This is Tudor whodunit, set in the reign of Henry VIII. Shardlake is a commissionaire for Lord Cromwell and is asked to go to a monastery to investigate the murder of the last commissionaire who was there. He arrives with his assistant and sets about trying to find the murderer. Whilst he is there the body count starts to rise. He is suspicious of the motives behind why the monks are doing certain things, and he starts to get under the skin of the abbot and prior in the hope of flushing out the murderer.
I really enjoyed this, I had been meaning to read it for a while. The main character Shardlake, is a careful man, who has suffered from a disfiguring disability. He is not scared to provoke a reaction from the monks with the aim of getting to the bottom of the murder. Shardlake learns some unpleasant truths about the power play that goes on between monarch and state and the individual players in that game.
There was a good twist at the end, especially as I though I had worked out who I thought the murderer was.