Murder Before Evensong – Richard Coles

No murder is gentle and certainly when the death of the first victim in the church at Champton is spattered all over the pews it causes a quiet sleepy village to question whether everyone is as they seem.

Cannon Daniel Clement, Rector of said Church. Living with his widowed mother, two dogs and occasionally visits from his acting brother Theo sets the pace for this what is to be a series of books, featuring the Cannon.

As Daniel goes about his parish, performing all the duties that are expected of him and some that are not. He can see into everyone’s lives and comes close to seeing what is clearly under his nose. But can he work out why this terrible thing has happened to his parish and how exactly does the requirement for a lavatory in the church fit in?

With no actual dated sense of when this books is set, though I think I would go Mid Eighties. (Plenty of scope for a number of books as I mention previous). It is a very ‘English’ book and has all the makings of a good cosy crime series. Cannon Clement I could picture quite easily as with a number of the more vocal parishioners, with that sense of humour that perhaps only us British understand. Whilst some might find the references to the bible irrelevant to the plot or too much ‘religious pontificating’, for me they helped me understand the plot, the place and of course the people.

Perfect for fans all things cosy crime, of course comparisons can be made to the phenomenon that is Richard Osman and G.K Chesterton. To me it stands in it’s own place on anyone’s bookshelf. I look forward to seeing how the series and the characters develop.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Murder Before Evensong is out now.

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