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James Runcie - Author

About the Author

James Runcie is an award-winning film-maker and the author of seven novels. Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death, the first in 'The Granchester Mysteries' series, was published in 2012, soon followed by Sidney Chambers and The Perils of the Night, Sidney Chambers and The Problem of Evil, Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins and Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation. In October 2014, ITV launched Grantchester, a prime-gime series starring James Norton as Sidney Chambers, with the second season airing in March 2016. In May 2016 James Runcie became Commissioning Editor for Arts at BBC Radio 4. He lives in London and Edinburgh.

Photograph © Mark Pringle

Featured books by James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil

Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil

Author: James Runcie Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/05/2014

Soon to be a major six-part series for ITV, Grantchester It is the 1960s and Canon Sidney Chambers is enjoying his first year of married life with his German bride Hildegard. But life in Grantchester rarely stays quiet for long. Our favourite clerical detective soon attempts to stop a serial killer who has 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 not have been so accidental after all; and discovers the reasons behind the theft of a baby from a hospital in the run-up to Christmas, 1963. In the meantime, Sidney wrestles with the problem of evil, attempts to fulfil the demands of Dickens, his faithful Labrador, and contemplates, as always, the nature of love.

Other books by James Runcie

The Road to Grantchester

The Road to Grantchester

Author: James Runcie Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/03/2019

The captivating prequel to the treasured Grantchester series follows the life, loves and losses of a young Sidney Chambers in post-war London It is 1938, and eighteen-year-old Sidney Chambers is dancing the quickstep with Amanda Kendall at her brother Robert's birthday party at the Caledonia Club. No one can believe, on this golden evening, that there could ever be another war. Returning to London from the war seven years later, Sidney has gained a Military Cross, and lost his best friend on the battlefields of Italy. The carefree youth that he and his friends were promised has been blown apart, just like the rest of the world - and Sidney, carrying a terrible, secret guilt, must decide what to do with the rest of his life. But Sidney has heard a call: constant, though quiet, and growing ever more persistent. To the incredulity of his family and the derision of his friends - the irrepressible actor Freddie, and the beautiful, spiky Amanda - Sidney must now negotiate his path to God: the course of which, much like true love, never runs smooth. The touching, engaging and surprising origin story of the Grantchester Mysteries's beloved Archdeacon Sidney Chambers, The Road to Grantchester will delight new and old fans alike.

The Road to Grantchester

The Road to Grantchester

Author: James Runcie Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/03/2019

The captivating prequel to the treasured Grantchester series follows the life, loves and losses of a young Sidney Chambers in post-war London It is 1938, and eighteen-year-old Sidney Chambers is dancing the quickstep with Amanda Kendall at her brother Robert's birthday party at the Caledonian Club. No one can believe, on this golden evening, that there could ever be another war. Returning to London seven years later, Sidney has gained a Military Cross, and lost his best friend on the battlefields of Italy. The carefree youth that he and his friends were promised has been blown apart, just like the rest of the world - and Sidney, carrying a terrible, secret guilt, must decide what to do with the rest of his life. But he has heard a call: constant, though quiet, and growing ever more persistent. To the incredulity of his family and the derision of his friends - the irrepressible actor Freddie, and the beautiful, spiky Amanda - Sidney must now negotiate his path to God: the course of which, much like true love, never runs smooth. The touching, engaging and surprising origin story of the Grantchester Mysteries's beloved Archdeacon, Sidney Chambers, The Road to Grantchester will delight new and old fans alike.

Sidney Chambers and The Persistence of Love Grantchester Mysteries 6

Sidney Chambers and The Persistence of Love Grantchester Mysteries 6

Author: James Runcie Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2018

Grantchester Mysteries 6 The sixth book in the James Runcie's much-loved series, adapted for ITV's Grantchester which stars James Norton as Sidney Chambers. Perfect for fans of M. C. Beaton. Life is never straightforward when you're a full-time priest and part-time detective. So when a walk in a bluebell wood takes an unexpected turn, Archdeacon Sidney Chambers finds himself plunged into another murder investigation: who would want to kill a harmless old hippy - and why was the man foraging for poisonous plants? Sidney's findings soon lead him into sunny Granchester's dark underworld, where love is free and motives are shady. But his investigation, together with his continual inquiry into the divine mysteries of life, love and family, is blown apart by a devastating loss that will change his world forever.

Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation Grantchester Mysteries 5

Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation Grantchester Mysteries 5

Author: James Runcie Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/06/2016

Archdeacon Sidney Chambers is beginning to think that the life of a full-time priest (and part-time detective) is not easy. So when a bewitching divorcee in a mink coat interrupts Sidney's family lunch asking him to help locate her missing son, he hopes it will be an open and shut case. The last thing he expects is to be dragged into the mysterious workings of a sinister cult, or to find himself tangled up in another murder investigation. But, as always, the village of Grantchester is not as peaceful as it seems... From the theft of an heirloom to an ominous case of blackmail, Sidney is once again rushed off his feet in this eagerly anticipated fifth instalment in The Grantchester Mysteries series.

Sidney Chambers and The Perils of the Night Grantchester Mysteries 3

Sidney Chambers and The Perils of the Night Grantchester Mysteries 3

Author: James Runcie Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/09/2014

Grantchester Mysteries 3 Grantchester is now a major, prime-time six-part series for ITV 1955. Canon Sidney Chambers, loveable priest and part-time detective, is back. Accompanied by his faithful Labrador, Dickens, and the increasingly exasperated Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney is called to investigate the unexpected fall of a Cambridge don from the roof of King's College Chapel, a case of arson at a glamour photographer's studio and the poisoning of Zafar Ali, Grantchester's finest spin bowler. Alongside his sleuthing, Sidney has other problems. Can he decide between his dear friend, the glamorous socialite Amanda Kendall and Hildegard Staunton, the beguiling German widow? To make up his mind Sidney takes a trip abroad, only to find himself trapped in a web of international espionage just as the Berlin Wall is going up.

East Fortune

East Fortune

Author: James Runcie Format: eBook Release Date: 01/07/2014

As the three Henderson brothers - Jack, Douglas and Angus - head toward their childhood home in East Fortune for their annual summer gathering, they steel themselves against sibling rivalry, parental expectation and the vulnerability that comes with being with those who know you best. A subtle look at lives at the crossroads; about life and love, chance and hope - and how families survive.

East Fortune

East Fortune

Author: James Runcie Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2010

The boy stepped out into the road. He stretched his arms out and his legs apart, making an X, palms facing the windscreen, the hands with a slight tremor that Jack only remembered later. His face had a questioning look that asked 'Why are you doing this to me?' Jack has been sleepwalking through his middle age. His wife has left him; his grown-up daughters no longer need him; and he rarely leaves his remote house on the east coast of Scotland. But when he is involved in an horrific accident, he is jolted out of his stupor, and embarks upon a new friendship that helps him to re-evaluate everything. Douglas is on the early morning Eurostar to Paris to have lunch with a woman he barely knows. Despite his responsibilities to family, work and friends, he is determined to risk everything for his obsession with a stranger. Angus is fifty-four. He has always prided himself on his happy marriage, his reliable car, his nice house, his stable career: there are no nasty surprises. But when a man thirty years his junior takes him to a stuffy room and tells him he no longer has a job, he finds himself suddenly in freefall. As a man without a profession, how does he now define himself? As the three Henderson brothers head to their big childhood home in East Fortune for their annual summer gathering, they steel themselves against sibling rivalry, parental expectation and the vulnerability that comes with being with those who know you best. Intense, humane, humorous and subtle, East Fortune is a moving story about lives at the crossroads; about life and love, chance and hope - and how families survive.

The Discovery of Chocolate A Novel

The Discovery of Chocolate A Novel

Author: James Runcie Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2002

A wonderfully inventive and entertaining journey through time and the history of chocolate! The Discovery of Chocolate is a fabulous tale, as rich and exotic as the gorgeous creation that Diego de Godoy first discovers when he arrives in Mexico with Cortes and his conquistadors. Diego is seeking his fortune in the New World. What he finds is love, and chocolate, and an elixir of life. Separated from his lover, he must wander the world, and the centuries, in search of the fulfilment that he first knew in Mexico. In a series of dramatic episodes that are evocative, witty and thought-provoking, from revolutionary Paris to Freud's Vienna, Fry's Bristol and Hershey's Pittsburgh, Diego and his ever-faithful greyhound, Pedro, seek the perfection of chocolate and the meaning of life.

The Colour of Heaven

The Colour of Heaven

Author: James Runcie Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/09/2000

From the author of THE DISCOVERY OF CHOCOLATE - a romantic historical quest set in Renaissance Florence and China surrounding the search for ultramarine. THE COLOUR OF HEAVEN is a fictional account of a young man who travelled to what are now Afghanistan and China to discover lapis lazuli, the precious stone that when turned into ultramarine changed the history of painting - allowing artists to abandon gold as a background and open up depth, landscape and perspective with the most beautiful shade of blue. Along the way, Paolo suffers the torments of unfulfilled love before he returns to his anxious family in Venice, where he also plays a part in the early development of lenses and spectacles!