You can’t go wrong with a cosy mystery in my book… There are a few series which I return to time and again, including the two which are under discussion today.

First up is Sidney Chambers and The Forgiveness of Sins by James Runcie.  This series is the basis for the ITV crime drama Grantchester, although if you read the books you will know that Sidney’s personal life is very different to that which is portrayed on screen.

As usual, Sidney is struggling to balance family life with being a priest and part-time detective.  However, he also has a new job as archdeacon and his best friend is getting married.  In this collection of short stories, Sidney must uncover if a musician was murdered or killed accidentally by a piano falling on him, and if the man who comes to his church confessing his guilt over killing his wife is telling the truth.  The story which moved me the most was the one in which the author addresses the abuse of male and female teenagers by the clergy; their words will make your blood boil.  This is the fourth book in the series, and I am heavily invested in Sidney’s life by now and am eagerly planning to get my hands on the next book.

Another character who I have grown to love is Lady Emily in Tasha Alexander’s Dangerous to Know, the fifth book in the series.  Emily and her husband Colin are staying with his mother in France, when Emily comes across the dead body of a girl brutally murdered in a fashion similar to the victims of Jack the Ripper.

This novel, set in 1892, examines how women were expected to behave in Victorian times, which readers in 2017 will find uncomfortable.  Emily is a character designed to appeal to modern audiences and who strains against society’s expectations.  There is friction between Emily and Colin, and I found myself berating Colin for his treatment of Emily.  She has lost her baby and nearly her life; she is haunted by her gruesome discovery of the dead body; yet her husband and mother-in-law expect an apology from her for her change in behaviour as she grapples with her emotional distress.  I wanted to shout at Colin in fury!

Do you have any favourite historical characters?

  • It’s quite hard for us to understand how women were treated in the Victorian era. The book sounds interesting. 🙂

    Have you read the new book by Philippa? The last Tudor? I finished it yesterday and I blogged about it today. I loved it. 🙂

  • Not yet, can’t wait to though and will check out your review now!

  • I love a good mystery. I really enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling that just finished on BBC – I haven’t actually read the book, but I enjoyed the three-part series and it did make me want to read it, I just don’t really have time at the moment.

  • Ooh I LOVE The Cuckoo’s Calling books and the TV series! You must be flat out busy having just moved to Edinburgh.

  • Things have settled down over the last couple of days but we’re definitely still trying to adjust and figure things out 🙂

  • These sound really good! If you love mysteries, you should try books by Claire Douglas if you haven’t already. They’re really good and the twists are completely unexpected (for me, anyway)!

  • Oh wow I loved The Sisters, have you read that one?

  • Food & Baker

    Love a good mystery novel, although I defo have read a good one in a while. My sister had got me a few over the year. I’m very much intrigued by Emily’s character, would love to read this purely for her!

    Jessica & James | /

  • Yes she’s a character worth getting to know for sure! Can’t beat a good mystery.

  • Lifethrough Tsg

    I really need to read more mystery novels! It’s a genre I love, but a genre that I always forget to pick up! Dangerous to Know sounds very very good though, I may have to add it to my reading list!

    Hayley X

  • Dangerous To Know sounds right up my street! Lady Emily sounds like an intriguing character who I’d want to know more about! I like the fact that she doesn’t follow her society’s constrictions! Definitely one to be added to my TBR list!

    Abbey 🌸

  • Lady Emily fascinates me, she’s one of my favourite fictional heroines and she’s very underrated in my opinion. In her first book, she’s really self-centered and unlikeable, so her character has a great development arc.

  • It’s definitely a genre worth delving into, I hope you enjoy doing so!

  • Kate

    Ooh these sound like lovely mystery novels! As part of the blogger book nook, I’m looking for new books to read, and I really want to set aside more time for reading, so I need to grow my list of things to read and these sound like the perfect starter!
    Kate x

  • Yes these books are simple and quick reads if you’re looking to grow your reading! The Blogger Book Nook is fab isn’t it.

  • Kate

    I love a good mystery novel! I love the suspense and tension between the characters and trying to figure out what actually happened. The first book that you mentioned; Sidney Chambers and The Forgiveness of Sins sounds so intriguing and definitely something that I would be interested in reading. I have added it to my TBR. Thanks for sharing this post, I really enjoyed reading it! 😊

  • Definitely a good move to add that to your TBR! Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed!

  • Kate

    You’re welcome!