Wednesday, March 02, 2016


I admit to being generally annoyed with amateur sleuths.  There is usually little reason for a normal person to insinuate themselves into a murder investigation. Real-life antiques dealers, bakers, cat show enthusiasts, and librarians almost never stumble upon dead bodies, and if they do, they tend to run shrieking the other way, not start poking around.

But the main character in the Grantchester mysteries belongs to one profession that does have an intimate acquaintance with death - he is an Anglican priest.  Vicar Sidney Chambers does his best to shepherd his flock in rural England in the 1950's while balancing a seemingly hopeless relationship with wealthy Amanda Kendall.  A compassionate man, Sidney agrees to perform the funeral of a suicide, never dreaming it will lead him into the investigation of the man's murder.

Over the 6 episodes of Grantchester, Sidney finds himself caught up in various murders, working with Detective Inspector Keating of the local police.  The mysteries, and Sidney's involvement in them, are very plausible and the growing friendship between Sidney and Keating, and the development of the minor characters add interest to this essentially cozy series of mysteries.  As an added bonus, the BBC does their usual stellar job of bringing the period to life.

If you like cozy British mystery shows, you can't go wrong with Midsomer Murders.  Just don't start calculating body counts - over 18 seasons with usually 2 or more murders per show, it's a wonder anyone is left alive in that corner of England.  If you like period mysteries, the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, set in 1920's Australia, are a lot of fun.  

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