If you didn’t happen to catch the TV première of Grantchester then you are definitely missing out on a treat. The series is based on The Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie, featuring the sleuth Sidney Chambers, the canon detective with a flair for secrets and mysteries.
Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death features quite a few of the Grantchester tales or mysteries.
Think Father Brown, but with more charm and a lot more good-looking. In fact I think Sidney isn’t really as steadfast in his religion, as Brown is. Sidney loves his jazz, pretty women, a nice scotch and great literature. He also likes to move within the ranks of the upper echelon. Doesn’t really leave much room for faith and God now, does it?
Somehow between all those things the charming detective manages to get pulled into the occasional murder, theft, possible suicide and any other crime you can think of. Sometimes Sidney finds himself being coerced into helping and other times he just stumbles into the odd scenario.
I really enjoy the relationship between Sidney and Geordie Keating. Keating is a blue collar working man and Chambers is the typical white collar well-situated man. The two of them share a passion for drink, crime, backgammon and gossip. Well perhaps Geordie loves his gossip a wee bit more, especially when it is about Sidney and his lady loves.
The two of them form an unusual bond, which grows into a strong friendship. Geordie favours the route of logical reasoning and Sidney is prone to more adventurous and out-of-box theories.
I have to say the television series has captured the essence of Sidney Chambers perfectly, and indeed the stories written by James Runcie.