Murder Before Evensong by The Reverend Richard Coles #BookReview #CanonClement1 #Weidenfeld&Nicolson #NetGalley #5*


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, long-buried secrets come dangerously close to destroying the apparent calm of the village.

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 is the only one who can try and keep his fractured community together… and catch a killer.

Charming, Enigmatic – and So Very Moreish!

I relished looking forward to reading this one; it was everything I hoped – an utter delight from beginning to end!

Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton where things have always been done a certain way and when he announces plans to install a much needed lavatory in the church, it cause untold upset among certain quarters of the congregation and battle lines are drawn. Daniel lives with his two dogs, Cosmo and Hilda and his mother has joined them in the rectory; Audrey relishes being in the thick of things and isn’t quite the docile old lady she first appears. When a member of the local nobility is found dead in the church – stabbed to death with a pair of secateurs, no less – Daniel needs to discover what’s going on in the community if he has any hope of keeping his flock together.

My first thought on finishing this book was how I could ‘hear’ the author’s voice throughout and, indeed, The Reverend Richard Coles narrates the audiobook – who else? Everything is right about this novel; the characters are deliciously created, the mystery is skilfully crafted and humour is peppered throughout. Frankly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Miss Marple herself had popped up partaking in afternoon tea! Delightfully written and absolutely, terrifically enjoyable this is everything it promised and so very much more. The best news of all is that it’s the first of a series and I shall be reading each and every one. On top of Richard Coles being a man of many talents whose kindness and humour shines through everything he does – including his writing – he is a keen observer of his fellow human, and it shows. A sparkling read and one which fully deserves a full house of shining stars and my very best recommendation.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: murder mystery

Author Details

The Reverend Richard Coles (born 26 March 1962) is a Church of England priest, broadcaster, writer and musician. Richard Coles was born in Northampton, England and educated at the independent Wellingborough School (where he was a choirboy)and at the South Warwickshire College of Further Education, Department of Drama and the Liberal Arts. He is known for having been the multi-instrumentalist who partnered Jimmy Somerville in the 1980s band The Communards, which achieved three Top Ten hits. He later attended King’s College London where he studied theology from 1990. Richard Coles co-presents Saturday Live on BBCR4. In January 2011 The Reverend Richard Coles was appointed as the parish priest of St Mary the Virgin, Finedon in the Diocese of Peterborough.

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