Matthew Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom
Set in the reign of Henry VIII, these novels bring to life the sounds and smells of Tudor England. Matthew Shardlake, the lawyer renowned as the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England, finds himself entangled in the intrigues of the Tudor court, and the dangerous schemes of Thomas Cromwell, the feared vicar-general.
In Dissolution (2003), under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent throughout the country to investigate the monasteries and ultimately get rid of them.
In Dark Fire (2004), Shardlake must find a lost cache of dark fire, a legendary substance which was used by the Byzantines to destroy Arab navies.
In Sovereign (2007), Shardlake becomes a part of Henry VIII’s Royal Progress to the farthest reaches of his realm and becomes involved in murder.
In Revelation (2008), Matthew Shardlake must find the perpetrator of a series of horrific murders with connections to the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.
Sansom, who has a PhD in history and was an attorney, writes with wonderful attention to period detail and an artful handling of suspense.