Sansom, C. J. Dark Fire. New York: Penguin, 2006, c2004.
Matthew Shardlake takes on a case of a girl accused of killing her cousin. Although the judge sentences the girl to be pressed for her refusal to plead, Cromwell assists in a 12-day reprieve because he needs Shardlake to locate a mysterious substance known as "Greek fire" (often called "Dark Fire" because of its dark color). It is able to burn things and even works on water. Cromwell wants it for its potential use in naval warfare. Shardlake does not really want to do Cromwell's bidding, but he has no choice because of the time he has been bought on the case of young Elizabeth. Cromwell lends Shardlake a man named Barak to assist in his inquiries. A recurring character from the previous installment is Guy, the former monastic doctor who is now working as an apothecary in London. It's another great installment in one of my new favorite series. It gives me a glimpse into some of the reasons some of my ancestors migrated to America during this period. (4 of 5 stars.)