The Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie

77%

14 Critic Reviews

Runcie (Canvey Island) launches a promising new clerical series...
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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.
 

About James Runcie

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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 filmmaker and theater director and has scripted several films for BBC Television. He directed a documentary following a year in the life of J. K. Rowling. The son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Runcie lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters.www.grantchestermysteries.com
 
Published April 24, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 401 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, History, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death
All: 14 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
May 01 2012

Only a churl could resist Sidney, whose... ratiocinative success at unraveling crimes make him endearing.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Marilyn Stasio on May 11 2012

Taken individually, each of these clerical whodunits poses a clever puzzle for armchair detectives.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Laura Wilson on Jun 15 2012

The book is heavy on characters and rather light on plot, but the clerical milieu is well rendered as an affectionate eye is cast over post-war England...

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Mar 05 2012

Runcie (Canvey Island) launches a promising new clerical series...

Read Full Review of The Sidney Chambers and the S... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by Barry Forshaw on Jun 05 2012

Of course, if you are a reader who prefers red meat in your crime fiction, Sidney Chambers's exploits may be a touch bland for your taste.

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The Seattle Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Mary Ann Gwinn on Jul 29 2012

But there's also serious philosophizing and soul-searching, and Runcie has a gift for twisting a plot.

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Shots

Excellent
Reviewed by Ayo Onatade

Sidney Chambers is an unforgettable character that I look forward to reading more of!

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Crime Fiction Lover

Excellent
Apr 29 2012

This is an enjoyable debut for a series that I look forward to following.

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The Baptist Times

Below average
Reviewed by Jeannie Kendall on Jun 14 2012

As a detective novel it is too simple and obvious; as an observation on the life of a minister or the real moral dilemmas that were hinted at it lacks depth.

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Tzer Island

Below average
May 18 2012

More problematic is that most of the stories fail to meet the test of a good mystery; they are just too easy to solve.

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The Picky Girl

Good
Reviewed by Jenn on May 08 2012

Quaint and charming, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death is reminiscent of James Herriot.

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Bookworm1858

Good
Apr 23 2012

Slower than what I had expected but not without its charms.

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It's a crime! Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Rhian Davies on May 28 2012

The Shadow of Death is a delightful read and will leave you eagerly awaiting the next in the series.

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The Book Jotter

Good
Reviewed by Jo on May 18 2012

... I will be rereading this book and enjoying it all the more.

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Reader Rating for The Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death
81%

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