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Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation (The Grantchester Mysteries #5)
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October 2016: Historical Fiction > Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation by James Runcie - 3 stars

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Ellen | 2084 comments Archdeacon Sidney Chambers turns his hand to several new mysteries in this fifth book in the Grantchester Mystery series. It is now the 1960's and the years of peace, love and rock and roll have come to England. Amidst the excitement of men walking on the moon, Sidney is caught up in the problems of his parishoners. A young man has been absorbed into a cult run by a charismatic but shift leader. When the leader is found beheaded, Sidney is presented with more possible killers than he can deal with. A young college coed's drunken liaison with her boyfriend leads to the disappearance of a priceless heirloom necklace. Amanda's husband's ex-wife is found dead near the mental institution where she is a patient. The possibility that Amanda's husband did the dastardly deed looms large. While vacationing with Hildegarde and their daughter Anna in East Germany, Sidney becomes involved in the mysterious death of a local hotelier. Although he is warned to stay clear of the investigation, Sidney knows what happened but is unable to bring the truth to uncaring authorities. Sidney's former housekeeper, Mrs. Maguire, is stunned when her husband, who disappeared during the war some 25 years ago, returns to Grantchester, but is it truly her Ronnie? She begs Sidney to help her uncover the truth. Sidney's final case in the book deals with his dear friend and fellow priest, Leonard. Although homosexuality is no longer illegal, Leonard and his friend have become the target of a blackmailer who has resorted to arson in order make his point. Sidney must find the culprit and convince him that "in the evening of our life we shall be judged by our loving." Sidney believes that all love is sacred and blessed but he will have a difficult time swaying the ugly opinion of the blackmailer.

This was another interesting book in the series for the most part. I do like the references to the events of the time. There is a good deal of time spent on raising funds for Biafra; there are references to apartheid in South Africa which kept a British soccer team with a black player (ironically from South Africa) from playing in that country; the moon landing; the emergence of what was known as "prog-rock" embodied by the beginnings of Pink Floyd. I do find that Sidney's trips to East Germany are quite depressing and not quite as enjoyable as the rest of the stories. Hopefully there will be more of this series to come.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6276 comments Wow, this sounds like quite the historical series - - sounds more like a thriller. Your review makes this sound more gripping than three stars, lol.


Ellen | 2084 comments I really do enjoy this series, but some of the stories seem to bog down a bit. Plus, the author has a great passion for cricket (I know zilch about the game) and it can get tedious reading about something that makes absolutely no sense; he tends to sprinkle cricket references liberally throughout his books.


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