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Men of Mystery: Chambers & Keating solve crimes in idyllic Grantchester

Starting January 18, Masterpiece Mystery! viewers will be treated to six episodes of an exciting new thriller. Get ready to cozy up to your telly Sundays at 10:30pm for Grantchester—a new series based on the acclaimed The Grantchester Mysteries novels by British author James Runcie. Amie Simon gets us ready for the season with a quick overview:

A cozy murder mystery
Set in the 1950s, Grantchester features intuitive clergyman Sidney Chambers, whom the author styled after his late father, Lord Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1980s. Spurred by the confessions of some of his parishioners, the young Vicar becomes friendly with local Inspector Geordie Keating and the two form an unlikely partnership. The idyllic setting of Grantchester, a small countryside village outside Cambridge, serves as the backdrop for our men of mystery. 

Getting to know our leading men
Handsome young Vicar Sidney (played by James Norton, whom you may recognize as passionate defense lawyer Henry Alveston in Death Comes to Pemberly) engages in questionable behavior for a member of the clergy. He enjoys whiskey instead of the usual sherry, listens to jazz records (Sydney Bechet!), rides a bike around town, arrives late to deliver sermons and engages in scandalously inappropriate behavior with his best friend (and the subject of his unrequited love) Amanda Kendall. As he confides to the Inspector, “People tell me things,” which is a catalyst for Sidney to solve crimes using his own sharp deduction skills.

By contrast, Inspector Geordie Keating (veteran actor Robson Green) is a much more practical man who takes his post at the police station seriously, and is initially reluctant to believe in Sidney’s crime-solving skills. Keating makes up for his lack of patience with a keen understanding of a killer’s mind, and he helps to ground Chambers’ youthful enthusiasm. The two are an unlikely team, but they bond over their time fighting in the war, their love of backgammon, and of course, their mutual interest in solving mysteries! 

A sneak peek at the crimes 
Season 1 begins on Sunday, January 18 at 10:30 pm with a suicide . . . or is it? The femme fatale mistress of the deceased begs Chambers for a moment alone and spins a tale of a man in love - ready to leave his wife for a happier arrangement. Sidney takes his concerns to Keating and together, the two narrow down the list of suspects. 

  • Episode two involves an engagement party murder! A night of celebration for Sidney’s former flame turns tragic as jealousy runs high, an engagement ring is stolen, and one of the partyers is found drowned the next morning. 
  • In episode three, while dealing with his feelings about Amanda, one of Sidney’s parishioners tells him that she suspects her son-in-law is out to kill her—and ends up dead shortly afterward! Was her premonition correct? Or is there a more surprising answer? 
  • Episode four takes us to Cambridge for a murder surrounded by shocking secrets, prejudice and shame. While Keating works through a tragic situation at home, Chambers is left to deal with Junior Inspector Atkins, who views the Vicar’s observations as more of a hindrance than a help.
  • Set in London, episode five takes Sidney and Geordie to a jazz club where the owner’s sister is murdered, and leads the pair back to a similar crime committed years before—which may have involved a police cover-up!   
  • Episode six is the season finale, which takes a very dark turn. While investigating a series of police shootings, Keating gets shot and is seriously injured. The senior officer now in charge refuses to let Sidney help, which is the last straw on the pile of heartbreak and struggle that has plagued him over the season. Is this the end of this dynamic team? 


Let’s talk Grantchester 
Masterpiece Mystery! fans, we’d love to know what most excites you about this new series! Is it the handsome young lead? The beautiful country setting? The unlikely pairing of its two leading men? The gorgeous 1950s costumes? Let us know in the comments! We can’t wait to hear what you love about Grantchester.  

Schedule
"Episode 1" airs January 18, 2015, 10:30pm 
"Episode 2" airs January 25, 2015, 10:30pm
"Episode 3" airs February 1, 2015, 10:30pm
"Episode 4" airs February 8, 2015, 10:30pm
"Episode 5" airs February 15, 2015, 10:30pm
"Episode 6" airs February 22, 2015, 10:30pm

You can also catch Grantchester Thursdays at 4pm (beginning 1/22) during Tea Time.  

Watch the preview:

Images: Courtesy of (C) Des Willie/Lovely Day Productions & ITV for MASTERPIECE

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This sounds really interesting episode. I will be waiting for 18 to enjoy the excitement.

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What is exciting to me about Grantchester is that The Orchard Tea House is one of the two most wonderful places in England for me. My husband and I had tea there one lovely May day in 1993 and I've always wanted to go back. There was a beautiful atmosphere there. I also love Rupert Brooke's poem, Grantchester. Jeffrey Archer, one of our favorite mystery writers, lives in the old vicarage there. So many reasons for me to be thrilled to watch "Grantchester".

Very much looking forward to this series because one of my other favorite KCTS series (Father Brown,) involves a clergyman who solves crimes. I would like to think that perhaps KCTS acquired Grantchester because they expected that the same audience that likes Father Brown would also like this.

Should be a great series.......to bad its on at 10:30PM on Sunday! Why so late? We're not all retired you know.

I am excited to see Robson Green back on PBS, and in a mystery, too! He's a great British actor and still so handsome.

I am excited to see a brand new mystery for a few reasons. Firstly I know it will be top-notch because it's on 'Masterpiece Mystery'.Next on my list of important ingredients is the setting-gorgeous english countryside and an idyllic village to look at. Next, period costumes that set just the right tone- scenes shot with an eye for detail that makes the experience a scrumptious one.Then add in good actors and a tangled mystery to solve and I am one ecstatic watcher.So glad it has more than just three or four episodes.

looks great but should air during primetime, not so late at night

Grantchester is my favorite PBS program.
i hope more episodes are planned.

I love everything about this series; the vintage look, beautiful countryside, the intriguing but flawed central characters, and the mystery of each episode. Keep them coming!

I was interested to see this because one of my favorite actors, Robson Green, was in it. Well I'm now a firm fan having now watched 4 episodes, and I'm also now a huge fan of James Norton. Grantchester is just like the villages I lived in growing up. Well done.

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