Richard Coles - Shastrix Books

Richard Coles

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Murder at the Monastery

Murder at the Monastery

Richard Coles

23rd June 2024

Everything is a bit shaken up in Canon Clement’s third mystery novel, which follows immediately on from the second.

The narrative is split here across multiple locations, as we follow three different threads of plot, which only somewhat overlap into plot. This feels quite odd in places where we jump between points of view mid chapter, which isn’t a style I’m all that used to.

One of the big changes with this book is that it’s much more a story about the characters, and less of the focus is on the mystery. This might be seen as detracting from it, as the murder referenced in the title feels secondary to the actual story that’s being told. Personally, I found it an interesting take and was engaged sufficiently with the characters that this didn’t matter.

I’m continuing to really enjoy this series and am intrigued to see where Richard Coles is going to take us next.

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A Death In The Parish

A Death In The Parish

Richard Coles

16th July 2023

Book two, and we’re back in the rectory with Canon Clement, the unlikely detective in this cosy crime village, whose life is already busy and complex ministering to his flock, overseeing the new priest in the next village, and exploring new hobbies with his policeman friend.

We get some great character development, seeing those established previously grow, and we get some new characters join to fill out the cast and add variety. There’s a lot of churchiness, which some readers might find off putting, but mentally I liken to world-building in fantasy novels.

The mystery itself I’m not entirely sure I followed the resolution of. There seemed to be quite a lot of threads of story all wrapped up quite quickly, and I can’t remember how exactly they added up.

Overall though, a nice cosy tale which I enjoyed, and I’ll definitely be picking up the next book when it in turn comes along.

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Murder Before Evensong

Murder Before Evensong

Richard Coles

3rd July 2022

Rev Richard Coles adds mystery novelist to his annoyingly long list of talents with this tale of a crime solving rector in a village church in the late 1980s.

The world building is rich and really fun - setting up the village with the classic set of characters, getting fascinating insights into the life of a CofE rector, and seeing all the little conflicts that arise.

However for the actual plot I felt that the book suffered from having too many characters. There were a lot of suspects and I found it quite hard to keep track of who each one was, how they related to all the others, and thus couldn’t follow the mystery as well as I would have liked.

This of course will in no way prevent me from reading book two next year.

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Top books

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  2. Murder at the Monastery
  3. Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
  4. A Death In The Parish
  5. Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
  6. Murder Before Evensong