It is Halloween night, and the local museum in King's Lynn is preparing for an unusual event - the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But when Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise, she finds the museum's curator lying dead beside the coffin. It is only a matter of time before she and DI Nelson cross paths once more, as he is called in to investigate. Soon the museum's wealthy owner lies dead in his stables, too. These two deaths could be from natural causes - but Nelson isn't convinced.
©2012 Elly Griffiths (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
The mystery in this book is an intriguing one, as are the others in the series. But what makes Griffiths books most enjoyable are the very real - warts and all - characters who make up her cast. In the ability of these flawed people to face the issues in life with dignity and just the right touch of humor lies the real charm of these stories. Hooray for Grffiths. She has provided me many hours of enjoyment.
Actual rating 3.5.
Even though this book is entitled a Ruth Galloway investigation she doesn't do much in this book except worry. There's several things going on - a medieval bishop's coffin being opened, a drug ring operating in the area, a group wanting some aborigine bones to be returned and on top of all that rituals and curses abound and family secrets come out. It was interesting listening to all the threads being untangled but there was't really much anthropology or forensics going on although there was one interesting discovery by Ruth.
The narrator did a very good job.
I started the series with this book. And I will give it a go with book one, but I was disappointed. It's called a Ruth Galloway investigation, but she barely investigates anything, and doesn't know what is going on outside her egocentric world most of the time. it's generally accepted that the title character in a mystery book is going to be in the middle of all the action, or fully immersed in finding out what happened, but you're not going to get that with this book. I am hoping that this is an abberation in the series.
I love Ms. Griffith's writing style. She continually moves the listener through the story by maintaining a present tense narrative. She has also given us a gifted heroine who is not gorgeous or self-assured, but who has a fulfilling life in each stage she grows through. Ruth Galloway is quiet, reticent, caring and respectful of her friends and associates who, in turn, are quick to help her with her investigations and sometimes her personal life. I've enjoyed all 4 books in the series and am now required to wait for the 5th to be published.
I have been working through the series back to front. I started with book 8, and though reviews tended to complain that it wasn't as good as earlier books, it caught my interest and I continued backward through the series to this point. I do not particularly like the two main characters (Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson), but I find a number of the secondary characters and their interactions interesting and compelling and find myself caring about their lives. The mysteries themselves vary, but the atmosphere is always powerful and the flow of the story grips the reader and carries them along inexorably. Until this book.
SPOILER ALERT Spoilers to follow!
This book, however, breaks with all the books to follow it. (5-8). The mystery is resolved with a secondary plot that is introduced late, and seems to have been shoehorned in to explain things in a poorly executed way. The solution to the deaths is clever but it is, for me, completely wiped out by the coroner saying that they would have known what killed one of the victims if they had done an autopsy. Really? A second person dies a mysterious and unexpected death while a police investigation is going on that closely involves him and they didn't do an autopsy? This is ridiculous. The whole thing is put together with equal sloppiness.
The worst part, however, is the fact that I loath authors who use the abuse of animals as a means of indicating evil or wrongdoing. In this case, we have snakes killed and abused in the name of animal rights, the report of a cat brutally murdered in a previous story, and the horrifying abuse of multiple horses. In fact, the police witness this not once but twice. The second time they witness this horror and are thrown off the property in a suspicious manner and they do nothing, NOTHING about it. They just ignore it. Aditionally, we are never told if either of these horses survives, or anything about their fate or the fates of any of the other animals that were abused in the past. We are in fact meant to believe that the owner of the stable, his horse loving daughter and his animal rights activist wife allowed this abuse to go on for months or maybe years without even noticing it! There is also no satisfactory explanation of why these horses are suffering this way. We are told the cause, but not why it should cause such suffering. The medical explanation might be simple enough, but since this book is written with a depth of understanding that allows us to be told that a character may be suffering from a viral infection "one that doesn't respond to antibiotics" and a coroner that doesn't do autopsies on suspicious deaths, it is really no surprise that no coherent explanation is offered for the horse situation either.
In summary, I will not be reading anything by Elly Griffiths again and I am sorry she got so much of my money already.
No. I have not read Ms Griffiths previous books, nor could I finish this one. It is rare that I will put a book down before completion, but there was nothing - not the characters, nor story, nor narration, that held my interest. I selected this book because the prior reviews were positive and the Audible Summary was intriguing and similar to other favorite series of the mystery genre by Louise Penny and Jacqueline Winspear. Those series feature principled and cerebral protagonists tackling misdeeds and wicked acts in rural and picturesque settings populated with sympathetic and quirky characters. This novel disappointed on all counts.
I have already started Secret Daughter by Silpi Samaya Gowda. This is a totally different, but favorite genre - the complex, sweeping historical fiction set in distant and mysterious locales. I am hoping it lives up to other favorites including Kite Runner, Cutting for Stone and Shantaram.
No, I do have and follow favorite narrators: Orlaugh Cassidy, Anna Fields, Ralph Kosham, Joe Montegna, Scott Brick, Dick Hill and others.
Sadly, I connected with none of the characters.
I am giving up on this series. I had high hopes with the first book, but for me, Ruth Galloway has become too much of a silly, weak, insecure character. One wonders how she managed to complete a terminal degree. I would have stopped after book 3 but had already bought #4. We spend entirely too much time in Ruth's head and she has really ridiculous imaginings and flights of fancy. Ridiculous moments of idiotic panic over nothing. A little is fine, but there is too much, almost like filler for filler's sake.
The reader (McDowell) does a fair job with general narration and most of the female voices. But in dialogue and if she has to use emphasis for any of the characters or be forceful/gruff for a male character, it just does not work. They sound hollow.
I like both her print and listening versions.
Her description of the salt marshes always fascinate me.
I would not change anything.
Archeology and Australia come together in an intriguing mystery. Rituals as old as bones reach out from the grave.
A long time reader and listener - I just can't get enough of Audible! (Especially mysteries and Buddhist texts and history and ...etc!
Yeah, sure, it was a good listen.
I really liked the archaeological bent, and the characterization of Ruth and her circle of friends.
Well, I would have liked a less 'uptight' sounding narration.
I was very impressed by the narrator. Ms. McDowell made this book great with her reading of a room full of bones. One of the best books I have had the pleasure of listening to this year. I look forward to other books in this series and I hope to find others that Ms. McDowell narrates.
"I love this series."
I love the combination of strong woman protagonist and interweaving of whodunnit, the supernatural and the ancient elemental landscape of the Norfolk coast.
Good narration but as often happens the female narrator thinks she can only portray men by assuming a deep voice and that makes the male characters a little clumsy and two dimensional. She is excellent when it comes to the main character and the narrative flows beautifully.
Ancient secrets, modern murder in the place where the sky meets the sea.
I have listened to all the books in this series and there is not a weak one amongst them. I rarely find a detective series that is top quality but I could listen to these end to end.
Her attention to details is so good
He narration is excellent, they change readers on the later books which, although she is good in her own way, I found a bit confusing at first as the characters voices changed completely.
I would have given the chance.
I have read all of this series still to read the last one but started it last night. I love the way the characters mature and change throughout the book and listening to Kate grow up is amazing.
"This narrator is great, dont bother with the next."
Yes, all of these books up to this point and including have been great, why why why did they change the narrator ???????The rest of the series is narrated by Claire Corbett and she is not up to it.Sorry Claire.What a shame.So bad i returned the next one.
"Very enjoyable stories"
The case is less important, the stories are about the characters, that's what make the books good.
Ruth is the main Character and she's my favourite all the way.
I enjoy her Kate voice
No, its not moving, fairly light and easy really
"One of the most interesting books in the series"
Ranks in the upper middle, but it is the best of the Ruth Galloway series I have read so far, as it uses mythology and dream in a neater more interesting way that the others.
"Love the series but this was a bit far fetched"
I have listened to these white close together and I think that is a mistake. This one is still good but a bit too surreal for me.
Love the series but time for a decent break before I listen to another one
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.