Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night: Book summary and reviews of Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night by James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night

The Grantchester Mysteries

By James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night
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  • Published in USA  May 2013,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

The loveable full time priest and part time detective Canon Sidney Chambers continues his sleuthing adventures in late 1950's Cambridge. Accompanied by his faithful Labrador Dickens, and working in tandem with the increasingly exasperated Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney is called on to investigate the unexpected fall of a Cambridge don from the roof of King's College Chapel; a case of arson at a glamor photographer's studio; and the poisoning of Zafar Ali, Grantchester's finest spin bowler, in the middle of a crucial game of cricket.

As he pursues his quietly probing inquiries, Sidney also has to decide on the vexed question of marriage. Can he choose between the rich, glamorous socialite Amanda Kendall and Hildegard Staunton, a beguiling German widow three years his junior? To help him make up his mind Sidney takes a trip abroad, only to find himself trapped in a complex web of international espionage just as the Berlin Wall is going up.

Here are six interlocking adventures that combine mystery with morality, and criminality with charm.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Runcie's intimate view of post-WWII English society will appeal to admirers of Barbara Pym. His clerical sleuth would be welcome in a novel-length puzzle one day." - Publishers Weekly

"Less engaging than Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (2012), but still a sharp portrait of scholarly rivalries that makes room for a riff on jazz in a Mozart score and a grim reminder of East and West Germany as the wall was going up." - Kirkus

"Runcie's screenwriting background shows in his second series entry (after Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death), which reads like a BBC series. While the stretch from 1955 to 1961 makes the final two stories seem tacked on, it successfully captures Cold War sensibilities. This old-fashioned historical moves at a methodical pace, dense with long theological dialogs." - Library Journal

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James Runcie is the son of the Arhcbishop of Canterbury, as well as Director of the Bath Literary Festival and author of four novels, The Discovery of Chocolate, The Colour of Heaven, Canvey Island and East Fortune. He is also an award-winning film-maker and theatre director and has scripted several films for BBC Television. He directed a documentary following a year in the life of J.K. Rowling. James Runcie lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters.

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