Murder Before Evensong

A letter from Richard Coles from

When I moved from central London to my parish in rural Northamptonshire, a friend asked if I wouldn’t miss the challenges of ministering in the inner city, and quickly tire of fêtes and beetle drives and dog shows.  There was a murder in my first week.
Anything can happen anywhere, an eternal theme of not just crime fiction, but English literature. In my book murder happens in Champton St Mary, where Canon Daniel Clement is Rector on the estate of Lord de Floures. A classic English scene that falls apart when in church one day Daniel announces a plan to instal a new lavatory.
My novel, Murder Before Evensong, began partly after I proposed a new lavatory in church one Sunday and everyone went bananas – but mostly it came to life because my grandfather took me to Oundle Bookshop, then and now one of my favourite indies, when I was seven and bought me The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories. It ignited in me a love for crime fiction, and a love for literature, which has brought such delight, and challenge, and fascination all my life.

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