Catch-up Review: Ruth Galloway Series by Elly Griffiths

6 Jun

I’m doing a series of catch-up review posts to try and make up for my year of not blogging. These are quick reviews of books I’ve read over 2012-2013.

Genre: Crime fiction, Forensic Archeology

Series list:


This is one of my all-time favourite series that I discovered in 2012. Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist who teaches at Norfolk University. In her forties, single and overweight, she’s a successful woman who manages to overcome what society tells her her life (and weight) should be. And just for this I love her. She is witty, sarcastic and all-too human. Oh and she has two cats and they’re not baby substitutes. And she lives on the desolate Saltmarsh.

In the first book of the series, The Crossing Places, DI Harry Nelson enlists Ruth’s help when the remains of a child are found. Nelson thinks that it might be the bones of Lucy Downey, and little girl who went missing years ago. While these bones turn out to be from the Iron Age, Ruth starts to help Nelson with the missing child case. Although Nelson is (happily) married, the attraction between him and Ruth is evident and while this is not front and centre overall, it is certainly an important part of the character arcs.

The second books of the series moves from the Iron Age to Ancient Rome and the two-headed god, Janus. The third book then moves on to the Second World War. In Room Full of Bones, the fourth book (the most fantastical of the lot) Ruth learns about Aboriginal beliefs and in Dying Fall, Ruth goes to Blackpool to to help with the identification of bones unearthed by an old friend.

Apart from Ruth and Nelson, the other recurring characters are also loveable – at least unforgettable – chief among them the Druid Cathbad. An anti-establishment eccentric who also works in the university, he becomes a sort of protector to both Ruth and Nelson

Summarising five books in one post is too much to ask for, but I’ve  loved each of them and very much look forward to the next installment of the series.


Witty, sarcastic forensic archaeologist as the protagonist, gripping storylines – great for history buffs who are not historians.

Rating: 4*

*See my Rating policy

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A Room Full of Bones 4 Dying Fall 5 The Crossing Places 1 The House at Seas End 3 untitled























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