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Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins by James Runcie

This is the fourth installment in the Grantchester Mysteries series by James Runcie.  I've reviewed the previous three installments on the blog as well as the second season of the British TV series adaptation of the books.  In this installment the Chambers family deals with a move precipitated by a promotion for Sidney to archdeacon of Ely.

In these mysteries Sidney and Geordie must solve the disappearance of a concert cellist.  Sidney assists his dear friend Amanda in sussing out whether one of her aristocratic friends is the victim of domestic violence.  And when a piano (yes, a piano) drops on a friend's head, Hildegard intuits that the seemingly freak accident may not be an accident after all.  Sidney must assist Amanda again when the latter receives threatening letters as well as falls victim to other odd, unnerving incidents, all of which occurs as Amanda is finally approaching marriage.  As always Sidney's reputation for sussing out the truth in complicated situations precedes him when the headmaster of a local school enlists Sidney's help in finding the party responsible for blowing up the school's science wing.  And, most infuriating of all, on a family trip to Florence Sidney is accused of absconding with a priceless painting.

Some rants I have:

Why is Sidney always fretting about how his detecting duties take him away from his parish duties and from his family duties?  In. Every. Book. He. Whines.  It's getting old.  Sidney needs to get over it already, find a balance, or give up detecting.  And stop fretting.

It's ill advised for Amanda to go through with a marriage to a man she doesn't love.  And why is there all this talk about Amanda missing her chance with Sidney or vice versa?  The two would have been a poor match romantically, and Sidney clearly loves Hildegard yet he never sets Amanda straight about either of these points.

Sidney receives a promotion to archdeacon that necessitates a move from Grantchester for his family as well as the probability of the end of his detecting career---hahahahaha---who are we kidding?  Sidney will never stop detecting.  He's got a reputation now and gets enlisted regularly (always reluctantly on his part) to look into mysterious incidents.  And that's when he isn't inserting himself into other mysterious incidents to get at the truth.


--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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