Brian Clegg

When Stephen Capel moved to his first parish in a rural village after four years as a prison chaplain he expected a quiet life. Not to discover a drowned man in the ruined tower on top of Glastonbury Tor.

Dealing with an increasingly complicated relationship with the local police, Capel begins to suspect that there is a link between this death and the murder of a famously eccentric photographer in Glastonbury Abbey the year before. His quest takes him to the sophisticated streets of Bath and up onto the ancient white horse at Uffington. In the end, though, it's Capel's understanding of people that will make or break the case.

The Stephen Capel Mysteries bring the classic British detective story into the twenty-first century.

Other books in the series include A Timely Confession, A Spotless Rose, A Twisted Harmony, An End to Innocence, A Fall from Grace, A Fair Deliverance and A Contrite Heart.

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Enter the name for this tabbed section: Reviews


I'm a sucker for a well-paced police procedural. I also enjoy reading about science. When one of my favorite science writers, Brian Clegg produces another of his novels, I expect I'll be confined to my reading chair for a few days. A Lonely Height indeed kept me riveted throughout. Both the meticulous side of the science writer and the expansive side of the student of human nature comes through in Mr. Clegg's latest. He also has a very unlikely main character whose reactions and insights provide almost constant surprise and comic touches that reveal the vicar's very engaging nature. This is a well-developed character who takes serious risks almost as easily as he writes the weekly sermon. I know I'll be looking forward to the next installment of Rev. Capel's adventures… You'll find this an engaging, enjoyable read that will also make you think a bit on your way through its pages. - Richard Sutton

The plot twists as another murder is linked to this one, the suspect could be one of many, and at one point Capel's own life is in danger. Thrown into the mystery and suspense is a little romance to lighten the mood, as well as some quirky characters whose banter is brilliant. Clegg's setting of Glastonbury is delightfully described so the reader can visualise the place, which may be a laid-back town but this by no means affects the pace of the book which is carefully developed. Clegg is well known for his non-fiction science writing and hints of this come through in the thought processes and influences of the lead characters. A very clever start in the realms of fiction for this author. - Sue Roebuck

“A Lonely Height” is a terrifically compelling British murder mystery that takes place in Glastonbury, the location of the “lonely height” of the remains of St. Michael’s Church at Glastonbury Tor. This is a delightful novel, featuring a very likable and refreshing protagonist, Stephen Capel. Capel is a priest by profession, but he defies all priestly-stereotypes, to the delight and surprise of his fellow characters – and the reader. Laced with humor, wit, romance and friendship, “A Lonely Height” is a stimulating “whodunit,” and I will be anxiously awaiting future mysteries with priest-detective Capel. - Steven Caplan

I'm a sucker for a good old-fashioned whodunit, and they don't come better or more old-fashioned than the subgenre in which a Man of the Cloth turns detective. From Father Brown to Rabbi David Small, they'd make a regular ecumenical conference - to which one must now add to the Canon (pardon me) thirtysomething Vicar-about-Town Stephen Capel, in the first of what I hope will be many such escapades… As a traditional whodunit it has all the ingredients - a pleasant English setting (no Scandi-Noir psychodrama, this); lots of suspects; dummy clues; cliffhanger chapter-endings; false trails, and a trapdoor of an ending. As a character, Capel is breezy and outgoing, refreshingly unhaunted by a troubled past or an alcohol problem, with a nice line in cheeky badinage and a taste for full English breakfasts (when he can get them) and real ale (but ony in moderation). Amazon review

I really enjoyed reading this murder mystery. It kept you on your toes until the last minute and as I had to find out what happened stayed up far too late! Amazon review

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