Book of the Year Nomination for Reverend Richard Coles

Mar 20, 2023

We are delighted to announce that The Reverend Richard Coles’ ‘Murder Before Evensong’ has been shortlisted for The British Book Awards’ Book Of The Year (Crime and Thriller) 2023.

The first novel in the Canon Clement Mystery series sold over 80,000 copies through Nielsen BookScan and spent five weeks atop the bestseller chart. It was the second-biggest novel for Orion in 2022. Five special editions were produced by W&N, including two Christmas editions, and Rev Richard Coles visited over 50 bookshops as part of a tour. The novel was a Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller.

The novel follows Daniel Clement, the Rector of Champton, where he lives 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 the 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. As the police moves in and the bodies start piling up, Daniel is the only one who can try and keep his community together… and catch a killer.

Richard Coles is a writer, broadcaster and an Anglican priest. He co-presents Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 and appears, from time to time, on QI, Have I Got News For You, and Would I Lie To You? He has won Christmas MasterchefCelebrity Mastermind twice, and captained Leeds to victory in Christmas University Challenge in 2019.

He writes regularly for the Sunday Times, and is the author of half a dozen books, including a bestselling autobiography, Fathomless Riches, and the bereavement bestseller The Madness of Grief, after the death of his partner, David Coles. Murder Before Evensong, the first book in the Canon Clement Mystery series, was an instant number 1 Sunday Times bestseller.

Richard is Patron of Greatwell Homes, a Housing Association providing social and affordable housing in east Northants, and is Chancellor of the University of Northampton.