Reverend Richard Coles
Britain's favourite vicar might be hanging up the dog collar, but in Murder Before Evensong he proves to be the unlikely heir to Barbara Pym.
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.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson