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Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, the first book in The Grantchester Mysteries follows Sidney Chambers, an unconventional small-town vicar who enjoys jazz, beer and cricket and often finds himself working with Inspector Keating. He inquires into several crimes, as he can be where the police cannot, including the suicide of a solicitor, jewelry theft, murder, and art forgery. Like clergymen, detectives are never off duty.
I greatly enjoyed watching Grantchester when it aired on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery, so of course when I realized that it was actually adapted from a book series by James Runcie I realized that I had to check into it. The first book is actually six short stories: "The Shadow of Death", "A Question of Trust", "First, Do No Harm", "A Matter of Time", "The Lost Holbein", and "Honourable Men". While I enjoyed this cozy mystery, I actually much prefer the tv adaptation much more. Two of the episodes are not based on the short stories, but otherwise they relatively follow Runcie's work. The changes made for the adaptation only benefited the characters and story which seemed to have more weight and more memorable. The adaptation also seemed like less of a cozy, or was that just me.
Final verdict: Watch Grantchester instead.
I read this novel from May 26 - 31, 2015 and my review is also on Goodreads.