Archive for October 23rd, 2010

The Crossing Places

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

By Elly Griffiths

The Short Tale:

This intriguing little murder mystery stars a female forensic archeologist who lives near the coast in England. It promises to be the first in a series of mysteries involving something old, something new, and someone murdered. A nice mix.


I really like Dr. Ruth Galloway, the protagonist in this new series. She’s almost 40, overweight, quite self-sufficient, and very in love with the lonely salty marshes around her home. Author Elly Griffiths’ evocative descriptions of the landscape certainly paint a bracing picture: I felt a bit chilly just reading them.

There are Roman and Iron Age archeology sites in the area, but Ruth primarily teaches at the local college. That makes her the logical person to consult when mysterious bones turn up, because they could be almost any age.

The interesting supporting cast includes a would-be modern Druid, an old lover, a flighty best friend, various archeology types, and the investigating detective, Harry Nelson. Having gotten a sneak preview of the next book in the series, I can tell you that a number of these people continue to show up — which I consider good news for the reader.

Mystery lovers should very much enjoy this book. If you like gaining a little knowledge about ancient ritual or are into Druids, Romans, or Celtic lore, you’ll like it even more.

A Little Plot:

Dr. Ruth Galloway is ready for a typically teaching day when Detective Nelson asks for her help with some newly uncovered bones. They may be those of a girl who went missing 10 years earlier, or they could be ancient.

Ruth’s involvement not only disrupts her life, it may put her in danger. But her insights and careful archeology techniques keep the police coming back for more aid. And, it turns out there’s more than one mystery hiding in Ruth’s beloved salt marsh — in this book alone.

For more about Elly Griffiths and this book, click here.


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