Progress arrive in the city, Barak stumbles upon a terrifying secret, and a chain of events unfolds that will lead Shardlake to the most terrifying fate a subject of Henry VIII can fear: his own imprisonment in the Tower of London.


It is spring, 1543 and King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife but this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.

Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy, a religious maniac who has been placed by the King’s council in the Bedlam hospital for the insane. Should he be released as his parents want, when his terrifying actions could lead to him being burned as a heretic?

Then, when an old friend is horrifically murdered, Shardlake promises his widow for whom he has long had complicated feelings to bring the killer to justice. His search leads him to connections not only with the boy in Bedlam, but with Archbishop Cranmer and Catherine Parr, and with the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.

As London’s Bishop Bonner prepares a purge of Protestants, Shardlake, together with his assistant Jack Barak and his friend Guy Malton, follow the trail of a series of horrific murders that shake them to the core. Murders which are already bringing about frenzied talk of witchcraft and a demonic possession, for what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer?

From the Hardcover edition.


This is the new Shardlake mystery from the No 1 bestselling author of ‘REVELATION’. 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…

The Tainted Relic

A spellbinding collaboration from six masters of the medieval mystery. In five interlinked chronological tales and a prologue, a brilliant cast of medieval sleuths pursues the bloody mystery of a relic both powerful and cursed a fragment of the True Cross.

July, 1100: Jerusalem has fallen to the Crusader armies, the Holy City lies ransacked. Amidst the chaos, an English knight named Geoffrey Mappestone is entrusted with a precious religious relic: a piece of the True Cross, allegedly stained with the blood of Christ. The relic is said to be cursed: anyone who touches it will meet a gruesome end as soon as it leaves their possession. Several decades pass, and the Cross turns up in the possession of a dealer robbed and murdered en route to Glastonbury. Investigating the death, Bernard Knight’s protagonist, Crowner John, learns of the relic s dark history. Oxford, 1269: the discovery of a decapitated monk leads Ian Morson s academic sleuth William Falconer to uncover a link to the relic. Exeter, 1323. Michael Jecks Sir Baldwin Furnshill has reason to suspect the relic s involvement in at least five violent deaths. Thirty years on, suspicious deaths occur in Cambridge during a contentious debate about Holy Blood relics. Once more, as Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael are to discover, The Tainted Relic has a crucial part to play. Finally, the relic is dispatched to London, where it falls into the hands of an unscrupulous book dealer and where Philip Gooden s Nick Revill will determine its ultimate fate. An enthralling read, perfect for mystery lovers, history buffs, or anyone who appreciates an intricately plotted tale.

Sword of Shame

The Latin inscription carved on the gleaming blade read He who lives in falsehood slays his soul; he who lies, his honor. If only they had known how true those words would prove to be. The Sword of Shame was lovingly crafted by a Saxon swordsmith shortly before the Norman invasion, and its constant companions are treachery and deceit. From the Norman Conquest of 1066, to an election rigging scandal in 13th century Venice, to the bloody battlefield of Poitiers in 1356 at the heart of every treasonous plot, every murder and betrayal, is the malign influence of the cursed sword. And as it pas*ses from owner to owner, ill fortune and disgrace befall all who wield the deadly blade. The Medieval Murders are Philip Gooden; Susanna Gregory, author of the Matthew Bartholomew series; Michael Jecks, author of the Templar series; Bernard Knight, author of the Crowner John series; and Ian Morson, author of the Falconer mystery series.

House of Shadows

Bermondsey Priory, 1114: A young chaplain succumbs to the temptations of the flesh and suffers a gruesome punishment. From that moment the monastery is cursed and over the next 500 years, murder and treachery abound inside its hallowed walls. A beautiful young bride found dead two days before her wedding; a ghostly figure warns of impending doom; there is a plot to depose King Edward II; all the while mad monks and errant priests abound. Even the poet Chaucer finds himself drawn into the dark deeds and violent death which pervade this unhappy place.

The Lost Prophecies

575 AD: A baby is washed up on the Irish coast and is taken to the nearest abbey. He grows up to become a scholar and a monk, but, in early adulthood, he appears to have become possessed, scribbling endless strange verses in Latin. When the Abbott tries to have him drowned, he disappears. Later, his scribblings turn up as the Book of Bran, his writings translated as portents of the future. Violence and untimely death befall all who come into the orbit of this mysterious book.

King Arthur’s Bones

The bones of the legendary king are secreted throughout the centuries in the fifth volume from the acclaimed Medieval Murderers

During excavation work at Glastonbury Abbey in the year 1191, an ancient leaden cross is discovered buried several feet below the ground. Inscribed on it are the words hic iacet sepultus incli*tus rex arturius: here lies buried the renowned King Arthur. Beneath the cross are two skeletons. Could these really be the remains of the legendary King Arthur and his queen, Guinevere? As the monks debate the implications of this extraordinary discovery, the bones are spirited away by the mysterious Guardians, a group determined to keep King Arthur’s remains safe until the legend is fulfilled and he returns to protect his country in the hour of its greatest need. As the secret of the bones’ hiding place is passed from generation to generation, those entrusted to safeguard the king’s remains must withstand treachery, theft, blackmail, and murder in order to keep the legend intact.

The Sacred Stone

A mysterious meteor brings treachery, discord, and violent death to those who seek to possess it in the sixth volume of these thrilling interlinked medieval mysteries 1067. In the desolate wastes of Greenland, a band of hunters stumble across a strangely shaped object which has fallen from the sky. At first, the mysterious ‘sky stone’ seems to bring them good luck, healing a lame boy and guaranteeing a good catch of furs. But violence and murder soon follow in fortune’s wake as the villagers fight and struggle among themselves to gain control of the precious stone. Over the next 600 years, the Sky Stone falls into the hands of crusading knights, the wicked Sheriff of Devon, a group of radical young kabbalists, the dying King Henry III, and a band of traveling players.

Winter in Madrid

It is in 1940, the The Spanish Civil War is over, and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war. Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett: a traumatised veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of old school friend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile Sandy’s girlfriend, ex Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged on a secret mission of her own to find her former lover Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades, who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama. In a vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, ‘Winter in Madrid‘ is an intimate and compelling tale which offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding, and the profound impact of impossible choices. ‘Sansom adroitly draws the disparate strands of his ambitious saga together. His non pareil evocations of time and place anchor his characters with satisfying precision.’ ‘Independent’. ‘Few authors have the ability, or capacity for research, which allows them to capture the mood and atmosphere of a period in history, so when one does, and does it as well as CJ Sansom in Winter in Madrid, then they deserve not only praise but success.’ Tony Galvin, ‘Dublin Evening Herald’.

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