The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths (Mystery)

Thank you to Mariner Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on April 25th, 2023

Number 15 in the Norfolk based, archeologist Ruth Galloway series. I’ve read every single one so obviously think it’s a great series! This one takes place in mid-2021, smack dab in the middle of Covid lock downs / ease ups, etc. In this story, a body is found bricked up in the wall of a local cafe during remodeling which is quickly identified as the body of a young student who had gone missing in 2002. The regulars are all back: single-mom forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway, the gruff and somewhat tormented DCI Nelson, and the intuitive Druid Cathbad. As always, plenty of history — both bone and myth related. One character suffers from Long Covid, declining enrollments threaten to shut down the archeology department of the University of North Nofolk, and — for those who have been following the series — I will say (with no spoilers) that there is some real closure on one aspect of the long range storyline. Also, a delightful surprise near the end of the book.

Always enjoyable — read in a day.

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths (Mystery)

I gulped this book down in (almost) a single sitting. Perfect for long quarantine days: part novel with great characters who have evolved over the 12 books in Griffiths’ Dr. Ruth Galloway series and part mystery with all that closure we crave in these anxious days.

Four dead woman and a convicted murderer, but do they have the right man? In this installment, Ruth has moved to Cambridge with a new partner and a new job but is drawn back to Norfolk by the prisoner offering to disclose the location of additional bodies if Ruth promises to do the excavation. An artist colony and cycling group feature prominently in the story with plenty of local history, folklore, and archeological digs. All our favorite characters are back, each slowly progressing in their own long term narrative arcs.

Now I just have to wait for the next one…

p.s. For those who are new to this series, Dr. Ruth Galloway is a forensic archeologist who, before this book, lived in a remote area near Norfolk amidst the marshes near the sea. She works with the large and brooding but spectacularly capable Detective Chief Inspector Nelson. Another favorite character is Cathbad — part-time University employee and full-time modern druid. You can start the series anywhere, really, but the it never hurts to start at the beginning!

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on July 14th, 2020.