The Grantchester Mysteries introduce a wonderful priest and part time detective, Sidney Chambers, the Vicar of Grantchester and Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral. He is a thirty-two year old bachelor complete with a faithful dog, Dickens. Set in and around Cambridge in the 1950’s, author #James Runcie has created a world where you can meet Inspector Geordie Keating at the pub for a pint and a game of backgammon or ride a bicycle through the countryside with Canon Chambers. I’m rereading the first collection of interconnected stories called The Shadow of Death before enjoying the second book, The Perils of the Night, newly published. Here are six more “adventures that combine mystery with morality, and criminality with charm.” The writing is first-rate, filled with a priest’s inner musings, the faith of a man who wants to be a conscientious priest to his flock, while called to solve mysteries that take him away from his duties. The Grantchester mysteries have everything I could ask for; the perfect setting and time period featuring an Anglican priest, which is near and dear to my heart. (Greening of a Heart) James Runcie deserves great recognition for giving us this fine priest, Sidney Chambers, and mysteries that are intriguing and entertaining.
“Sidney wondered where he really belonged these days, working as he did, halfway between a parish and a college, making trips to London and involving himself with the police. He was constantly between places and never at rest; but perhaps it was a priest’s duty, he thought, to be a pilgrim, out in the world, a man of good courage, traveling wherever the Lord decided to take him.” The Shadow of Death