C.J. Sansom Books In Order

Publication Order of Matthew Shardlake Books

Dissolution (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dark Fire (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sovereign (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Revelation (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heartstone (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lamentation (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Winter in Madrid (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dominion (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Medieval Murderers Collections

The Tainted Relic (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sword of Shame (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
House of Shadows (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lost Prophecies (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
King Arthur's Bones (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sacred Stone (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hill of Bones (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The First Murder (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The False Virgin (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Writer of crime novels, Scottish and British author C.J. Sansom is a well established author within his particular field. With a large number of academic achievements under his belt, he’s also managed to gain a certain degree of expertise which greatly informs his work. This has led to becoming a highly respected an influential artist within his area.

Early and Personal Life

Brought up in the city of Edinburgh, Soctland, C.J. Sansom was born in 1952, an upbringing which helped inspire much his career that was to come. Gaining strong academic credentials over the years as well, he’s also managed to make a name for himself with his keen penchant for accuracy within his work. Not only that but he’s also benefited from a number of other previous positions in the past as well. Graduating from the University of Birmingham, he managed to gain both a B.A. and a P.H.D. in the subject of history. Over the years this has also helped to give his material a level of research unsurpassed by other writers throughout his career. After graduating though, he went on to do a number of other jobs before settling down as a full-time writer.

Working as a lawyer for some time, he operated a legal practice from Surrey in the UK whereby he would help those less fortunate and at a disadvantage economically. This was after working a succession of jobs following university as he trained up to be a solicitor. With this inside look into the legal world, he managed to gain an insight he wouldn’t otherwise have had that was to help his work greatly later on. Holding strong political views as well, he’s donated to various causes over the years too, and has managed to build himself a strong body of work which shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Writing Career

Publishing his first book in 2003 titled ‘Dissolution’, he leaped onto the literary scene with the first in his ‘Matthew Shardlake’ series of novels. Set within the historical mystery genre, he started to gain attention thanks to his keen eye for detail and accuracy. With that he started to gain more prominence within his field as his career began to take off.

Most famous for his ‘Matthew Shardlake’ series of books, Sansom has been creating his unique brand of historical mystery novels for many years now. Set within the 16th century, they work not only entertaining mysteries, but as quality examinations of time during Henry the VIII’s reign as well. Featuring the eponymous hunchbacked lawyer, they chart his progress across the many different stories and plot-lines. Not only that, but he has also created some standalone works as well with ‘Winter in Madrid’ and ‘Dominion’. Looking at history, they both continue to reflect his in-depth knowledge, whilst also lending an alternative look at his subjects. Taking things from a different angle, he seeks to explore the topics under a new lens, shedding a different light upon them.

Not without critical acclaim as well, he’s also managed to garner his fair share of awards over the years too. Winning the 2005 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger for his novel ‘Dark Fire’, he has continued to attract the attention of the critics. His Shardlake series have also been recommended highly as well, winning the ‘Dagger in the Library’ award in 2007. Moving on, he continues to progress as a writer as he hones his craft always adapting and improving. With more books on the horizon he is sure to carry on this success as his audience expands further and further. This looks as if it will carry on from now on into the foreseeable future.


Originally published in April, 2003, this was to be the book that began the Matthew Shardlake series. Setting up the environment for this collection of historical mystery novels, it helped establish the tone and the period. In 2012 it also saw a radio dramatization on BBC4, as it was adapted for a well received radio-play.

Opening in the sixteenth century during the reign of Henry VIII, this period piece knows and establishes its time well. An era when the monarchy still ruled England, it involves itself within the politics of the time. Understanding all the elements, it provides an insight into the time as the first mystery is occurs. Matthew Shardlake is the eponymous hunchbacked lawyer who attempts to solve a murder during the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. Intelligent and wise, he’s gets himself entangled within the politics of the time, as he always manages to get to the bottom of a case. With the elite classes shrouded in secrecy though, it’s difficult when the path to justice is prevented. Following the death of a commissioner working in a monastery for Thomas Cromwell, he is called upon to solve the case. Taking place in the Scarnsea monastery located upon the south coast of England, he begins to look deeper into the case at hand. With the dissolution currently taking place though, he finds there’s more to the death than first meets the eye.


First published on the 25th of October. 2012, this was to be a major standalone novel from C.J. Sansom. Utilizing his ever expansive historical knowledge once more, it this time concerns itself with an alternate telling of the events following the second world war. Establishing a somewhat darker tone to what he had previously, it manages to convey some grander ideas and themes overall.

Set within a timeline where Nazis won the war leaving Britain now a satellite state to Nazi ruled Germany, everything is found to be lot different to how it was before. Instead of Winston Churchill it is Lord Halifax who succeeded in 1940 as the leader of Britain, thus leading them to lose the war. Receiving some level of controversy on release, it speculated on how certain figures in history would have behaved if the Germans had won the war. It also gained a large amount of praise too for its unflinching portrayal of fascism that continues to resonate after its initial publication.

Book Series In Order » Authors » C.J. Sansom