Review: The Ruth Galloway Series by Elly Griffiths

In 2009, Elly Griffiths published her first novel starring heroine Ruth Galloway – a plus-size forensic archeologist who lives a solitary life in a tiny cottage on the Saltmarsh in Norfolk in the UK. Four more novels followed, leaving us with the following titles:

When we first meet Ruth in The Crossing Places, she has been asked to help identify the bones of a body found in the Saltmarsh, believed to be those of a young girl who has been missing for several years. While it turns out these bones are from the Iron Age, 2000 years ago, Ruth winds up consulting on the missing child case with Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson. I will admit that as I neared the end of The Crossing Places, I had made the decision not to continue reading the series. But. But! Ruth winds up unexpectedly pregnant at the very end of the book, which hooked me instantly. It’s basically the whole reason I read the series, actually – to follow the storyline about Ruth and her baby and her baby-daddy. {3 out of 5 stars}

Griffiths picks up the pace in The Janus Stone, in which a pregnant Ruth Galloway is once again called upon to identify the bones of a headless child found buried under the doorway of an former children’s home. While Ruth and Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson are embroiled in the investigation, someone is stalking Ruth and trying to scare her into backing off from her search for the truth. Oh, yes, and her baby-daddy finds out about the baby. And, by the way, the baby-daddy is none other than the very married Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson! Gasp! {4 out of 5 stars}

In The House at Sea’s End, Ruth has recently returned to work after the birth of her daughter, Kate. A team of her fellow archeologists ask for her help identifying six bodies found in a mass coastal grave – they turn out to be WW II German soldiers. Ruth once again is paired with DCI Harry Nelson – Kate’s married father – as they investigate the mystery of these forgotten soldiers. {4 out of 5 stars}

As we begin A Room Full of Bones, Ruth and DCI Harry Nelson are no longer in contact upon strict order of Nelson’s wife, who has discovered the existence of Kate, Ruth and Nelson’s baby. Their paths cross again, however, when Ruth discovers the body of a museum curator in charge of three Aboriginal skulls. Soon the owner of the museum has died of a mysterious fever, one which soon also threatens DCI Nelson’s life. Ruth and Nelson race to find the link between the skulls, drug smuggling, and a dead bishop before it’s too late… {4 out of 5 stars}

Griffiths’ most recent installment in the Ruth Galloway series, A Dying Fall, finds Ruth in Blackpool – Harry Nelson’s hometown, which (surprise, surprise) he and his wife also happen to be visiting at the same time. Ruth is assisting with the indentification of some bones found by a former college friend of hers, who has died in a mysterious fire. After she arrives, however, she begins to receive threatening messages. Soon it is apparent that Ruth – and her daughter, Kate – are in danger. Can Harry Nelson save them? And will there finally be a resolution in the relationship between Ruth and Harry? Ah, the suspense!  {4 out of 5 stars}

The Ruth Galloway series, written by Elly Griffiths is one that I definitely recommend if you are looking for a good mystery novel. There is plenty of humor, sarcasm and wit – which is something I always appreciate. It’s not a light read, but not one that you have to invest too deeply in, either. Perfect for in between the big tomes. Stop by your local library and check one out today!

Who I would recommend these books to: Justy, who likes a good mystery series.

Source: Lincoln City Libraries Digital Downloads and Free Library of Philadelphia Digital Library

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