Tag: Elly Griffiths

Reviews: Two More Ruth Galloway Mysteries

Over the recent holiday I read the second and third Ruth Galloway Mysteries by Elly Griffiths. See the author post for more information about the series.

Number 2. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

In The Janus Stone, construction workers uncover the bones of a child buried under the foundation of a structure. Ruth Galloway investigates and figures out the death is decades old, not centuries old. She and Detective Nelson search for the previous owners of the house and the child’s identity.

Number 3. The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths

When workers recording beach erosion uncover a mass grave, it is Ruth Galloway’s job to figure out how six men ended up bound, shot and buried there.

Quick Notes with Spoilers:

Both books feature the things that attracted me to the first novel, the compelling characters, the Norfolk setting, and the use of the present tense to give the action an immediate feel.

Although I enjoyed the second novel, there was some repetition of plot from the first.

By the third novel, however, the plot became a clone of the previous one, even though the victims were very different and the main character’s circumstances had changed drastically. In the climax scene, Ruth Galloway trudged  off to get captured by the villain on a boat, exactly like what happened in the second novel.  Once again Detective Nelson throws himself into the water to rescue her, but instead endangers himself, again the same scenario as the second novel.

I was particularly disappointed when Ruth Galloway chose to go off to meet the villain, when she had a compelling reason to go home to be with her child. The boat wasn’t that exciting a find, and to leave her child after her friend had just chided her for being an inattentive mother seemed weak and self-centered.

Personally, I thought the plot would have been stronger and more believable if Detective Nelson put himself in danger and Ruth figured out she needed to go save him.  That would have been a credible reason for Ruth to leave her child. According to the blurb for the next novel, Detective Nelson becomes ill and is in danger. So, perhaps I am being prescient?



Ruth Galloway Mystery

Author Post: Elly Griffiths

British novelist Domenica de Rosa writes awesome mysteries under the pseudonym Elly Griffiths.

The first series features forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway who lives in Norfolk, a county north and east of London.

Ruth Galloway Series:

  • The Crossing Places (2009) -see review below
  • The Janus Stone (2010) –quick review
  • The House at Sea’s End (2011) – quick review
  • A Room Full of Bones (2012)
  • Ruth’s First Christmas Tree (2012)
  • A Dying Fall (2013)
  • The Outcast Dead (2014)
  • The Ghost Fields (2015)
  • The Woman in Blue (2016)
  • The Chalk Pit (2017)
  • The Dark Angel (2018)
  • The Stone Circle (2019)

DI Stephens & Max Mephisto series

  • The Zig-Zag Girl (2014)
  • Smoke and Mirrors (2015)
  • The Blood Card (2016)
  • The Vanishing Box (2017)

Standalone Novels by Domenica de Rosa

  • The Italian Quarter (2004)
  • The Eternal City (2005)
  • Villa Serena (2007)
  • Summer School (2008)
  • A Girl Called Justice (2019)


The Crossing Places (first in the Ruth Galloway Mysteries series) by Elly Griffiths

When Ruth Galloway is called in to age some bones unearthed in a marsh, she quickly establishes that the Iron Age remains aren’t related to a decade-old case of a missing child. The detective who contacted her realizes Ruth’s expertise might shed light on some mysterious letters related to the disappearance. Soon Ruth is caught up in trying to find the lost girl as well.

This novel grabbed me in a way that I haven’t experienced in some time.

What I loved:

  • The main character is older, overweight, and lives with two cats. She seems grounded and real.
  • The novel is written in the present tense, making it feel immediate.
  • The pacing is fast. It fits in the mystery category because we don’t know who did what, but the fast pace makes it seem more like a thriller. It doesn’t wander.
  • Griffiths has a deft touch with foreshadowing.
  • The relationship between Ruth and the detective, Harry Nelson, makes a compelling character arc that pulls the reader into the next book without resorting to cliffhangers or unsatisfactory endings. It is perfect.

I hope the library has the next one on the shelf.



About Author Posts:

Ever been at the library or in a store and wondered if you need a certain title or if you’ve read it?  Having a list like this makes it easy to check on your phone.

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