Book of the Day Review
Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love
Booze, smokes, family, hot jazz, community, religion, PTSD: all pieces that fit together to create the puzzle that is Sidney Chambers. A Reverend Canon and amateur detective, this decorated WWII soldier-turned-priest continues to struggle between morality and the trauma of his past in Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie.
Concluding The Grantchester Mysteries series, Runcie–whose father was a decorated WWII soldier and former 101st Archbishop of Canterbury, and whom the character of Chambers is based on, delivers a story of intrigue, warmth, and perseverance that leaves you at the edge of your armchair asking, “Well, Chambers, whodunit?!”
The story begins as Sidney Chambers is enjoying a morning walk through Bluebell Wood with his young daughter and their dog. It’s 1971 in Grantchester, England. The morning dew glistens as the rising sun reveals the promise of a new day. But, the trio’s peaceful morning is interrupted when Chambers discovers a corpse along their path. Beside the body is a basket filled with various poisonous plants. It will take the skills of both Chambers and his friend, Inspector Georgie Keating, to solve the case that could rattle the lives of all the good folks of Cambridgeshire.
Runcie’s details of the culture of Grantchester, and the charming characters he creates are reminiscent of Agatha Christie. He fills the chapters with clever plot twists, complex love triangles, and witty dialogue. But, it is the underlying themes of forgiveness and love that truly sets this story apart from others in the genre.
Whether you have followed the series through from the start or started at the end and worked your way backwards, the life of Sidney Chambers is an enjoyable read at any point within his story.
Bree Goodchild is a recent graduate of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville with a BA in English and Theatre Arts. She currently lives in Washington state with her beagle mix, Molly. A fan of a wide genre of books and authors, most recently Temple Grandin, Ira Glass, Terry Moore, Sebastian Barry, and Zora Neale Hurston.