Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Granchester Mysteries - Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation

A breezy set of crime stories set in an English village.

I received this book as part of goodreads giveaway in return for an honest review.

I heard seen the itv programme and so was excited about the books.
I enjoyed it for its Father Brown type central character, but his handsome and young version. Being a character driven person, for me, a good mystery must have the important ingredient: detective with a distinct persona.


A set of crime short stories set in Granchester. Sidney Chambers, the local vicar with a nose for investigation, always gets into it and helps Geordie Keating on the case. However, there are times when his objectivity is called into question, particularly when it it involves people close to him. Does he rise above it or falls prey to it?

 What works:
  • These are not drawn out mysteries but short stories that gives you a flavour of the small village. Living in a village myself, I can relate to how the community works and it is delightful to see it represented in fiction.
  • Runcie displays a keen understanding of the human mind and also of Chambers. Loosely based on his dad who served in the army and then became a clergyman, this detective is shown in shades of grey. Loved the complexity of it.
What doesn't:
  • I had seen the programme before and the storyline is a bit different to the book. The relationship between the characters is not how it was shown in the TV. That confused me a bit. However, once I saw it as a different story, it was a lot easier.
  • The format. Although they are nice to dip into, they do not have the compelling edge of a taut crime story. The writing is leisurely with musings on human behaviour. However, it does not give you that terse feel of action.  
  • It is a nice one to dip in and out. It is great for that lazy read, when you do not want the demands of a tightly written story, instead want something to relax with. But I found my attention wandering. The style was too meandering for me.
It reminds one of afternooon, one hour crime dramas. Entertaining but without the bite. 

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