Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death

Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death

3.8 21
by James Runcie
     
 

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Sidney Chambers,
the Vicar of Grantchester and Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral, is a thirty-two
year old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the colour of hazelnuts and
a reassuringly gentle manner, Sidney is an unconventional clergyman and can go
where the police cannot.

In The
Grantchester Mysteries
, Sidney, together with…  See more details below

Overview

Sidney Chambers,
the Vicar of Grantchester and Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral, is a thirty-two
year old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the colour of hazelnuts and
a reassuringly gentle manner, Sidney is an unconventional clergyman and can go
where the police cannot.

In The
Grantchester Mysteries
, Sidney, together with his roguish friend Inspector Horatio
'Harry' Keating, must enquire into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor,
a scandalous jewellery theft at a New Year's Eve dinner party, the unexplained
death of a well-known jazz promoter and a shocking art forgery the disclosure
of which puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like
being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but alongside the
mysteries he solves he manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket,
warm beer and hot jazz, and the works of Tolstoy and Shakespeare - as well as a curious
fondness for a German widow three years his junior.

With a whiff of
Agatha Christie and a touch of Midsomer Murders, The
Grantchester Mysteries
introduces a wonderful new hero into the
world of detective fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
…the coziest of cozy murder mysteries…Taken individually, each of these clerical whodunits poses a clever puzzle for armchair detectives. Viewed as a collective study of British life as it was lived when Elizabeth II first ascended the throne, these stories present a consistently charming and occasionally cutting commentary on "a postwar landscape full of industry, promise and concrete."
—The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
"No detective since Father Brown has been more engaging than Canon Sidney Chambers. Perfect company in bed." —Salley Vickers

"Inspector Morse would appear to have a rival." —Scotland on Sunday

"A charmingly effective tale of detection . . . evoking oodles of churchy village atmosphere, circa 1953, provides a satisfyingly old-fashioned read." —The Times

"The clerical milieu is well rendered as an affectionate eye is cast over post-war England—a perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon, a hammock and a glass of Pimm's." —Guardian, Laura Wilson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608198580
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Series:
Grantchester Mysteries , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,490
File size:
949 KB

Meet the Author

James Runcie is the 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.
James Runcie is the Head of Literature at The Southbank Centre, an award-winning film-maker and the author of five novels. Sidney Chambers and The Shadow Of Death, the first of 'The Grantchester Mysteries' series, was published in 2012. He lives in London and Edinburgh.

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Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
librarianDS More than 1 year ago
This charming cozy detective book features an appealing Anglican priest as the sleuth with characters of all ilk, reminiscent of Agatha Christie. It is a welcome departure from the current thrillers full of blood, gore and, often, brutality. The 6 entries are classic puzzlers, similar to many of the '20's and '30's golden age books. Except for Ellery Queen and the American-born John Carter Dickson, the majority of these were British with a smattering of Australian. Set in the early and mid '50's, these stories echo that gentler era.
greentriptaker More than 1 year ago
Sidney Chambers is unassuming and expresses values of traditional Anglicanism, and yet is insightful in solving challenging situations. Not all his challenges are murders, but still there is still a puzzle to solve and personalities to explore. I like that I can read one a night and have more to look forward to the next evening. I look for more by James Runcie and Sidney walks through the chapel of King's college, Cambridge or the streets and nightclubs of London.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
Canon Sidney Chambers always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It seems he is always at a place where a murder has been committed. Inspector Keating is always asking Sidney for help in each case. Sidney has lots of help from his sister Jennifer, his curate Leonard, his friend Amanda, and various other people help him at different times. Sidney solves crimes, all the while questioning his life choices and his lack of a romantic tie. This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. I would love to read more by this author. Thank you to Net Galley and Bloomsbury for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the reasons I read this was a suggested blog post. The other is I'm a pastor and mysteries with a touch of theology are intriguing to me. This is a sweet book. Canon Sidney Chambers over the scope of a year is sucked into 5 separate mysterious situations, falls for 2 women, and runs his small church despite meddling parishoners, an irrasible housekeeper and other intriquing people. In fact, Runcie's descriptive sense is why when the next Canon Chambers book hits stateside, I will look for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Set in the '50s in post-war England, Sidney has his hands full with his parish duties & murders that he is drawn to solve. He helps, or is helped by his friend Inspector Keating. We get to know Sidney, Keating & Amanda, Sidney's sister's roommate, whose wealth & social class is different than Sidney's more ordinary background & earnings as a clergyman. I liked that during Sidney's amateur investigations, there are conversations & ideas that are worth reflecting on & apply to the real world, not just to the story. I definitely want to read more stories of Sidney's sleuthing & if any of his female friends turn into romantic interests...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And solves mysteries my favorite kind as many english writers getting too grafic nice variety of stories and interconnected have read second from library and hope to get third out in July Pagecounter@sparta.fsfl
nhr3bookcrazyNR 16 days ago
I decided to read the books - in addition to having already watched the PBS Mystery series. I quite enjoyed the book!!!
Rosemary-Standeven 10 months ago
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I was surprised by how much I loved this book and its main character, Canon Sidney Chambers. The book comprises six short shortish mysteries that are thrust upon the reluctant amateur detective and full-time vicar, Sidney. Because of the book structure, you can parcel out the mysteries, and read one a day, in between other books, life etc. I tried doing this, but kept wondering what Sidney was up to now, and had to return to the book again and again. Sidney is such a fantastic and realistic character – warm, forgiving, tolerant and always willing to take time to help his friends and parishioners. But he also has his flaws – impatience, poor time management – and suffers from loneliness, and doubts about his adequacy as a parish priest. His faith is important to him, but does not overpower the book. As he is Anglican rather than Catholic, there is always the potential for romance and marriage, and his approach to women is quite sweet and hesitant. Every woman should have a male friend like Sidney, but at the same time you do want him to find his true love – someone who could be also be a good vicar’s wife (no easy task). The mysteries are varied, in seriousness and in where they take place: jazz club, theatre, doctor’s surgery, stately home .... Not all involve murder, or even an actual crime. They are, in the main, gentle – like Sidney – and would be welcome reading for people of all ages and sensitivities. Only the “Lost Holbein” chapter, with the disturbed Mr Phillips, had activity that might not be for the maiden aunt readers. But there is no gore or the psychopathic outrages that are so prevalent in modern crime novels. I am now really looking forward to reading more of Sidney’s adventures.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Not very well-written; lots of sudden, confusing scene changes with no transition. Main character is likeable, but no real explanation is given for why people keep asking him to solve crimes. His main characteristic is that he's a nice guy. Conversely, almost every other minor or major character is a jerk, especially the main female romantic interest. She has no redeeming qualities, other than being good at art. She's so inconsiderate and entitled that (spoiler alert) I'm relieved that he apparently doesn't marry her (as I gleaned from the synopsis of later stories in this series).
NewsieQ More than 1 year ago
It is Britain, 1953. Sidney is an Anglican priest, World War II combat vet, unmarried, in his early 30s. In this series of related stories, he and his backgammon playing buddy Inspector Geordie Keating team up to solve a series of mysteries, not all involving murder. I passed on watching the PBS series Grantchester, which feature Sidney and the inspector, but decided to read the books instead. After finishing this book, I’m watching the series on DVD and really enjoying them. Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death is just terrific. Sidney is a wonderful character and the secondary characters are marvelous, including Keating and especially the vicar’s vinegary housekeeper. Although short stories are not usually my cup of tea, the stories together read much like a novel. And I like the writing … polished and witty. The plotting is smooth, the stories at least plausible if not totally believable. I look forward to reading and viewing more of Sidney.
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Anonymous 9 months ago
Omg what did you do to her and how fid you put her to sleep like that?
dnaps815 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing!