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Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (Grantchester) Paperback – May 21, 2013


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Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (Grantchester) + Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil (Grantchester) + Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death: The Grantchester Mysteries
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Product Details

  • Series: Grantchester
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608199517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608199518
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Runcie is emerging as Grantchester's answer to Alexander McCall Smith. The book brings a dollop of Midsomer Murders to the Church of England, together with a literate charm of its own: civilized entertainment, with dog-collars Spectator The clerical milieu is well rendered as an affectionate eye is cast over post-war England - a perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon, a hammock and a glass of Pimm's Guardian The series has a charming quaintness and deftly turning plot twists but what renders it unique as detective fiction is its overtly Christian content -- Arifa Akbar Independent Totally English, beautifully written, perfectly in period and wryly funny. More, please! -- Leslie Geddes Brown Country Life It takes a first-class writer to put together a convincing storyline for such unlikely circumstances. James Runcie does it admirably ... He is a good man in an imperfect world and we should welcome him to the ranks of classic detectives Daily Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James Runcie is the son of the Arhcbishop of Canterbury, as well as Director of the Bath Literary Festival and author of four novels, The Discovery of Chocolate, The Colour of Heaven, Canvey Island and East Fortune. He is also an award-winning film-maker and theatre director and has scripted several films for BBC Television. He directed a documentary following a year in the life of J.K. Rowling. James Runcie lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters.

His website is www.grantchestermysteries.com

Customer Reviews

A bit too much cricket for my taste.
Wilbur W. Lewis
Simply enjoyed the books and the development of the plot and the characters.
Merrie Wiscamb
I look forward to the next book in the series.
Sally Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By London Fog on June 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
For a detective story, and one that skirts the edges of the traditional cozy, I was immediately impressed with the fluid writing and descriptions that from the first pages rather intensely set the scene, pulling the reader into the Cambridge of 1950s England. 'The Perils of Night' plays out like it has been screen shot - the slew of characters we are introduced to are animate (if not overly complex) and the dialogue is especially good, in that it may not be overly elaborate, but does evoke the emotions of the characters quite nicely. On that account, it made for a quick, enjoyable read.

It is also a rarity to come across a cozy that reads more like literature, and in all honesty, it was that which kept me engaged when I began to get irritated with the slowly unfolding plot.

My only true complaint has to do with how despite the ease with which the reader is drawn into the book through these characters, I had the distinct impression that most lacked any real depth, and that was honestly a bit distracting. My preference is for good, strong characters, and I will admit this was an improvement over most of this genre. But I felt disconnected throughout, like Sidney was just one of many instead of having the focus mainly on him. That and the tendency for supposed action scenes to drag on for pages on end, did try on my patience.

Overall, a good read though, and one that should appeal to those who prefer quieter mysteries that lack graphic depictions of violence.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Miss Ivonne on June 27, 2013
Format: Audible Audio Edition
In the second novel of a series, Sidney Chambers, Anglican priest and canon of Corpus Christi College (one of Cambridge University's actual ancient colleges), once again dabbles in detection. As with the debut novel of the series, the new novel consists of a series of short stories -- some related, some not -- with each case contained within a chapter. However, whereas in the debut novel of James Runcie's series, Sidney Chambers And The Shadow Of Death (Grantchester Mysteries), the slow pace and distractions created a charming, warm effect, here Runcie slows down the pace and introduces so much tangents that the reader's mind begins to wander.

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night opens in 1955; in the first of several cases, Canon Chambers weighs whether the death of a college don was a foolish accident or deliberate murder, a case of espionage or something altogether different. In the second and fourth cases, which take place a few years later, there are no doubts at all: someone deliberately burned down a flirtatious photographer's studio and someone poisoned the cricket spin bowler. In the third case, Canon Chambers quickly tumbles to the fact that the junior bursar's death in his bath wasn't a heart attack but murder. (Sadly, this third short story ranks as the weakest of the bunch.) In the fifth case, which takes place in 1961, Sidney's longtime friend, Amanda Kendall, rashly enters into an engagement with a conceited Oxford University physicist, Antony Cartwright. Will this engagement prove to be as disastrous as Amanda's last? The sixth and final case involves Sidney's trip to Berlin, where he's gone to see old friends in the early 1960s.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Penn on February 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When this book came out I bought it immediately because I really liked the first book of Sidney Chambers stories. (Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death) This second book reads like it was written by a different author. In the first book, Canon Chambers is a serious, intelligent, kind man with an engaging streak of diffidence. The stories move along and the mystery is well integrated with Canon Chambers' personal life. In this book, Canon Chambers has become a dithering old fuddy-duddy, even though he's still a relatively young man. His personality quirks are annoying and intrusive--you want to tell him to just get on with it. I agree with another reviewer that this book felt padded just to add length. And there are details that show the author isn't paying attention to his creation: for example, the police detective who is Chamber's friend has a different name in this book, although he's clearly the same person as the detective in the first book. Read the first book--this one isn't worth the time--not recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat on July 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Six stories featuring Canon Sidney Chambers, Vicar of Grantchester move his life from the 1950s to the 1960s. Will he marry Amanda or will he marry Hildegarde with whom he is conducting a long distance relationship at the start of the book? Sidney finds himself drawn time and time again into investigating crimes which are really none of his business.

`The Perils of the Night' is an atmospheric story about the night climbers in Cambridge - who climb the various college buildings under cover of darkness. Sidney finds himself acting as a go-between for his detective friend - Geordie Keating. My particular favourites in this well written collection are `Unholy Week' with its interesting digressions into codes in music and `Appointment in Berlin' where Sidney finds himself mixed up in the events leading to the building of the Berlin Wall.

I read the first collection of stories about Sidney Chambers with enjoyment but I think this second collection is even better. Sidney is a likeable character and the background of university and church life is well done. Academic rivalry feels authentic and Sidney's doubts about his own relationships are excellent. If you enjoy reading stories set in what is to some extent a gentler era then try the Grantchester Mysteries.
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Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (Grantchester)
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