Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil
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Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil

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by James Runcie
     
 

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Our favorite clerical detective is back with four longer mysteries in which Canon Sidney Chambers attempts to stop a serial killer with a grievance against the clergy; investigates the disappearance of a famous painting after a distracting display of nudity by a French girl in an art gallery; uncovers the fact that an "accidental" drowning on a film shoot may have

Overview

Our favorite clerical detective is back with four longer mysteries in which Canon Sidney Chambers attempts to stop a serial killer with a grievance against the clergy; investigates the disappearance of a famous painting after a distracting display of nudity by a French girl in an art gallery; uncovers the fact that an "accidental" drowning on a film shoot may have been something more sinister; and discovers the reasons behind the theft of a baby from a hospital just before Christmas 1963.

In the meantime, Sidney wrestles with the problem of evil, attempts to fulfill the demands of his faithful Labrador, Dickens, and contemplates, as always, the nature of love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
Character is the strong suit of the four cases, all set in the early 1960s, that fill Runcie’s third collection featuring Canon Sidney Chambers (after 2013’s Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night). In the title story, the reader learns that the Anglican minister has recently gotten married to a German woman, in the process becoming “a living embodiment of post-war reconciliation.” Meanwhile, someone is targeting Sidney’s colleagues in Grantchester, leaving knife wounds meant to simulate the mark of the beast. A daring art theft is the subject of “Female, Nude,” but the high point is “Death by Water,” in which Sidney is hired to play Reverend Venables in a film adaptation of Dorothy Sayers’s The Nine Tailors. Despite his awkwardness on the set, Sidney manages to solve an apparently accidental drowning. Runcie may be no G.K. Chesterton when it comes to plotting, but cozy fans will be pleased. Agent: David Godwin, David Godwin Associates (U.K.). (June)
From the Publisher

“Runcie strikes a low-key balance of theology, humor, drama and crime in this collection of ecclesiastical cozies.” —Kirkus
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-06
Clergyman/detective Sidney Chambers returns in this collection of four new mysteries. In "The Problem of Evil," Canon Sidney Chambers and his German wife, Hildegard, return from a reconciliation service 17 years after the end of World War II to find two dead doves on their doorstep. After a fellow vicar is found suffocated in his own church, more dead birds presage the murders of more clergy members until Sidney helps his friend Inspector Geordie Keating find the killer. In "Female, Nude," Sidney is at an art exhibit when a nude woman reciting French poetry creates a Happening. Then a valuable painting disappears, sending Sidney through the world of avant-garde art and to the French coastal town of Dieppe to solve the theft. In "Death by Water," an old army friend asks Sidney to play a clergyman in a film version of The Nine Tailors. Sidney agrees without realizing what an ordeal he's facing—not just due to the fact that his former mate is such a demanding director, but since one of the actors who's supposed to drown in the film is all too good at his job. In the final episode, "Christmas, 1963," Sidney, still mourning the loss of a favorite companion, anticipates the birth of his and Hildegard's child. When someone else's baby is kidnapped from the hospital, Sidney brings his most compassionate touch to the case in hopes of restoring the child to his parents. In all four tales, the gently eccentric Sidney proves himself a dedicated clergyman who's so easily tempted to pursue a mystery that it's no wonder his wife, his clerical superior and his friend the local inspector keep telling him to mind his own business. Runcie (Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night, 2013, etc.), son of a former Archbishop of Canterbury, strikes a low-key balance of theology, humor, drama and crime in this collection of ecclesiastical cozies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608199525
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
06/10/2014
Series:
Grantchester Mysteries Series, #3
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
35,214
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

James Runcie is the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as director of the Bath Literary Festival and, prior to the Sidney Chambers series, author of four novels, The Discovery of Chocolate, The Color of Heaven, Canvey Island, and East Fortune. He is also an award-winning filmmaker and theater director and has scripted several films for the BBC. He directed a documentary following a year in the life of J. K. Rowling. James Runcie lives in London and Edinburgh.

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Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil 4.2 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Page 174, hilarious comment about the mental abilities of the baby's father, Colin Sampson "not being able to organize a stag party for a herd of deer". Top cop does it again with his raucus sense of humor to Sidney's straightlaced demeanor,well done chaps!!!! C.N.Y.C.
Delphimo 2 days ago
I have enjoyed the Grantchester Mysteries on PBS, and the actual novel expounds on the series. The first book contains short stories on the different adventures that Canon Sidney Chambers encounters in his quest of serving God. My biggest beef with James Runcie becomes the omission of a table of contents at the beginning of the book. The stories introduce Sidney's meeting with each of the supporting characters such as Leonard, Amanda, Dickens, Mrs. Maguire, and Geordie. Each character plays a role in the life of Sidney in his quest of serving God and helping people to find God's love and understanding. The emphasis of each story gently reminds the reader of the good and bad emotions that push an individual into crime and murder. Friendship enters into every story as the rock that holds Sidney on his journey. I look forward to reading more of this series.
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