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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
Charming, atmospheric, and compellingly crafted, The Grantchester Mysteries are the very epitome of cosy crime, with a quintessential English detective for a hero. No wonder, then, that this is the sleuthing Archdeacon’s sixth literary outing, and that the TV adaptation is such an enormous hit. It’s 1971 and Sidney Chambers is enjoying a walk in a chocolate-box beautiful bluebell wood when he and his young daughter happen upon the body of Lenny Goddard, a local “folk-singer and a bit of hippy”, and a basket of poisonous wild flowers. While Lenny’s widow explains that they used such plants as recreational stimulants, the post-mortem reveals that he was killed by a strong dose of a neurotoxin found in monkshood. So, was it an accidental overdose, suicide, or murder? But this isn’t the only mystery that needs solving in Sidney’s apparently idyllic diocese. There’s also the matter of an invaluable text going missing from a Cambridge college, the disappearance of his nephew, and much more besides.As always, this is highly readable stuff and makes an entertaining accompaniment to an afternoon in the garden. Alongside the finely plotted drama and sense of social change, the descriptions of landscape are a joy to read, as are Sidney’s musings. ~ Joanne Owen
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 the fifth instalment in The Grantchester Mysteries series.
Loveable full-time priest and part-time detective Canon Sidney Chambers is back, continuing his investigations. A mysterious stranger seeks sanctuary in Grantchester's church; a shooting weekend in the country has a sinister end; a friend receives poison pen letters; a piano falls on a musician's head; a school cricket match has an explosive finish; and on a holiday in Italy, Sidney is accused of stealing a priceless painting.
A clever and charming series, cosy crime at its finest, with each book taking the form of six linked short mysteries and the entire series spanning from Elizabeth II’s coronation to Charles and Diana’s wedding. It would be a pity not to start at the beginning but one of the delights is how easy it is to dip in and out, savouring each story or enjoying the way the character, overaching plot and British history develop. Alongside the mysteries there are musings on love, life and ecclesiastical titbits you’d expect from a sleuthing vicar.
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. 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. The third in 'The Grantchester Mysteries' series.
From the son of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, this is the first of The Grantchester Mysteries, six detective novels spanning thirty years of British history - from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 to the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 - featuring the unforgettable vicar and sleuth, Sidney Chambers. The TV adaptation of The Grantchester Mysteries will be shown on ITV in Autumn 2014. Click below to view the trailer.
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.
A clever and charming series, cosy crime at its finest, with each book taking the form of six linked short mysteries and the entire series spanning from Elizabeth II’s coronation to Charles and Diana’s wedding. It would be a pity not to start at the beginning but one of the delights is how easy it is to dip in and out, savouring each story or enjoying the way the character, overaching plot and British history develop. Alongside the mysteries there are musings on love, life and ecclesiastical titbits you’d expect from a sleuthing vicar. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
From the son of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, this is the first of The Grantchester Mysteries, six detective novels spanning thirty years of British history - from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 to the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 - featuring the unforgettable vicar and sleuth, Sidney Chambers.
Each chapter is narrated by alternating characters which gives the novel extra depth as we see events from the point of view of the particular person narrating. With the passing of time from post World War II England through to modern day we see how tragic events on one stormy night effect a family through the following years. A brilliant way of telling a story and completely absorbing, this book really drew me in to the characters making me experience every emotion with them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.