Wishing a very happy publication day to James Runcie, whose fantastic book The Road to Grantchester is available to buy today.
The captivating prequel to the treasured Grantchester series follows the life, loves and losses of a young Sidney Chambers in post-war London
It is 1938, and eighteen-year-old Sidney Chambers is dancing the quickstep with Amanda Kendall at her brother Robert's birthday party at the Caledonian Club. No one can believe, on this golden evening, that there could ever be another war.
Returning to London seven years later, Sidney has gained a Military Cross, and lost his best friend on the battlefields of Italy. The carefree youth that he and his friends were promised has been blown apart, just like the rest of the world – and Sidney, carrying a terrible, secret guilt, must decide what to do with the rest of his life. But he has heard a call: constant, though quiet, and growing ever more persistent. To the incredulity of his family and the derision of his friends – the irrepressible actor Freddie, and the beautiful, spiky Amanda – Sidney must now negotiate his path to God: the course of which, much like true love, never runs smooth.
The touching, engaging and surprising origin story of the Grantchester Mysteries's beloved Archdeacon, Sidney Chambers, The Road to Grantchester will delight new and old fans alike.
“A tremendous novel - shrewd, compelling and full of insight - James Runcie elevates the genre to impressive new heights” – William Boyd,
“Written with such tenderness, and very moving – I loved it” – Elizabeth Buchan
“Charming, clever and warm: perfect comfort food for the soul” – Joanne Harris
“Unsparingly, generously truthful” – Jim Crace,
“He is the simple chonicler of English post-ward life, using irony and understatement to lay bare the pathos of ordinary lives” – Sunday Telegraph
“The clerical milieu is well rendered as an affectionate eye is cast over post-war England – a perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon, a hammock and a glass of Pimm's” – Guardian
“Runcie is emerging as Grantchester's answer to Alexander McCall Smith. The book brings a dollop of Midsomer Murders to the Church of England, together with a literate charm of its own” – Spectator
“An engaging summer read” – Alexander McCall Smith, Observer
“It takes a first-class writer to put together a convincing storyline for such unlikely circumstances … We should welcome him to the ranks of classic detectives” – Daily Mail
“Totally English, beautifully written, perfectly in period and wryly funny. More please!” – Country Life
“The author writes with warmth and insight about the tricky questions facing individuals in a post-war, godless universe … Runcie works his magic using a sense of suspense that creates an atmosphere of delicious anticipation” – Independent
“Runcie has honed his style of light, escapist, small-town crime stories to something approaching perfection” – Herald
“No detective since Father Brown has been more engaging than Canon Sidney Chambers. Perfect company in bed” – Salley Vickers
“Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe is going to have to look to her laurels! Sidney Chambers's adventures are thoroughly captivating and engaging” – Amanda Craig, author of Hearts and Minds