Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death: Book summary and reviews of Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

The Grantchester Mysteries

By James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2012,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

It is 1953, the coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II. Sidney Chambers, vicar of Grantchester and honorary canon of Ely Cathedral, is a thirty-two-year-old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the color of hazelnuts, and a reassuringly gentle manner, Sidney is an unconventional clerical detective. He can go where the police cannot.

Together with his roguish friend, inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney inquires into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a scandalous jewelry theft at a New Year's Eve dinner party, the unexplained death of a jazz promoter's daughter, and a shocking art forgery that puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but he nonetheless manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer, and hot jazz - as well as a curious fondness for a German widow three years his junior.

With a whiff of Agatha Christie and a touch of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown, The Grantchester Mysteries introduces a wonderful new hero into the world of detective fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Runcie launches a promising new clerical series with this collection of interlocking short whodunits featuring a latter-day Father Brown, Canon Sidney Chambers." - Publishers Weekly

"This is a strong series debut with an affable amateur detective set against a post-World War II England that is both evocative and informative. A gentle mystery read with strong appeal for devotees of ecclesiastical and English village mysteries." - Library Journal

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James Runcie is the son of the former archbishop of Canterbury, the director of the Bath Literature Festival, and the author of four novels: The Discovery of Chocolate, The Colour of Heaven, Canvey Island, and East Fortune. He is also an award-winning filmmaker and theater director and has scripted several films for BBC. He directed a documentary following a year in the life of J. K. Rowling. Runcie lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters. Visit him online at www.jamesruncie.com.

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