Murder Before Evensong

by Reverend Richard Coles

Part of the Canon Clement Mystery Series

Crime and Mystery Humorous Fiction Lifestyle, Hobbies and Leisure

LoveReading Expert Review of Murder Before Evensong

First of a new series of cosy crime mysteries from the parish priest, broadcaster, author and former Communard.

Canon Daniel Clement lives with his widowed mother at the Rectory in Champton and causes chaos at the Church when he announces plans to instal a lavatory! When a parishioner is found dead via a pair of secateurs, all hell breaks loose and the hunt is on for the killer.


Murder Before Evensong Synopsis


Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton. He has been there for eight years, living at the Rectory alongside his widowed mother - opinionated, fearless, ever-so-slightly annoying Audrey - and his two dachshunds, Cosmo and Hilda.

When Daniel announces a plan to install a lavatory in church, the parish is suddenly (and unexpectedly) divided: as lines are drawn, long-buried secrets come dangerously close to destroying the apparent calm of the village.

And then Anthony Bowness - cousin to Bernard de Floures, patron of Champton - is found dead at the back of the church, stabbed in the neck with a pair of secateurs.

As the police moves in and the bodies start piling up, Daniel is the only one who can try and keep his fractured community together... and catch a killer.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781474612630
Publication date: 9th June 2022
Author: Reverend Richard Coles
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 368 pages
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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What To Read After Murder Before Evensong

The Man Who Died Twice
Murder Under Her Skin
A Spoonful of Murder
The Marlow Murder Club

Reverend Richard Coles Press Reviews

I've been waiting for a novel with vicars, rude old ladies, murder and sausage dogs ... et voila! - Dawn French

The Reverend Richard Coles gives us a serpent in England's pastoral Eden - and whodunit fans can give praise and rejoice. - Ian Rankin

Britain's favourite vicar might be hanging up the dog collar, but in Murder Before Evensong he proves to be the unlikely heir to Barbara Pym... Coles is free here to unleash a splendidly caustic wit on those parishioners who deserve it... as Daniel locks horns with his flock over the matter of whether the vintage pews in St Mary's can be moved to make way for a new lavatory, Coles rivals Barbara Pym in his ability to make supremely low-stake conflict gripping... Like all the best cosy mysteries, this is comforting but not anodyne. And the style suits the content perfectly: wonderfully feline when it comes to jokes, but moving easily to unselfconscious wisdom when required. Auden would have admired this novel for meeting his requirements for the classical detective story: but he might also have recognised Coles as being, at his best, a fellow artist with words. -- Jake Kerridge - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

Murder Before Evensong is like a walk in the country on a warm summer's evening... one during which your fellow ramblers can be murdered horribly at any moment. Canon Daniel Clement is an inscrutable and erudite detective, while four-legged sidekicks Hilda and Cosmo are his delightful foils. You'll want to take a front row pew in Champton while this delicious series unfolds. - Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal

Coles' rendering of his fictional church, St Mary's, in the village of Champton, twinkles with quirky detail and sharp humour. -- Paul Connolly - METRO

An absolute joy from cover to cover - funny, clever and wonderfully plotted. Praise be! - Adam Kay

Beautifully written and a warm funny joy from start to finish. - Sarah Millican

Coles' murderous take on a quintessentially English parish makes for a likeable, cosy crime caper. -- Jon Coates - SUNDAY EXPRESS

Perfect for those who like their cosy crime to have a cutting edge. - Ben Aaronovitch

Cosy crime with a cutting edge. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Glorious. - Robert Webb

A good old page-turner with brilliantly drawn characters, from the aristocratic de Floures to Daniel's astute, snobbish mother, and dachshunds so real you can almost smell them. -- Rose Shepherd - SAGA, Book of the Month

Champton joins St Mary Mead and Midsomer in the great atlas of fictional English villages where the crimes are as dastardly as the residents delightful. Canon Daniel Clement must solve mysteries temporal and theological while surviving his parishioners tender ministries. Delightful! And only Richard Coles could pull this off so joyfully and with such style. Biscuit-thieving Cosmo, too, will soon have his own fan club. - Damian Barr

[A] cunning whodunnit... This wise and often beautifully written novel remains most memorable as a sharp but sympathetic portrayal of everyday life in a small community and a clergyman's role within it. -- Jake Kerridge - DAILY EXPRESS

Richard Coles is one of the most sparkling, entertaining, clever and lovable people in public life, as rare and precious to British culture as a Norman cathedral. - Victoria Coren Mitchell

Murder Before Evensong has all the elements that make up a classic detective story: a pitch-perfect setting, a genuine puzzle, a gruesome murder (or more) and engaging characters. I enjoyed it very much. - Philip Pullman

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781474612630
Publication date: 09/06/2022
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781399604154
Publication date: 09/06/2022
Format: Paperback

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About Reverend Richard Coles

The Reverend Richard Coles is the presenter of SATURDAY LIVE on BBC Radio 4. He is also the only vicar in Britain to have had a number-one hit single and appeared on STRICTLY COME DANCING. He read Theology at King's College London, and after ordination worked as a curate in Lincolnshire and subsequently at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge, London. He is the author of LIVES OF THE IMPROBABLE SAINTS and two memoirs, the bestselling FATHOMLESS RICHES and BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES (both W&N). He presents 'Saturday Morning Live' on BBC Radio 4 and lives in his parish of Finedon, ...

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