Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation

Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation

by James Runcie


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Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
The first I’ve read of this series, even with my familiarity with the Grantchester series on PBS, this is a collection of six short stories of about 50 pages where the detecting (now) Archdeacon Sidney Chambers works his magic to find the perpetrators, with or without the companionship of Inspector Geordie Keating. While these aren’t hard-biting stories, full of dames and shootouts, the thoughtful progression as the mystery unfolds combines with the personal asides and struggles faced by Sidney as he, in this collection, faces temptations in all its forms. What Runcie seems to accomplish best in this series is present characters that feel wholly of their time and circumstance, but are not so set in their own ways, beliefs or even prejudices as to be static. Using an Anglican Archdeacon is a daring move: making him return frequently to his love for Bechet, his German-born wife, a long-standing friendship that is laden with unrequited love with Amanda and even his sister’s unconventional relationship with a jazz musician of color just add to those layers. No one is perfect here, everyone is trying to navigate their way through life, the changes and the joys: most especially Sidney. A bit of a little lost boy, even now with his years in the collar and his rise to prominence in the church. From greed to lust through pride and prejudice, each character has their moment to present and tackle the issues that pop up in an ordinary life, and choices made in those moments are often fraught with self-doubt and uncertainty. One could expect these stories to bring a certain level of ‘preachiness’ with them, yet Runcie manages to present an entirely humanist set of values, always looking to do and be the best in the moment. Prose is poetic and lyrical, with details and descriptions presented with precision, providing imagery, emotion and a solid understanding of the moment. A lovely collection of short stories, sure to please fans of this series, intriguing to those of us who only know the Masterpiece version of these characters, and sure to bring in new fans to both. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will be sorry to have this series end.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
If you have seen the TV version of this story line, it will be familiar territory. If you haven't, or have not read any of the earlier stories, This collection can still be enjoyed, even without the background details on the various characters. They are a pleasant visit with interesting people.
nelsj041 More than 1 year ago
This is a thoughtful and interesting book in the beloved Grantchester series. I love reading these books because they show the human frailties along with the noble side of people, Sidney especially. The stories are written beautifully and I look forward to the next one. Unfortunately, they are up to 1970 by the end of this book, so how much farther can they go on?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simple yet thought provoking in the most enjoyable way.
Bev_Ash More than 1 year ago
I have read all the Sidney Chambers books and watched both seasons on PBS. Each book contains six mysteries for Sidney to solve. I thought the six in this book were not as good as previous ones have been. Poor Sidney will never change and after a while this gets a bit boring. However, the book as a whole was well worth the read. I like all the characters in the book and by now they are like catching up with old friends. Most of their actions were predictable, but there were a few surprises. I hope there is a new Sidney Chambers book in the future. I received this arc from NetGalley for an honest review.
ScotsLass More than 1 year ago
James Runcie in his book Sidney Cambers and the Dangers of Temptation has written a set of six novellas within this one book. The stories all deal in some manner with temptation, the temptation for revenge, the temptation of theft, the temptation of secret keeping, the temptation of murder and others. The leading character is Sidney Chambers, the Archbishop of Ely, in England. He has the habit of becoming involved with the police investigations that take place involving his friends and acquaintances, all the while continuing with his pastoral duties. In the true style of British village life, everyone knows the others business and is all too happy to have an opinion. These stories, although presented as mysteries, have a deeper moral story as explained by Sidney. He is compassionate and understanding and has a keen understanding of human nature and forgiveness. Although he states multiple times that he is not perfect, he understands that others are not perfect either. When I began reading this story I did not realize that there are several other books and a television series with these same characters. At the beginning it was difficult to get to know the characters but soon that did not matter much as the stories stood by themselves. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more if I had watched some of the television episodes or more of an introduction into the characters. If you were considering reading this book, perhaps starting with the earlier books or the television series would increase your enjoyment of them. However, I still enjoyed trying to keep up with the Sidney as he solves his mysteries. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA in exchange for a fair and honest review.