There’s a new series of Grantchester coming soon on ITV, it’s the perfect time to talk about the books.
What are the Grantchester Mysteries about?
Written by British novelist and television producer (and more) James Runcie, The Grantchester Mysteries is an historical detective series about a vicar solving crime in Cambridgeshire, England — inspired by James Runcie’s father, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
More precisely, this is the story of Sidney Chambers, a 32-year-old bachelor, vicar of Grantchester, and amateur sleuth. He is working with his friend, Inspector Geordie Keating.
The Grantchester Books in Order:
- The Road to Grantchester – Published after the sixth novel of the main series, this prequel is the origin story of Sidney Chambers. The story brings us back at the end of the war, in 1945. Sidney has gained a Military Cross and lost his best friend on the battlefields of Italy. The carefree youth that he and his friends were promised has been blown apart, just like the rest of the world–and Sidney, carrying a terrible, secret guilt, must decide what to do with the rest of his life.
- Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death – It is 1953. Together with his roguish friend, inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney Chambers inquires into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a scandalous jewelry theft at a New Year’s Eve dinner party, the unexplained death of a jazz promoter’s daughter, and a shocking art forgery that puts a close friend in danger.
- Sidney Chambers and The Perils of the Night – Accompanied by his faithful Labrador Dickens, and working in tandem with the Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney Chambers is called on to investigate the unexpected fall of a Cambridge don from the roof of King’s College Chapel; a case of arson at a glamor photographer’s studio; and the poisoning of Zafar Ali, Grantchester’s finest spin bowler, in the middle of a crucial game of cricket.
- Sidney Chambers and The Problem of Evil – Sidney Chambers attempts to stop a serial killer who has a grievance against the clergy; investigates the disappearance of a famous painting after a distracting display of nudity by a French girl in an art gallery; uncovers the fact that an ‘accidental’ drowning on a film shoot may not have been so accidental after all; and discovers the reasons behind the theft of a baby from a hospital in the run-up to Christmas, 1963.
- Sidney Chambers and The Forgiveness of Sins – On a snowy Thursday morning in Lent 1964, a stranger seeks sanctuary in Grantchester’s church, convinced he has murdered his wife. Sidney Chambers and his wife Hildegard go for a shooting weekend in the country and find their hostess has a sinister burn on her neck.
- Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation – It’s the summer of love in late 1960s England. A bewitching divorcee enlists Sidney Chambers’ help in convincing her son to leave a hippie commune; at a soiree on Grantchester Meadows during May Week celebrations, a student is divested of a family heirloom; and Amanda’s marriage runs into trouble.
- Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love – It is May 1971 and the Cambridgeshire countryside is bursting into summer. Attending to his paternal duties, Archdeacon Sidney Chambers is walking in the woods with his daughter Anna and their aging Labrador, Byron, when they stumble upon a body.