- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (22 May 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408843536
- ISBN-13: 978-1408843536
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sidney Chambers and The Perils of the Night (The Grantchester Mysteries) Paperback – 22 May 2014
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Runcie is emerging as Grantchester's answer to Alexander McCall Smith. The book brings a dollop of Midsomer Murders to the Church of England, together with a literate charm of its own: civilized entertainment, with dog-collars (Spectator)
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 (Guardian)
The series has a charming quaintness and deftly turning plot twists but what renders it unique as detective fiction is its overtly Christian content (Arifa Akbar Independent)
Totally English, beautifully written, perfectly in period and wryly funny. More, please! (Leslie Geddes Brown Country Life)
It takes a first-class writer to put together a convincing storyline for such unlikely circumstances. James Runcie does it admirably . He is a good man in an imperfect world and we should welcome him to the ranks of classic detectives (Daily Mail)
Now a major, prime-time six-part series Grantchester for ITVSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Not only is Sidney trying to remain faithful to his chosen vocation, a canon, he is yet again coming across murders and mysteries that needed to be solved in Grantchester As his father comments "Good God, man, it's like the Battle of the Somme out there".
All the time though the mystery that seems to be evading him is whether he should finally embark on marriage. And whether it will be Hildegard or Amanda.
As before we have six separate stories which link by means of character and place. But other than that they are individual, although to read them as such would perhaps spoil the overall plot and wonderful gentle tone of the book.
We are taken from university high spirits and ascending the buildings at night, fire at a photographic studio where some of the pictures are destined to never get beyond the top shelf. Then there is poisoning and deception as well as bit of espionage for good measure. A book that covers many ways to kill and deceive others.
As you can see this is not your average detective crime fiction it is something much more than that. Sidney Chambers gets himself involved in some rather testing cases and is either a help or a hindrance to his friend Inspector Geordie Keating.
What I will say about this novel is there were some parts of it that left me rather confused. In the main these were the religious elements and there is perhaps more theology in this book than in the first one. If religion is something which has not featured heavily in your life then you may well struggle as I did.Read more ›
`The Perils of the Night' is an atmospheric story about the night climbers in Cambridge - who climb the various college buildings under cover of darkness. Sidney finds himself acting as a go-between for his detective friend - Geordie Keating. My particular favourites in this well written collection are `Unholy Week' with its interesting digressions into codes in music and `Appointment in Berlin' where Sidney finds himself mixed up in the events leading to the building of the Berlin Wall.
I read the first collection of stories about Sidney Chambers with enjoyment but I think this second collection is even better. Sidney is a likeable character and the background of university and church life is well done. Academic rivalry feels authentic and Sidney's doubts about his own relationships are excellent. If you enjoy reading stories set in what is to some extent a gentler era then try the Grantchester Mysteries.
Sidney is an attractive character - intelligent, cultivated, Cambridge-educated, scarred by his WW2 experience, highly principled and honourable, and devastatingly attractive to the opposite sex. His friendship with working-class DI Geordie Keating enables him to become involved in some amateur sleuthing which sometimes gets him into serious trouble.
The two women in his life are Amanda Kendall and Hildegarde Staunton. Both feature quite a lot in these stories but in this book, the front-runner becomes clear. Amanda is a beautiful, wealthy, feisty art-expert who loves Sidney but will not commit to him. Hildegarde is German, a quiet, intelligent, very musical person. Like Sidney, they are middle-class and well-educated, with sophisticated tastes. One of the charms of the books, to me, is the opening up of the enviably cultured world of university, art and music in the 1950s. I remember the fifties [just] but this is a very different world from the one I knew. James Runcie is himself Cambridge educated and is eminent in the arts and in many ways is describing his own privileged world, one of which I caught a glimpse when my son was first an Oxford and then a Cambridge undergraduate.
The plots of the actual whodunnits are better than those in the first book, a little more complex and demanding. The short-story format means that each mystery must be quite swiftly solved, and this is always a bit unsatisfying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not at all plausible of course that you would have a priest come detective but easy read very English and rather quaint does contain some historic facts from the time periodPublished 1 month ago by Suzie
Excellent condition and the bonus was a signed first editionPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Enjoyed the TV series so hence bought book which was an excellent read.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer