Monday, October 10, 2016

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths: I am Loving this Mystery Series!

I am a big nerd girl when it comes to archaeology. If it involves finding long buried cities, bodies, or lost civilizations, I am all over it.  I would be a female Indiana Jones; but instead I'm a bookseller and I have to live my adventures sitting on my couch flipping the pages.

A friend at work told me about this novel and said she had started it.  I quickly bought the book, and devoured it today.  It took me a few weeks to actually pick it up--but once I did, I read it quickly.  I am a fan of this series and am going to buy the next one tomorrow--yeah pay day!

Ruth Galloway is a 39 year old slightly overweight single woman who teaches archaeology at a small college in Norfolk.  She lives in a cottage on the salt marsh, a desolate place where the earth and the sea meet.  It full of crazy storms, violent winds, and tides that rush in and out, creating a dangerous yet beautiful place.  Ruth loves the peace and wildness of the place, and is quite content to teach and live with her two cats.

Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson asks for her help identifying bones found on the salt march--a place where ancient man had lived and left human sacrifices to the Gods.  Nelson hopes these are the bones of Lucy Downey, a young five year old who disappeared ten years before and hasn't been seen since.  Nelson has been haunted by this case and has never given up on finding Lucy.  

Ruth and Nelson quickly become a team; another young girl, Scarlett, is snatched from her back yard.  Now it's a race against time to find Scarlett and hopefully solve the mystery of Lucy.  How does the salt marsh and its ancient history tie into these unsolved cases?  Who sent Nelson all those taunting letters about Lucy?  And how does Ruth's expertise in bones help Nelson solve the crimes?

I loved Ruth.  She's smart, confident in her abilities, and content with being alone.  She's had her share of love and loss, but doesn't need a relationship to feel her life is complete.  Nelson is a tough cop who admires Ruth for her ability to focus and be absolutely professional in the case.  He's a cop who never gives up, and stays in contact with Lucy's family, always trying to solve the case.

This is the first in the Ruth Galloway series.  As I've said before, I'm not much of a mystery reader, and I'm trying to change that.  This series is right up my alley.  If I had the second in the series here right now, The Janus Stone, you'd better believe I'd be reading it tonight!  Lucky for me, there are 4 more still waiting for me.  I like Ruth.  Can't wait to see what else she has in store for me!

Rating:  7/10 for a great central female character, history and archeology mixed with contemporary unsolved cases, and a neatly put together whodunnit.  

Available in paperback and e-book.



  1. This series has been on my wishlist for a while - great review!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. I had not heard of this author or series. It sounds good. Thanks!

    1. I especially enjoy them because of the forensic archaeology and history. And Ruth! Love her !