Monday 26 June 2017

#BookReview Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie @FreshFiction

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The sixth book in the James Runcie's much-loved series, adapted for ITV's Grantchester which stars James Norton as Sidney Chambers. Perfect for fans of M. C. Beaton.

It is May 1971 and the Cambridgeshire countryside is bursting into summer. Archdeacon Sidney Chambers is walking in a bluebell wood with his daughter Anna and their ageing Labrador Byron when they stumble upon a body. Plunged into another murder investigation, Sidney discovers a world of hippies and psychedelic plants, where permissive behaviour seems to hide something darker.

This is the first of many disturbing secrets that Sidney unearths beneath the tranquil surface of the diocese: a celebrated photographer is accused of rape; a priceless religious text vanishes from a Cambridge college; the authentication of a lost masterpiece proves a slippery business; and Sidney's own nephew goes missing.

Endeavouring to fit in his clerical duties around sleuthing, Sidney continues to reflect on the divine mysteries of love, life and faith, while wrestling with the earthly problems of parish scandals, a progressive new secretary, the challenges of parenthood, and a great loss.


In the first book we meet a young Sidney Chambers some years after WW2, unmarried and vicar of Grantchester. It's now the 70s and Sidney and Hildegard are married and they have a young daughter, Anna. He has risen in the ranks and is now archdeacon. But, he still can't stay away from trouble as the stories in this book will prove. This book is, as the rest I have read, divided into short stories that have different cases that Sidney takes one. And, I have to say that so far this is my favorite book in the series, all six stories are quite good with interesting cases, from murder and rape cases to Sidney's nephew going missing. And the years go by in the book. In the first story, is it early 70s and Anna is a little girl, but she is a teenager in the last story in this book.


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