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A Room Full of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Investigation, Book 4 | [Elly Griffiths]

A Room Full of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Investigation, Book 4

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

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  •  
    Sires Chesapeake, OH, United States 03-19-12
    Sires Chesapeake, OH, United States 03-19-12 Member Since 2012

    I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Elly Griffith Is Back in Better Form"

    I was disappointed in the previous Ruth Galloway mystery (The House at Sea's End). Three stars disappointed. I actually said that I wasn't looking forward to forensic anthropology with a toddler. However, the author made a decision to have a significant event in the relationship between Ruth and her baby's father happen between books that actually seems to help the story arc in my opinion.

    The story opens with the death of a director of a small local museum. He is found lying dead beside the coffin of a medieval bishop that had been excavated from a site that had once been a church and then an industrial site. The window is open, a single shoe lies on the floor and a guide book whose pages riffle in the breeze. Ruth Galloway, forensic anthropologist, finds the body. Murder or natural causes? A drug habit might argue one, but menacing letters in his desk drawer might argue the other.

    The museum also houses some Australian aborigine bones that a group calling itself the Elginists (Lord Elgin's marbles but I'm not sure why they named themselves after the guy who took the marbles from the Parthenon) want repatriated. These bones were collected by the ancestor of the founder of the museum, Lord Smith. Lord Smith is also a racing stable owner, married with three adult children, one of whom helps with the stable, one who is a successful QC and one who is a wastrel.

    Meanwhile Harry Nelson's team is also dealing with the importation of high quality drugs from over seas that apparently no one in the criminal community knows about.

    The disentangling all of the threads kept me interested through the entire story. There was one thing that niggled at me after I finished the book but I can't tell it without spoilers so I just have to say that it might bother others also.

    I gave this book 4 stars because it was a better than average entertainment even with the occasional fault.

    P.S. Jane McDowell does her usual good job with the narration.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 11-24-12
    karen 11-24-12
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    "Changing, evolving, genre...."

    I loved Elly Griffith's first book so much that when the second came out, I bought it right away -- something I almost never do. I usually wait for a second-hand copy to become available. I enjoyed the second book, and the third, too, but not as much. This one? Not at all. The author has subtly changed genre, and this doesn't interest me anymore.

    The earlier books focused on Ruth Galloway, an archaeologist and single mother, which was an interesting combination, and meant a mystery focused on ancient remains, their origins and what might have occurred. The series has now taken off in a different direction. Now the focus is equally on one of the other characters, Cathbad, a Druid, and now seems to center on his occult beliefs, rituals, super powers and abilities. We still get Ruth dealing with her young daughter, but the emphasis has definitely changed.

    In reading other reader's comments, I understand that many love this new direction, the Druidical hocus-pokus, the spells and charms. I don't. I liked the more traditional detective tale involving ancient remains and what happened to them.

    It's all a matter of taste -- this book with its phantasmagorical storyline just wasn't interesting to me. I won't bother with subsequent books.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Burlington, Ontario, Canada 03-30-12
    Joanne Burlington, Ontario, Canada 03-30-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Very enjoyable"

    Another lovely book by Elly Griffith: the story is good, not great, but the character development is very satisfying. Jane Powell's performance is excellent. If you are a fan of Ruth and Harry, then, you will enjoy this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barbara United States 06-03-12
    barbara United States 06-03-12 Member Since 2015

    I especially enjoy historical mysteries. I don't like to know how things end before I begin.

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    "Weak central character limits this story"

    Ruth, supposedly a forensic anthropologist, should be an interesting character study if Griffiths portrayal of her reflected any of the intelligence and independence a reader might expect. Other characters in the story speak of her with admiration but I find her a most uninformed scholar. She asks others to answer questions about British political or church history that I could have answered in high school. The story wanders endlessly around the thoughts of a group of personalities and taxes a reader's patience in trying to link them together into a coherent story line. The author constantly refers to earlier books in order to support the story line in this one. I have no motivation to go back and read the earlier novels. The author would be better served to do a little more research and develop a central character with some depth.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vancouverquilter 12-05-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the money and the time....."

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theblackersheep 05-28-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Book!"

    Elly Griffiths' 4th book in the Ruth Galloway series does not disappoint. Her characters continue to be interesting and the mysteries less than straightforward. Although many of her characters are less than conventional people and hold beliefs not likely to be accepted by the mainstream, Griffiths always manages to keep them from going overboard into an extreme that might alienate some readers. She also leaves much open to interpretation instead of simply telling you this is what you must believe happened. It's a bit along the lines of Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins, only as a archeologist Ruth Galloway is perhaps a bit more grounded in scientific belief. I'm making the comparison simply based on the fact that both authors are adept at leaving opinion up to the reader.

    The plot of the novel is excellent with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting and leaving me feeling like the book was much too short and couldn't we have had more please. I'm amazed at how well Griffiths combines Ruth's life with the investigations without making her into a Scarpetta, or a protagonist who becomes the constant victim. She's there and she is definitely the focus, but the writing is much more subtle and you don't feel as if Ruth is being forced on you. I've loved the previous books in the series and this one was no different. Griffiths holds your interest from beginning to end without going overboard on the drama and I really like the way she even makes reality seem surprising. I don't want to have to wait for the next book to come out.

    The only critique I have of this book is the quality of the recording. Jane McDowell did an excellent job at narration, as always, but the recording occasionally sounds quite tinny even though I downloaded the 4. Still, it's a great book and one I can recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    reasonable critic United States 04-12-12
    reasonable critic United States 04-12-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Best So Far in the Series!"

    Couldn't wait for this book to be published and was not disappointed. Loved the new romantic plot developments. Am usually fairly good at figuring out the culprit before the
    end of the book but was taken by complete surprise in this one. Start with the first book in the series. You won't regret it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon in Surrey Vancouver, Canada 02-23-15
    Sharon in Surrey Vancouver, Canada 02-23-15 Member Since 2006

    Old Broad with Keyboard

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    "Dead People Everywhere"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Room Full of Bones to be better than the print version?

    Didn't bother to buy the print version because I bought the Unabridged audio to listen to while I work.


    What other book might you compare A Room Full of Bones to and why?

    I think it's a lot like a Miss Marple mystery. Our Hero, Ruth, doesn't mean to find fresh dead bodies under very odd circumstances but she does. She's driven by curiosity, observation & the need for solitude.She tends to attract very odd people, dead & alive, who try to get her killed. There's enough twists, turns & spirits to keep the listener happy but none of the violence or destruction of most adventures. I'd say, more action than a cozy mystery but less than a thriller. A perfect book for a long drive or a few commutes to work.


    What does Jane McDowell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She does a good job of reading the story but has trouble with male regional British accents. Not a real failing on her part because I think it's impossible for a woman to do them justice.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to listen to the next one in the series. I like Ruth Galloway.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet H. Maddox 06-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding Characters"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zulu 05-14-14
    Zulu 05-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Satinalibrary
    UK
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "Good crime for bedtime"

    Have listened to the whole series, and have enjoyed them all, even though the narraator changed. Good crime story, but nothing majorly original. I wouldn't say it's an over-accurate representation of forensic or police procedure, but enjoyable, and the characters are well rounded. Listen to them in order though if you want to get the best out of them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Charmaine
    Colchester, United Kingdom
    12/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent"

    Once again Ruth Galloway gets caught up in solving a crime she never wanted to get involved with which brings her in contact with her love. All sorts of lovely twists and turns throughout as usual to keep the reader interested with characters who are totally believable. And thankfully a decent narrated was used who is capable of voicing the different characters making it so much easier to listen to. I have read the first 3 books in this series and none of them have disappointed - this a series I will definitely continue following

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    8/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The curse of the bones"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, any of the books in this series are good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the characters, Ruth, Kate, Nelson, Cathbad, and as I have listened to a few now, I feel like I know them. It is a bit different in that there is the archaeological aspect to the story not just the crime aspect, it is really well blended.


    What does Jane McDowell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    She has a great voice and captures the essence of the characters really well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but knew I couldn't, but I took every opportunity I could to listen to it when I could.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chiaracuddle
    8/2/15
    Overall
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    "Love it!"

    Atmospherically written, well read and edited, my favourite Ruth Galloway story yet. Truly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kl Love
    Wassenaar Netherlands
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very enjoyable listen"
    What made the experience of listening to A Room Full of Bones the most enjoyable?

    It starts rather slowly, but as the book develops the characters emerge more and more clearly. They are depicted with sympathy and understanding so that even the troublesome ones are shown as real human beings, not stock characters. The plot is intriguing and the resolution satisfying, even though a tinge of supernatural possibility remains.


    What about Jane McDowell’s performance did you like?

    Jane McDowell has a particularly pleasant voice to listen to, and reads clearly and with good pace. Just now and then I wished she would not emphasise quite so many words (some narrative passages are jus scene-setting), but this is a very minor quibble and I look forward to listening to other books she has read.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The descriptions of the salt marshes, although brief, are evocative. But the most memorable moment was the description of the death experience of one of the characters. Whether it describes a real experience or a fever-induced hallucination is left to the reader to decide, but as an evocation of the approach to the next world it was memorable.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first Elly Griffiths book I have listened to, but I am about to download the others as I enjoyed this very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • L. Lomax
    UK
    7/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I LIKED THIS"
    If you could sum up A Room Full of Bones in three words, what would they be?

    Weird Norfolk crime.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ruth - she's always trying to do exactly the right thing.


    Have you listened to any of Jane McDowell’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    The Ruth Galloway characters are always very consistent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Tend to listen before I fall asleep at night.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anon
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love this series."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I love the combination of strong woman protagonist and interweaving of whodunnit, the supernatural and the ancient elemental landscape of the Norfolk coast.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    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.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Ancient secrets, modern murder in the place where the sky meets the sea.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Serena Hale
    6/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing write"
    What made the experience of listening to A Room Full of Bones the most enjoyable?

    Her attention to details is so good


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cathbad


    Have you listened to any of Jane McDowell’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have given the chance.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms Colligan
    6/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This narrator is great, dont bother with the next."
    Would you listen to A Room Full of Bones again? Why?

    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.


    What about Jane McDowell’s performance did you like?

    most things


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flint
    4/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good story"

    I enjoyed this book very much, the plot was interesting and (more or less) believable. I like the interaction between the characters and the dilemmas which they face in their private lives. The ending was not predictable and it was good that some loose ends were left for us to wonder about.

    It was very well read, Jane McDowell is my favourite narrator for this series of books, I think she makes Nelson much more believable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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