Cozy Mystery Reads: Canon Clement Mystery series by The Reverend Richard Coles

“But what he liked most of all about dogs was their innocence of human motives, the self-promoting stratagems and egotism, their affection unstaled by familiarity and reciprocity. This is why the queen surrounds herself with corgis, he sometimes thought: love without deference.”
― Richard Coles, Murder Before Evensong

Canon Daniel Clement has been the Rector of Champton for eight years, the last four of which he has been living with his widowed mother, Audrey in the Rectory. His two dachshunds, Cosmo and Hilda, keep him company when his opinionated mother starts on a tangent.

Champton is on a relative even keel until Daniel announces his plan to install a lavatory in the church which would necessitate the removal of pews. This divides the community and sends his parishioners into a tizzy, fighting over tradition and what should be done instead of the lavatory. Daniel expected a bit of an outcry, but not one as large and longstanding as he received. Lines are drawn throughout town with some going so far as to suggest plans of their own for the proposed lavatory space.

These plans come to a screeching halt when someone is found dead at the back of the church, stabbed in the neck with a pair of secateurs, also known as pruning shears. The police start investigating, other bodies are found, and Daniel is left trying to put his community back together. Tensions start to rise as secrets that were once long buried are unearthed. Who is the killer? A member of the community? Or a stranger seeking revenge for a long ago wrong-doing? Daniel searches for answers all while trying to keep his sleepy parish from falling apart.

“Daniel recalled the bishop saying the same thing, that the higher you rise in an organisation, the further you are from what you need to know.”
― Richard Coles, Murder Before Evensong

Canon Clement Mystery series

  1. Murder Before Evensong (2022)
  2. A Death in the Parish (2023)
  3. Murder at the Monastery (2024)