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Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery | [C. J. Sansom]

Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery

Consistently appearing on US and UK best-seller lists, C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake mysteries have earned considerable critical acclaim, including a CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. At the behest of a former servant to Catherine Parr, Shardlake travels to Portsmouth to investigate claims of unspeakable crimes committed upon a young ward of the court. There, Shardlake uncovers disturbing evidence even as England’s continuing war with France rages around him.
Regular Price:$41.99
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Publisher's Summary

Consistently appearing on US and UK best-seller lists, C.J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake mysteries have earned considerable critical acclaim, including a CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. At the behest of a former servant to Catherine Parr, Shardlake travels to Portsmouth to investigate claims of unspeakable crimes committed upon a young ward of the court. There, Shardlake uncovers disturbing evidence even as England’s continuing war with France rages around him.

©2011 C.J. Sansom (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (457 )
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4.4 (332 )
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  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 05-30-12
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 05-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shardlake has begun to annoy"

    Overall I love C.J. Sansom's books. I love the historical details, the wonderful interweaving of fact and fiction, and the great plots. Heartstone, however, was about two hours too long with a few too many repeat visits to the "scenes of the crimes." And by the end of the book, I must say that Shardlake's constant jumping to incorrect conclusions, need to always be right, and gullibility finally began to wear on me. I won't abandon him and look forward to the next in the series but with a bit less excitement. I am pleased that in the last couple of books the author has stopped peppering every line of dialogue with "Gesu," "Christ's nails," and other Tudor expletives. Not sure that I like the "f" bomb with is now often dropped instead and wonder if it would have been widely used as a curse at the time. Steven Crossely, as always, is a superb narrator.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MLKIllory 09-28-11
    MLKIllory 09-28-11 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the time and money"

    This is an interestingly written story that has depth and characters. It starts slow and draws the listener until the listener is hooked. Not willing to waste time on moderate or mediocre performances or stories, this story has me looking forward to the next chapter, the next section and for the other books by the author and reader.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Rochester Hills, MI, United States 07-26-11
    Cheryl Rochester Hills, MI, United States 07-26-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You will enjoy if you like historical detail"

    These books are long, but really interesting with characters that are very human. I have listened to them all and will buy another when it comes out

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 04-06-11
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 04-06-11 Member Since 2005

    I was/am a great dad, but my girls are in Sugar Land Tx and Billings Mt!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful and Historic Mystery"

    This is my first book by Sansom, but it certainly will not be the last. His attention to detail, outstanding character development and knowledge of law during the Tudor reign is remarkable. The mystery kept me on edge.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Fountain Hill, PA, United States 12-12-11
    Kindle Customer Fountain Hill, PA, United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2004

    Crowwolf

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Twist and turns - delicous!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Heartstone to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the book but do indent too!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Heartstone?

    Listening to when the Mary Rose, going down. I truly felt as if i was there. It was terrifying and awful at the same time.


    What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

    I enjoy his cadence, the rhythmic of his voice. He can pitch is voice is wonderful directions that makes listening to him so agreeable.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Oh one cannot mention that part! it was one of the most important parts of the book and most moving!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Likes to Learn Omaha, Nebraska United States 08-27-11
    Linda Likes to Learn Omaha, Nebraska United States 08-27-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AT LAST! ANOTHER SHARDLAKE MYSTERY!"

    I love the Shardlake mysteries - and the Shardlake character. I love the setting in Henry the 8th's England - and all the tiny details that author Sansom uses to make his books come alive. I love everything about these books - except that it takes Author Sansom too darned long to write a sequel! ;D The Shardlake series is intriguing in it's unusual 'murders' and 'victims', as well as all the day-to-day characters that fatten up the scenery a bit more. Reader Steven Crossley does an excellent job of voicing the characters. Now that I've listened to this latest book, I'll have to wait another couple of years to hear more - and THAT is the only reason I didn't give this title a 5-star rating! ;D

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 10-28-13
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 10-28-13 Member Since 2003

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Matthew Shardlake mystery"

    C J Sansom has delivered another wonderful Matthew Shardlake mystery. The quality of these mysteries has, for me, varied from book to book with some (like Dissolution) keeping their secrets until the end while others (like Dark Fire) requiring far less effort for the reader to solve. This offering actually contains four distinct mysteries and Matthew has taken on the chore of answering all of them and, as part of solving them, becomes far too obsessed to be healthy. For the first time in all of these books I lost patience with Matthew Shardlake. Readers might expect him to place himself in some danger in trying to solve a mystery but here Matthew willfully ignores advice he knows is best, disobeys his Queen and purposefully antagonizes people who can do him harm. This is not the Matthew I have known throughout these books. He has always seemed well-centered and cautious, but not here.

    On the positive side the main mystery, which involves the welfare of a child, is probably the most opaque and the resolution took me completely by surprise. The other mysteries, while less central to the main story line, were also interesting in their own way with some answers being more surprising than others.

    Rating this book has been a problem for me. The mysteries are sufficiently interesting and difficult to solve to give this book a high rating but Matthew's behavior, which disturbed me more than it should have, made this book far less enjoyable than it could have been. In the end the wonderful narration by Steven Crossley was enough for me to give it 5 stars in spite of Matthew's erratic and disturbing behavior. One can only hope that the character sees his obsessiveness and returns to the more normal behavior pattern of the previous books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Asheville, NC 02-17-14
    Tom Asheville, NC 02-17-14 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "as usual a great story . . . but a bit too long"

    I've liked all of the Shardlake books for their history and cleverness, Crossely is a great narrator. He, of course, is Matthew Shardlake, I wouldn't be able to listen to a Shardlake book if Crossely wasn't the narrator. I did think this book was a bit too long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. United States 12-26-13
    Ms. United States 12-26-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "an excess of plotlines"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book seemed to go on and on--and not in a good way. The numerous plotlines: Hugh/Emma, Coldiron/Josephine; Ellen; Catherine Parr; Henry VIII and conscription/taxes, the Battle of the Solent; Jack/Tamiesen's baby, etc., etc. are just too much for one book to sustain. The historical detail is well-researched and interesting, but, again, overwhelming as part of one story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Guilford Connecticut 03-18-13
    Diane Guilford Connecticut 03-18-13 Member Since 2007
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    "One of Sansom's best!"
    If you could sum up Heartstone in three words, what would they be?

    Sansom wonderful storyteller.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The development of the characters is superb, with riveting details of the times of Henry VIII. A truly exceptional historical novel.


    What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

    He is consistent and performs the characters with animation that is pleasing to the ear. His performance remains one of the best in the audible book genre.


    Any additional comments?

    Although previous reviews have criticized the detail inherent in this novel, I found the details to add character and color to the story. At no time did I feel the story was dragged down by the details of the journey to Portsmouth, or of the colorful characters along the way. The narrative of the sea battle is by far one of the best oral battle accounts I've ever heard. Superb!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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