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I made the mistake of watching and loving the PBS Grantchester program before reading Runcie's wonderful series of mystery books. When I finally listened to book one I was startled by the difference between the two versions. I decided back when I wrote my review of that book that I preferred the TV show vibe over the book. In hindsight I admit that this was precipitous.
After watching the most recent TV season I decided to give the books a second chance. I'm glad that I did. It turns out that I really enjoy both Runcie's books and the adaptation of the TV program. It is best to keep in mind that the versions are just so different. It's kind of like a parallel universe. In fact, for example, I watched the story of the Hat Trick and then read the same story and in the end I preferred the version from the book better.
Book two and this book, number three in the series, are wonderful in how they capture the passage of time. Runcie fills the stories with current events as we move through post WWII England and into the Cold War and the construction of the Berlin Wall. We even see the 1962 London art scene with A Happening.
Overall I enjoy Wickham's narration. Yes, I agree that Sidney's voice is too high and that the women often sound like nit-wits. But, in the end I think Wickham's style really captures the feeling of the time.
So it turns out that I am a fan of Grantchester in both its worlds--the books and the TV series. The stories are fun, multidimensional and engaging. Recommended if you enjoy mysteries with a strong sense of time, place and history.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful
Canon Chambers should join the ranks of classic British detectives in the tradition of Father Brown and Lord Peter Wimsey. His personality is perhaps closer to Lord Peter. You do not have to be a member of the Anglican Church to appreciate his kind and tolerant but still dedicated approach to religion and to life.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil?
THis book moved up a significant step, the four stories seemed to be well thought throgh and the characters well developed.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I am amused by the detective who seems unable to solve any crime.
Have you listened to any of Peter Wickham’s other performances? How does this one compare?
He is cleasr and consistent. His voice,matches the setting well.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
If the police can't solve it - call the vicar!
Any additional comments?
I felt this set of short stories could be devel;oped into a Frost or Morse type TV series.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I like the series very much. But one thing really annoyed me about the narrator. At first Leonard is narrated in a fairly low voice which changes into a higher voice. If it is not by accident but on purpose then this is really embarrassing, to make it clear to the dumbest listener that he is gay. Quite crude! Also the narrator's pronunciation of German words is really bad. It is understandable when Sidney is talking German, but not when Hildegard is talking.