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 eBooks of the Month

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.

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death Synopsis

The 1st book in the Grantchester Mysteries series.

Sidney Chambers, the Vicar of Grantchester, is a thirty-two-year-old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the colour of hazelnuts and a reassuringly gentle manner, 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. Nonetheless, he manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer, hot jazz and the works of Tolstoy and Shakespeare - as well as a curious fondness for a German widow three years his junior.

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

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.'
  • 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 Shadow of Death Press Reviews

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

'Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe is going to have to look to her laurels... Sidney Chambers's adventures are thoroughly captivating and engaging. I loved the character and I loved the highly evocative period feel and dialogue' Amanda Craig

'What a bloody fantastic thing ... this could only be improved by finding a winning Euromillions ticket tucked in the pages' Rev Richard Coles

'Only a churl could resist Sidney, whose musings on love, evil and morality, penchant for quoting snippets of poetry, preference for whiskey over the endless cups of tea he is offered, and ratiocinative success at unraveling crimes make him endearing' Kirkus

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All versions of this book

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

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408831403
Publication date: 10th May 2012
Author: James Runcie
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 400 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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