I enjoyed this addition to the Ruth Galloway series. Griffiths provides a good balance of character interaction and involvement. We follow Ruth, Nelson, Judy and Cathbad with other characters, such as Janet and Leah also having a part.
What I liked best about the book was that much of it took place during the early stages of Covid. This novel is the first I've read with that interesting aspect being prominent. Ruth has to teach her classes remotely while she struggles to home school Kate. Nelson has to work with reduced in office personnel. It was quite interesting to read of the early comments of people, such as claiming it is just a flu.
The plot felt unusual. Women dying, seemingly committing suicide. One woman dying in a room locked from the outside begins to create suspicion and the murder mystery is off and running. There is a suspense near the end, ramping up the pace a bit. I am not sure in the end the motive of the villain made sense to me.
Nonetheless, I like this series, following the characters, seeing their relationships progress, and in this novel, reliving those early months of Covid. I will be watching for the next in the series.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Elly Griffiths is the pseudonym of Domenica de Rosa, under which she has also written. Born in London, her family moved to Brighton. She wrote her first novel when she was 11. She went to state schools, read English at King's College London. After graduating, she worked in a library, for a magazine and publicity assistant at HarperCollins, eventually becoming Editorial Director for children's books. She wrote what would become her first published novel when she was on maternity leave in 1998. With two children and her husband having given up his city job to become an archaeologist, his comments while they were walking across Titchwell Marsh inspired the Dr. Ruth Galloway series. You can find out more at https://ellygriffiths.co.uk/.
Mariner Books, 368 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)