Murder Before Evensong
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What to expect
‘Britain’s favourite vicar might be hanging up the dog collar, but in Murder Before Evensong he proves to be the unlikely heir to Barbara Pym’
‘I’ve been waiting for a novel with vicars, rude old ladies, murder and sausage dogs … et voila!’
‘Coles’ rendering of his fictional church, St Mary’s, in the village of Champton, twinkles with quirky detail and sharp humour’
‘Whodunnit fans can give praise and rejoice’
‘A cunning whodunnit… This wise and often beautifully written novel remains most memorable as a sharp but sympathetic portrayal of everyday life in a small community and a clergyman’s role within it’
‘You’ll want to take a front row pew in Champton while this delicious series unfolds’
‘A good old page-turner with brilliantly drawn characters… and dachshunds so real you can almost smell them’
SAGA, Book of the Month
‘Champton joins St Mary Mead and Midsomer in the great atlas of fictional English villages where the crimes are as dastardly as the residents delightful. Only Richard Coles could pull this off so joyfully and with such style’
Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton. He has been there for eight years, living at the Rectory alongside his widowed mother – opinionated, fearless, ever-so-slightly annoying Audrey – and his two dachshunds, Cosmo and Hilda.
When Daniel announces a plan to install a lavatory in church, the parish is suddenly (and unexpectedly) divided: as lines are drawn in the community, long-buried secrets come dangerously close to destroying the apparent calm of Champton.
And then Anthony Bowness – cousin to Bernard de Floures, patron of Champton – is found dead at the back of the church, stabbed in the neck with a pair of secateurs.
As the police moves in and the bodies start piling up, Daniel Clement is the only one who can try and keep his fractured community together… and catch a killer.
I’ve been waiting for a novel with vicars, rude old ladies, murder and sausage dogs … et voila!Dawn French
The Reverend Richard Coles gives us a serpent in England’s pastoral Eden – and whodunit fans can give praise and rejoice.Ian Rankin
Britain’s favourite vicar might be hanging up the dog collar, but in Murder Before Evensong he proves to be the unlikely heir to Barbara Pym…THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
Coles is free here to unleash a splendidly caustic wit on those parishioners who deserve it… as Daniel locks horns with his flock over the matter of whether the vintage pews in St Mary’s can be moved to make way for a new lavatory, Coles rivals Barbara Pym in his ability to make supremely low-stake conflict gripping… Like all the best cosy mysteries, this is comforting but not anodyne. And the style suits the content perfectly: wonderfully feline when it comes to jokes, but moving easily to unselfconscious wisdom when required. Auden would have admired this novel for meeting his requirements for the classical detective story: but he might also have recognised Coles as being, at his best, a fellow artist with words.
Murder Before Evensong is like a walk in the country on a warm summer’s evening… one during which your fellow ramblers can be murdered horribly at any moment. Canon Daniel Clement is an inscrutable and erudite detective, while four-legged sidekicks Hilda and Cosmo are his delightful foils. You’ll want to take a front row pew in Champton while this delicious series unfolds.Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal
Coles’ rendering of his fictional church, St Mary’s, in the village of Champton, twinkles with quirky detail and sharp humour.METRO
An absolute joy from cover to cover – funny, clever and wonderfully plotted. Praise be!Adam Kay
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