Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

by James Runcie

Part of the Grantchester Series

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime / Mystery

LoveReading View on Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

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.

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death Synopsis

Published to coincide with a primetime six-part ITV series, Grantchester Sidney Chambers, the Vicar of Grantchester, is a thirty-two year old bachelor.

 

 

Sidney is an unconventional clergyman and 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 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...Sidney Chambers will be played by James Norton (Death Comes to Pemberley), and Robson Green (Reckless) will take on the role of Geordie Keating. Other cast members include Morven Christie (Twenty Twelve) as the beautiful heiress Amanda Kendall, while Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses) will play Sidney's housekeeper, and Kacey Ainsworth (Eastenders) is to join them as Geordie's wife.

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'A fun to read and certainly more meaty that an Agatha Christie.'
  • Elisabeth Thomas - 'Excellent read - very enjoyable.'
  • Cathy Small - 'Grantchester at its best. Canon Sidney Chambers is full time priest and part time detective. He seems to be in the wrong place and the wrong time or as a priest he is trusted to listen to the truth.'
  • Judith Sharp - 'The start of a wonderful series.  As well as being a detective series it is also a trip through time starting in the 50's.'
  • Evelyn Love-Gajardo - 'Fans of the Sidney Chambers series will not be disappointed by this book. If you haven't read any of the series, it will make you want to go back and read the rest.'
  • Marjorie Lacy - 'I did see the series on I.T.V. and really enjoyed it. Reading the book adds depth to Sydney's thinking and motivations that you don't get from a screen offering.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'There is thievery, murder, deception, and all sorts of red herrings! This was a fantastic read and I can't wait to read more in this series!'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Sidney Chambers the lovable vicar...with his friend the roguish Inspector Geordie Keatiung they investigate, crime in a most unusual unconventional way. This book has them investigating everything from a suspected suicide, theft and murder.'
  • Jan Kirkcaldy - 'Having watched the TV series, I found this selection of short stories an enjoyable and easy read.'
  • Kathy Howell - 'This is a well written collection of short stories following Sidney Chambers, the vicar of Grantchester and part time detective.'
  • Helen Clark - 'Sidney's detective work includes visiting a seedy jazz club, tracking down forged paintings for a Lord and a murder on stage of an amateur dramatic play. Each one utterly gripping.'

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death Press Reviews

'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' -- Laura Wilson Guardian

 

'James Runcie has written 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' New York Times Book Review

 

'An undiluted pleasure' Scotsman

 

'Full of witty phrases to delight the reader ... This entertaining first volume about Canon Chambers will have Runcie's readers longing for the next' Peggy Woodford, Church Times

 

'An evocation of a more genteel era ... Chambers turns out to be a winning clergyman-sleuth, and Runcie's literary authority is repeatedly demonstrated in the construction of his elegant tales. In fact, it is the plotting that really distinguishes this collection, and will make many more readers more than ready to follow the God-fearing hero from the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953 to the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 ... there is no denying the winning charm of these artfully fashioned mysteries Independent Gentle criminal entertainment with a pleasantly old-fashioned feel to it' -- Andrew Taylor Spectator

 

'The plots are intriguing ... While the diminutive priest detective created by G. K. Chesterton led the way, Sidney Chambers is set fair to be a worthy successor. In a sceptical age this is quite an achievement. Then again, the author is a son of an archbishop. And who better to portray the sleuth in ecclesiastical clothing?' -- Barry Turner Daily Mail

 

'At last, an Anglican Father Brown ... Each tale is beautifully crafted and surprising. I hope for many more volumes' -- A.N. Wilson Spectator

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408857700
Publication date: 25/09/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781408831403
Publication date: 10/05/2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408857700
Publication date: 25th September 2014
Author: James Runcie
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, Books Behind TV & Film,
Categories: Crime & mystery,

About James Runcie

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 ...

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