Murder Before Evensong
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.
Reviewed on 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.