Murder Before Evensong
A Canon Clement Mystery
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THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE REVEREND RICHARD COLES' CANON CELEMENT MYSTERY SERIES '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... 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' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'I've been waiting for a novel with vicars, rude old ladies, murder and sausage dogs ... et voila!' DAWN FRENCH 'Whodunnit fans can give praise and rejoice' IAN RANKIN 'A warm funny joy from start to finish' SARAH MILLICAN 'You'll want to take a front row pew in Champton while this delicious series unfolds' JANICE HALLETT 'An absolute joy from cover to cover - funny, clever and wonderfully plotted. Praise be!' ADAM KAY 'Murder Before Evensong has all the elements that make up a classic detective story: a pitch-perfect setting, a genuine puzzle, a gruesome murder (or more) and engaging characters. I enjoyed it very much' PHILIP PULLMAN 'Glorious' ROBERT WEBB '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' DAMIAN BARR 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.
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... 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. -- Jake Kerridge * THE DAILY TELEGRAPH * 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 * An absolute joy from cover to cover - funny, clever and wonderfully plotted. Praise be! * Adam Kay * Beautifully written and a warm funny joy from start to finish. * Sarah Millican * Perfect for those who like their cosy crime to have a cutting edge. * Ben Aaronovitch * Glorious. * Robert Webb * Richard Coles is one of the most sparkling, entertaining, clever and lovable people in public life, as rare and precious to British culture as a Norman cathedral. * Victoria Coren Mitchell * 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. Canon Daniel Clement must solve mysteries temporal and theological while surviving his parishioners tender ministries. Delightful! And only Richard Coles could pull this off so joyfully and with such style. Biscuit-thieving Cosmo, too, will soon have his own fan club. * Damian Barr * Murder Before Evensong has all the elements that make up a classic detective story: a pitch-perfect setting, a genuine puzzle, a gruesome murder (or more) and engaging characters. I enjoyed it very much. * Philip Pullman * A good old page-turner with brilliantly drawn characters, from the aristocratic de Floures to Daniel's astute, snobbish mother, and dachshunds so real you can almost smell them. -- Rose Shepherd * SAGA, Book of the Month * Coles' rendering of his fictional church, St Mary's, in the village of Champton, twinkles with quirky detail and sharp humour. -- Paul Connolly * METRO *
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