Sunday night viewing is getting better on PBS – a reprieve from the long wait for the return of Downton Abbey. And unlike the Maggie Smith driven saga created by Julian Fellowes for television, two PBS televised series follow real books, published and available: Poldark and Grantchester.
Poldark – the newest addition from the BBC for Masterpiece theater – is based on a series of twelve books by Winston Graham. After reading Stephen Brunwell’s review – What Merits a Remake? – with his promise of “a wealth of back stories missing from the televised versions,” I found the newly reissued books and plan to immerse myself in the Cornwall saga of a Revolutionary war hero who returns to find his land in disrepair, and his former love lost to another man.
Grantchester – sadly appearing only briefly on PBS, with the second series not available until 2016 – follows a series of books by James Runcie. The handsome, erudite Canon Sydney Chambers is the clergyman/detective solving crimes with his sidekick, local police officer—Inspector Geordie Keating, in a small village near Cambridge in the 1960s.
The books are available through public libraries and in paperback. If you want to follow the stories in order, Poldark begins with Ross Poldark (1945), followed by Demelza (1946). To continue reading, find the list and a few free downloads at NLS Minibibliographies.
The Grantchester Mysteries begin with Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, published in 2012. Muncie has been churning out a book a year, with the latest, Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins (2015).
Comfortable and comforting – cozy with romance and mystery – just what I need right now.