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Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of…
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Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation

by James Runcie

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My review of Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation is now up on Fresh Fiction!

"A very nice collection of stories for Grantchester fans (and new converts)"

Read the whole review here! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
How strange. I've fallen for Grantchester on PBS, so when I realized this was that I pounced on it on Netgalley. But this actually wasn't that… it's that plus a couple of decades. Sidney's relationship woes on the show have settled, and so has he.

And that's kind of a shame. The heart of the series is basically Sidney's angst, the post-traumatic stress from the War, and his difficult, ambiguous relationship with Amanda (well, no, his feelings for her are not difficult or ambiguous; she is difficult and ambiguous. And kind of awful. Poor Sidney), and his relationship with Geordie. And in this collection none of that is in evidence. Young and troubled Sidney is engaging. Middle-aged and settled Sidney is kind of smug and annoying.

I thought it was a little hilarious when someone (sorry – didn't note who) remarks "I hate it when vicars get the guitars out." I felt much the same way about what they called "folk masses" in my childhood church…

Great line: "You must never leave me to wait on my own in public again. I haven’t got the cheekbones for it."

I'm not sure how entertaining the name-dropping was – like "an up–and-coming actor called Ian McKellen", for example. There was more. I sometimes enjoy glimpses like that, but here it mostly caused eye-rolling.

I plan to at least try one of the novels, to see if the charm of the series is based in charming writing or if it's something endemic to the actors and television writers, but these stories? Meh.

The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review. ( )
  Stewartry | Dec 16, 2016 |
Rather than one story, this is a series of individual mini-mysteries. The mysteries seem much less important than the situations. Sidney is now an archdeacon, but seems to be the same confused, conflicted man that he is in the younger version of Sidney in the Masterpiece series Grantchester. The stories do move on slowly, but are thought-provoking. ( )
  aztwinmom | May 4, 2016 |
This is the first one of the Sidney Chambers books that I have read, but I was familiar with the characters from having watched the Grantchester tv series. My appreciation of this book was helped immeasurably by the image of the young, handsome Chambers from the series. Chambers is middle aged in this book, but he doesn't seem to have resolved any of the issues of his youth. He still loves his former girlfriend, although he is married now, and he still can't stop himself from getting involved in police investigations.

This book is really a collection of short stories, each of which deals with a cozy mystery. I'm not really a cozy fan, so I am probably not the target audience for this book. It wasn't bad, but it was too slow and polite for me. I think that from now on I will just watch the series.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. ( )
  fhudnell | Apr 21, 2016 |
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Epigraph
No man is matriculated to the art of life till he has been well tempted.
George Eliot, Romola
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For Marilyn
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Although it was Valentine's Day, and also his birthday, Sidney Chambers was not in a happy frame of mind.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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