Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie --- 344 pages

The sixth volume in Runcie's Granchester Mysteries is set in 1971. The series follows the adventures of Anglican priest and amateur detective Sidney Chambers. Runcie planned the series an arc of novels that would cover the period beginning with Queen Elizabeth's coronation (1953) and ending with the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (1981).

The Persistence of Love contains six episodes covering 1971-1973. Twenty years have passed since readers first encountered Sidney Chambers, just out of the army after seeing combat in World War II and embarking on his vocation in his first parish, in the village of Grantchester in Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. The unconventional, jazz-loving, war-weary thirty-year-old who took a guilty delight in his side adventures with his friend Geordie, the local police inspector, has inevitably matured. Marriage, fatherhood, the care of his parish, and steady advancement through the clerical hierarchy in spite of his unorthodox hobby has made him more responsible, more introspective, but still just a touch rebellious at fifty, even though he's on track for a bishop's miter.

Although Sidney has experienced disappointments and loss along the way, he has depended on the love found in faith, friendship and family to see him through. Then he is confronted by the greatest personal tragedy he has ever known. Will love suffice?

The books are the basis of the popular Granchester Mysteries series produced for ITV in Great Britain, and shown on PBS in the United States --- although the story line in the television series diverges in some significant ways from the story line in the books.

Not exactly a cozy mystery, but definitely a quiet and reflective one. It's best to read the books in order.

Click HERE to see the review in Kirkus Reviews.

Click HERE to see the review in Publishers Weekly.

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