Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love

by James Runcie

Part of the Grantchester Series

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime / Mystery eBooks of the Month

LoveReading View on Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love

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

Joanne Owen

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love Synopsis

The 6th book in the Grantchester Mysteries series.

It is May 1971 and the Cambridgeshire countryside is bursting into summer. Archdeacon Sidney Chambers is walking in a bluebell wood with his daughter Anna and their ageing Labrador Byron when they stumble upon a body. Plunged into another murder investigation, Sidney discovers a world of hippies and psychedelic plants, where permissive behaviour seems to hide something darker. This is the first of many disturbing secrets that Sidney unearths beneath the tranquil surface of the diocese: a celebrated photographer is accused of rape; a priceless religious text vanishes from a Cambridge college; the authentication of a lost masterpiece proves a slippery business; and Sidney's own nephew goes missing. Endeavouring to fit in his clerical duties around sleuthing, Sidney continues to reflect on the divine mysteries of love, life and faith, while wrestling with the earthly problems of parish scandals, a progressive new secretary, the challenges of parenthood, and a great loss.

The Grantchester Mysteries series:
1. Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death
2. Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night
3. Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil
4. Sidney Chambers and The Forgiveness of Sins
5. Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation
6. Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love

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Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in the series Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. 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.'
  • Rebecca - 'This is a really lovely book, all of the short stories are absorbing, and watching the characters and their relationships develop over the six stories is really nice.'
  • Joy Bosworth - 'I tried but found it at best unappealing and quite annoying.'
  • Beverley Davenport - 'James Runcie has created a delightful character with hidden depths, well crafted mysteries to keep you guessing.'
  • Ann Quintilla - 'The way these stories are written is charming even though murder and crime is not but they take you back to an era when the nastier side of life was concealed.'

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love Press Reviews

'Perfect reading for a sunny English garden' -- Kate Saunders, The Times

'There is no denying the winning charm of these artfully fashioned mysteries' -- Barry Forshaw Independent

'Beautifully crafted and surprising' -- A. N. Wilson Spectator

'A perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon, a hammock and a glass of Pimm's' Guardian

'Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe is going to have to look to her laurels! Sidney Chambers's adventures are thoroughly captivating and engaging' -- Amanda Craig, author of Hearts and Minds

'No detective since Father Brown has been more engaging than Canon Sidney Chambers. Perfect company in bed' -- Salley Vickers

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408879023
Publication date: 04/05/2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408879023
Publication date: 4th May 2017
Author: James Runcie
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 368 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, eBook Favourites, 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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