I reviewed The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths a few weeks ago, liked it a lot. I grabbed the follow up to that book, Smoke and Mirrors, shortly thereafter and it was awesome. So of course I grabbed the first book in her Ruth Galloway Mystery series, The Crossing Places.
I am less enthusiastic about this series. It is still very well written and I quite like the lead character. Ruth Galloway is independent, intelligent, and a total introvert. She is a professional forensic archaeologist who teaches at Uni. She has an Indiana Jones poster in her office for the humor of it. When the book starts she is asked to evaluate some recently found bones for the police. This is a new direction for her. As the book goes on she finds lots of parallels between what an archaeologist does and a detective’s job.
It’s slower moving than the Magic Men series. And it is a bit darker. I liked the feel, the slow, creepy, languid pace. Although, I did know who done it before Griffiths revealed it. Maybe that’s why I am less enthused.
On the other hand I downloaded the next 2 books in the series for my upcoming trip.
℘℘℘℘ – A sold four pages. I can’t wait to see where the series develops.
I grabbed The Zig Zag Girl on a whim because of the time period, post World War II, is most definitely in my wheel house. After my long slog of cozy mysteries I was hoping this one would not disappoint with weak, holey plots and characters that irritated me. It did not. This is the first in Elly Griffiths’ Magic Men Mysteries but it has none of the common teething issues a new series often suffers from. This book is smooth, well written, and intriguing.
There are a pair of main characters, however Griffiths manages to make even that a surprise. She starts firmly rooted in the Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens and allows the story to bring Max Mephisto in when the plot is ready. It takes skill to allow things to build naturally and Griffiths does this brilliantly through out the book. A series of murders has DI Stephens investigating across half of England and delving into his own painful past. Both characters are demonstrably changed by the events of the novel, which is refreshing for a murder mystery.
I think half my love for this book comes from my own confusion. I always know who done it. Always. And while I had my first flicker of “I know who done it” early on, Griffiths managed to make me change my mind back and forth between 3 characters several times. Griffiths really had to reveal it for me and that is rare for me. I raise my cuppa in her honor.
℘℘℘℘ – 4 Pages – Satisfying read. I will definitely grab the next book in the series.