Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie {Stephanie’s Review}

Posted December 21st, 2020 by in *Review / 2 comments

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie {Stephanie’s Review}Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie
Series: The Grantchester Mysteries #1
Genres: Adult, Historical, Mystery
Pages: 392
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Read in: November 2020
Reading Challenges: 2020 GoodReads, COYER
Source: Personal Collection
Add to: Goodreads

It is 1953, the coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II. Sidney Chambers, vicar of Grantchester and honorary canon of Ely Cathedral, is a thirty-two-year-old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the color of hazelnuts, and a reassuringly gentle manner, Sidney is an unconventional clerical detective. He 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 jewelry theft at a New Year's Eve dinner party, the unexplained death of a jazz promoter's daughter, and a shocking art forgery that puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but he nonetheless manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer, and hot jazz-as well as a curious fondness for a German widow three years his junior.

With a whiff of Agatha Christie and a touch of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown, The Grantchester Mysteries introduces a wonderful new hero into the world of detective fiction. - via GoodReads

4 Stars

I picked up Sidney Chamber and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie because I adore the PBS series Grantchester. This compilation did not disappoint! I honestly thought these were contemporary stories published in the 50s and was shocked to find they are historical stories published from 2012 on.

Almost all of the stories in this compilation have been on Grantchester. The show followed pretty closely to the original stories so they were familiar. Each story was pretty short but conveyed a lot. The pacing was slow but not in a bad way.

It was comforting like the small village feel of Grantchester. The stories in the show had the same endings but the new ones were pretty interesting with endings I didn’t call.

I really enjoy Sidney as a character. He’s fairly open-minded for a religious man (especially for the time period). I often wonder if this is due to having served in World War II and seeing humanity go to the brink and back.

All of the other characters are there as well: Leonard, Geordie, Amanda, Mrs. M, Jennifer, and Johnnie. Sidney really stays center-focus and the secondary characters have even less page time.

Reading the short stories in Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie was pretty relaxing. I’ll definitely be continuing with the series.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 GoodReads

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