Sidney Chambers, the Vicar of Grantchester, is a 32-year-old bachelor. Tall, with eyes the colour of hazelnuts, he is both an unconventional clergyman and a reluctant detective. Working in association with his friend, Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney is able to go where the police cannot, eliciting surprise revelations and confessions from his parishioners; whether it involves the apparent suicide of a local solicitor, a scandalous jewellery theft at a New Year’s Eve dinner party, or the unexplained death of a jazz promoter’s daughter.
Alongside his inquiries, Sidney also manages to find time to enjoy cricket, warm beer, hot jazz, and the company of an attractive, lively young woman called Amanda.
©2012 James Runcie (P)2012 Isis Publishing Ltd
I really enjoyed watching the first season of the PBS series Grantchester. I loved the characters, the setting, the humor, the quirkiness, the interplay of the stories, and the subtle dynamics between the characters. Reading this book was like looking into a fun house mirror. The stories are similar but at the same time almost everything is completely altered and different. The narration was flat and the voice too old. If you are looking for the charm from the mystery series I'm afraid you won't find it here. I'm giving up. I'll just wait until season two arrives and watch. This is one of the rare occasions for me when the "movie" was better than the book.
The narrative follows the life of a British World War 2 veteran who was called to the Church and the social and spiritual paths open to him as he makes choices and deals with challenges of living a moral life in the 1950s as Canon of a church in Cambridge, England . Starting as a young single priest the book addresses his hopes and dreams as he looks for love and purpose .
Sidney Chambers in Grantchester is so masculine. So world weary. So strong. So very heartbreaking.
This Sidney Chambers is Very Moral. A little sanctimonious . Very Disappointing.
When you hear "cozy 1950s detective stories with a country vicar as the sleuth", that's exactly what you get in Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death is. It's so very Very Prissy.
And the narrator . . . yikes. Most of the characters in the story are in their 20s. This narrator has the voice of an Old Cozy Country Vicar. And just as much acting ability. Sidney Chambers sounds like Miss Marple from St. Mary Meade.
This is not Grantchester. Buy this if you're curious to see how a brilliant writer (Daisy Coulam) turned these typical stories into something really special. If you want more James Norton as Sidney Chambers, I am so very sorry to tell you, he is not here. Buy the DVDs.
Great listen. i really mean it was a great listen. The narrator Peter Wickham has the perfect voice. The story was very compelling. It leaves you wanting more.
A lover of audiobooks of all kinds, since childhood, when long car journeys were accompanied by Discworld stories. @ReineDesLivres (Twitter)
Sidney Chambers, Canon in the Church of England, finds himself drawn into mysteries during his ministry to the people of Cambridge. These short stories are entertaining and amusing while also being solid mysteries which are not simply curiosities featuring a novelty sleuth in the figure of the investigating priest. Enjoy them, perhaps with tea, perhaps with a single malt, but Sidney wouldn't recommend a sherry ...
The narrator is not especially good at varying voices for characters, sounds too old for the main character, and is not very good with women's voices. I found the stories interesting enough to overcome the lackluster narration...and I may very well download the second book at some point. It was the kind of benign distraction I sometimes need.
Nice listening and nice mysteries.
Love almost anything British and this was just what I was looking for on the drive from WI to TX
I did not read the print version, so I cannot offer an opinion about this question.
No, I would not say it kept me on the edge of my seat, but the crimes and characters are engaging.
I love his reading of the book. He is an excellent narrator, and he has such a smooth and calming delivery.
The every dayness and the relationship that Cannon Sidney Chambers has with his friend Detective Geordie Keating and Amanda. The stories have different set of dynamics than what we saw on PBS. It is almost the same six short stories as the series with Cannon Chambers as our moral compass, but they have reworked the characters and pretext behind the mystery plot. They also have dropped some characters in the PBS series. You will also notice the war and Sidney are not dominant in the book, something they added on the PBS series. The book takes you through a complete year, whereas the PBS series its just a season.
Actually I found myself really liking Amanda, she is less vague or snobbish than the PBS version. She is more rounded and involved with Sidney in the book and the reader gets a feel for the basis of the relationship and how he feels about her. I wish the books gave Leonard a bigger presence, because I really like him in the PBS series and Mrs M.
His voice is perfect and enjoyable to listen to, he also does the character voices well.
All in all its a enjoyable read, I couldn't get enough, I really looking forward to the other two books.
The relationship between Geordie and Sidney is great. Unlike the TV series, the mysteries are less obvious for the most part and Amanda is a more appealing character
Despite feeling his voice too old for the character who is just over 30, he does bring great pace and lovely accents. One can just relax into the story.
I preferred this to the TV series and will be reading the rest of the series. Loved the TV series, just wished they'd stayed truer to the narrative
"old times at uniy"
yes it was lovely to sit back and injoy. being read to
goodbye mr chips
the scean were the students were climeing about the spirer of the roof.
love and mystery
all I can say is I loved it Im sorry Im such bad speller.
"An easy, enjoyable listen"
I downloaded this after hearing James Runcie on Radio 4's 'Saturday Live'. The description of this book conjured up a cross between GK Chesterton's Father Brown and Miss Marple- a perfect easy crime listen. OK, so it's not quite Agatha Christie but hugely enjoyable if you are in the mood for a 'nice' crime story with no violence but excellent characterisation and simple plots that will still keep you guessing. I like the fact that this book is made up of seperate interlinked short stories as this makes it very easy to dip into. My only complaint is that I wish the 1950s period had been better evoked.
"Sidney Chambers: Shadow of death"
The stories are very evocative of the fifties and a joy to read and listen to.
However I found the performance somewhat inconsistent - voices not true throughout and not always suited to the characters.
Also believe that the voice for Sidney should be more mellowed than this narrator's interpretation, to be more in keeping with the author's character as portrayed in print. The performance was too pompous for a character who shies away from pomp and circumstance or only participates when it cannot be avoided.
Pauses from scene to scene were also too short.
Despite all the above I shall buy the series because the writing is so enjoyable.
Yes, this is so easy to read, and such a different theme to most mysteries. Very cleverly written.
The way the main character deals with the not so nice problems he is confronted with, a kind of intelligent gentleness.
Not yet, but definitely will.
All of it in different ways.
this book is made up of six stories the first and last murders and the ones in between crimes of different types.
well written by james Runcie and performed by peter wickham I really enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to the next book Sidney chambers and the peril of the night.
"Gentle & Astute"
In my Top Five
Geordie the Policeman because he appears to be Sydney's straightman and yet is often flexible.
Measured without boring my ears. Conveys the mixed emotions & thinking of Sidney. The vocal pitch for the ladies got on my nerves at times particularly during long speeches or maybe he successfully conveyed just how irritating they are.
Generally I enjoyed the pace and the gentle astute thinking behind the plot & characters.
I tend to stick to authors and narrators I know and like, so this was a bit of an experiment. But I loved it. I was a bit put off initially that it wasn't once continuous 'whodunnit' rather several with the same characters. Once I'd got passed that I enjoyed the stories very much. James Runcie has created a very believable vicar in Sidney Chambers and I look forward to more of his adventures.
"Next book please Mr Runcie"
I thoroughly enjoed this and I'm already looking forward to some more from the same author.
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