There’s a book for that (TV edition): Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

This is the second post in my series reviewing books that have been adapted for television. Last week’s post is here. You can find all the posts in this series, and my previous series about books adapted for movies, under the category “there’s a book for that.”

During the annual Downton Abbey airing on PBS at the beginning of the year, my husband and I latched on to a new series, Grantchester. It’s about an English vicar in the 1950s who becomes involved in solving crimes with the local inspector, George Keating. I’ve described the TV version as “hot vicar solves mysteries.”

sidney chambersThe book is like Father Brown (G.K. Chesterton) meets Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) with the theology of C.S. Lewis thrown in. I loved it. The TV show gripped me from the start, and the book upon which some of the series was based, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, was equally entertaining. It’s a collection of six stories but not all from this book were adapted for the show. Nor were the events exactly the way Runcie wrote them.

Still, I gleaned a greater understanding of Sidney’s character and appreciated more references to how his faith as a clergyman affected his life and involvement in these mysteries. I will seek out the next two books in this series to keep me company while waiting for the next series of Grantchester to arrive on screen.

If you like mysteries, crime drama and hard questions about morality and theology, give this collection a try.

Next up: Another PBS offering, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

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