The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Elly Griffiths, The Postscript Murders.

The Postscript Murders: a gripping new mystery from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries by [Elly Griffiths]

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PS: thanks for the murders.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.

But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…

And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…

And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…

Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

MY THOUGHTS

The Postscript Murders is another engaging book by Elly Griffiths; it is also the second book to feature Detective Harbinder Kauer. This is definitely for you if you enjoy cosy crime and I can see why this has been compared to Agatha Christie.

What I really loved about this book is that it is set within the world of publishing. After the body of a ninety-year old-woman, Peggy is found; the police discover that she had several connections to well-known writers and publishers, especially crime writers. In a number of books she has received from authors and publishers, there are alarming, threatening notes; Peggy isn’t also the only person to have received them. I thought this gave the book a golden-age crime feel. I found myself smiling at a lot of parts, as the detectives found themselves immersed in the publishing world. There is also even a reference to bloggers who are attending a literary festival. I’ve been to a few literary festivals now, and I could picture these scenes very clearly in my mind.

What I think really makes this book are the characters. Elly Griffiths has created a diverse cast, and they make the book really intriguing. It’s what, to me, made this book feel really fresh and Elly does a brilliant job at bringing them to life and making them feel like real people. Peggy was a really fascinating character. I wanted to know why she was killed at the age she was now. It must’ve been something big in her past that had given someone a motive to do this. What’s certainly clear is that she has lived a very interesting life. She isn’t just your simple armchair detective, as I’m sure many readers will at first begin to believe.

I thought the plot was very cleverly thought out and as I was reading it seemed it could go in a few different directions, but I liked how Elly Griffiths pulled everything together. It seemed that someone was targeting a particular group of writers who Peggy was involved with, and I wanted to know who. What was it that they were covering up in their past that may be the key to the investigation? Elly Griffiths kept me turning the pages with exciting new information on; I was desperate to find out the truth.

The novel starts off feeling very cosy, but it gradually gets darker as more secrets about Peggy’s life are revealed. Elly Griffiths kept me wondering who the real Peggy was and what more secrets we were going to find out about her life. The Postscript Murders is hugely enjoyable, and it makes for a very fun read which will keep you guessing. I’m looking forward to seeing where Elly Griffiths will take this series and the characters next.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 1st October 2020

Print length: 352 pages

The Postscript Murders is available to buy:

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The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Book Review @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

the stranger diaries

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A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries: Susan Hill meets Gone Girl and Disclaimer.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

MY THOUGHTS

Elly Griffiths is back with a new stand-alone novel, The Stranger Diaries. I love Elly Griffiths’ writing. I’ve recently read the first two novels in her Dr Ruth Galloway series, and with all three books I have read, I have found them utterly engaging from the start. If you haven’t read any of Elly’s previous work before, this is the perfect time to start.

Her latest book had me hooked from the first page and immediately she sets the tone for what is a dark and an absorbing tale. We meet Clare Cassidy, who is a teacher at a secondary school, and who also teaches creative writing in her spare time. The school that Clare is teaching at is a Victorian mansion, once owned by RM Holland, whom Clare is currently researching and planning to write a book about. But at the beginning of the book, one of her fellow teachers, Ella, is found murdered, and she won’t be the first to die. But what is more disturbing to Clare is the haunting link the current murders have to events that took place in the time of the man she is researching.

Clare was an intriguing character from the start. The woman who has been found dead was a good friend of hers at the school and Clare becomes anxious and is determined to find out who has done this, especially when more deaths begin to occur.

There are lots of reasons which make this book compelling; the strange writing that starts appearing in Clare’s diaries, these added some really chilling moments, her research into the old owner of the house, and the characters around Clare. There were very few people in Clare’s life who I thought I could trust. This is what made this book particularly enjoyable as I tried to work out if any of them were responsible for the murders and why.

I really enjoyed reading Elly’s latest book. I hope that she will feature Detective Harbinder again as she is also a character who I really engaged with and I would really like to see her progress further. The Stranger Diaries is addictive, a thoroughly enjoyable Gothic tale. Definitely recommended.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 1st November 2018

Print length: 416 pages

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The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths Book Review @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

The Janus Stone: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2 by [Griffiths, Elly]

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Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child – minus the skull – beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.

The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.

When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve been catching up on my TBR pile recently, and one crime series I’ve been looking forward to returning to is the Dr Ruth Galloway books by Elly Griffiths. In the second book The Janus Stone Ruth finds herself in an unexpected position, but not an unwanted one. Once again she becomes involved in a disturbing investigation.

Ruth’s specialty lies in bones, she is soon called upon when builders make an unsettling discovery. The remains of a child have been found during the demolition of an old house in Norwich. It prompts Ruth and the police to think that a ritualistic killing may have taken place. The police now have a decades old case on their hands and as they get closer to finding out the truth of what happened to the child, it puts Ruth and Harry’s lives in danger, someone is desperate to stop the truth from getting out.

Ruth is a character who I am really beginning to like. She isn’t someone who will go out of her way to impress people, and this is something I really like about her personality. Her relationship with her parents in this book is rocky. They are born again Christians, but they follow the religion as though they are living in the Dark Ages. Ruth lives alone on the Norfolk marshes with her cat, Flint, and has very few neighbours; it may seem isolated, but this is what Ruth likes and the view she gets more than makes up for the isolation. One character who she regularly sees is Cathbad, who is a quirky and fascinating person; he is very attached to myths and ancient rituals. I love this location and I could easily picture it in my mind as I was reading. It is very atmospheric.

The mystery that the police are investigating is an intriguing one. As it is a historical crime, it doesn’t make things easier for them, and they have to rely solely on witness statements, from people who were are around at the time, and there aren’t many who are still alive.

There are quite a few twists in this book, which surprised me. There were also some very tense scenes and I’m sure if I was watching this on the screen, I would have been covering my eyes, as I feared what was going to happen to the characters.  I love the way how Elly Griffiths writes, her writing is very readable and it pulled me into the story and into her characters’ lives very quickly.

Ruth is a character who I can’t wait to find out more about. I already have the next book lined up and waiting on my shelf. I was kept hooked until the very last page.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 29th July 2010

Print length: 337 pages

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