British, Detective, Mystery

The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths


The discovery of a missing woman’s bones force Ruth and Nelson to finally confront their feelings for each other as they desperately work to exonerate one of their own in this not-to-be-missed Ruth Galloway mystery from USA Today bestselling author Elly Griffiths.

When builders discover a human skeleton during a renovation of a café, they call in archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway, who is preoccupied with the threatened closure of her department and by her ever-complicated relationship with DCI Nelson. The bones turn out to be modern—the remains of Emily Pickering, a young archaeology student who went missing in 2002. Suspicion soon falls on Emily’s Cambridge tutor and also on another archeology enthusiast who was part of the group gathered the weekend before she disappeared—Ruth’s friend Cathbad.

As they investigate, Nelson and his team uncover a tangled web of relationships within the archeology group and look for a link between them and the café where Emily’s bones were found. Then, just when the team seem to be making progress, Cathbad disappears. The trail leads Ruth a to the Neolithic flint mines in Grimes Graves. The race is on, first to find Cathbad and then to exonerate him, but will Ruth and Nelson uncover the truth in time to save their friend?

My Thoughts

Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series has become one of my “comfort” reads – books to pick up when things become too much and I just want to escape into a fictional world. I was disappointed when I heard that this would be the last in the Galloway series, but I must say Griffiths has done a masterful job of tying up lots of loose ends and especially in the way she brings the series full-circle with the re-introduction of a particular character.

The story is familiar – Ruth is called to excavate bones found in unusual circumstances, which leads to all sorts of adventures for Ruth, Nelson, Cathbad, Judy, Kate, and all the rest of the characters fans have come to love. The mystery is handled with Griffith’s usual cleverness, but it’s the human relationships that she handles with grace, style, and wit.

While I am sorry to see the series sunset, I can’t give anything but praise for how the end has been revealed.

Well done!

Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Published By: Mariner Books
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy

British, Detective, Mystery

A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie


New York Times bestseller Deborah Crombie returns with a new novel featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as they race to solve the shocking murder of a young woman before panic spreads across London.

On a rainy November evening, trainee doctor Sasha Johnson hurries through the evening crowd in London’s historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her as they brush past. A moment later, Sasha stumbles, then collapses. When Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene, they discover that she’s been stabbed. 

Kincaid immediately calls in his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crimes which are on the rise. Along with her partner, detective sergeant Melody Talbot, Gemma aids the investigation. But Sasha Johnson doesn’t fit the profile of the task force’s typical knife crime victim. Single, successful, career-driven, she has no history of abusive relationships or any connection to gangs. Sasha had her secrets, though, and some of them lead the detectives uncomfortably close to home.

As the team unravels the victim’s tangled connections, another murder raises the stakes. Kincaid, Gemma, and their colleagues must put even friendships on the line to find the killer stalking the dark streets of Bloomsbury.

My Thoughts

If you enjoy witty, intricate British mysteries, Crombie‘s Kincaid and James series is one of the best around, and this is one of the best in the series. Crombie accurately portrays the give-and-take families experience with trying to juggle home and work responsibilities. At first, I was afraid she was shelving Gemma, putting her behind a desk so she could be the primary caregiver for the children, but Gemma manages to hang on to her independence and power, and the ending promises a new day for the family.

Crombie has not shuffled the mystery to second seed either. There’s a complex plot that keeps the reader turning pages. I can usually spot the guilty party at least halfway through most mysteries but I was totally wrong on this one! It‘s a captivating continuation of the series, but if you haven‘t read the earlier ones, you can still follow the plot here. But then go read the earlier books in the series. They are worth your time. I can also recommend this series on audiobook.

Publication Date: February 7, 2023
Published By: William Morrow
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy