Review – Murder before Evensong

Title: Murder before Evensong

Author: Rev Richard Coles

Series: A Canon Clement Mystery #1

2.5 stars

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

From Goodreads:

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.

My Thoughts

This was disappointing. A popstar turned Rev who I have enjoyed the comedy stylings of on BBC panel shows I was expecting a murder mystery by the Rev Richard Cole to have a nice balance of excitement and cosy mystery vibes but for me it was more snoozy mystery with none of the excitement.

The characters were all a bit lack lustre. I don’t feel we really got to know any of them and the whole investigations on the various deaths, two of which happen in the last chapter with no fan fare what so ever, just felt at a distance. I didn’t feel as a reader that we were really part of the investigation but instead it was something happening in the background.

The language choices were also odd. I expected a level of floweriness due to Rev Coles TV appearances but this went over the top to the point it was verging on illegible, but then it would snap back into talking about ‘wee’ and ‘poo poos’ and back again. It was very jarring. A lot of the books focus seemed to be on the toilet habits of the main characters dachshunds which seemed to come up every other chapter.

I also found it very hard to gauge when exactly this was supposed to take place, there were several references to well beloved yet old British TV shows but that didn’t really help to narrow it down. It wasn’t until the mention of the 1988 Eurovision song contest entry (which I had to google) that I finally knew the era this was set in. Which meant I never really gained a mental picture of the village and its inhabitants.

It did have some fun little references the nod to Ms Marple was cute and I did finish the book which did at least wrap up the mystery in an ok fashion but overall I just wasn’t overly entertained which was a shame.


I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

2 thoughts on “Review – Murder before Evensong

  1. I agree, I thought this was really disappointing too. I had to look up so many words I’d never heard of. I really like Rev Richard but I’m afraid I won’t be reading any more of this series.

    Liked by 1 person

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