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Elly Griffiths - Author

About the Author

Elly Griffiths was born in London. She read English at King's College, London, and worked in publishing for many years. Her bestselling series of Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, are set in Norfolk, while her new series of Magic Men novels are based in 1950s Brighton. She lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist, and their two children.

In 2016 Elly Griffiths was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Unlike most other literary prizes, the Dagger in the Library is awarded not for an individual book but for an author’s entire body of work.

Author photo © Sara Reeve

 

Below is a Q & A with this author.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could take one crime novel, one DVD boxset and one character from a crime novel, who/what would you take?
This is the sort of question I spend a lot of time debating when I should be working! My desert island book is usually The Mating Season by PG Wodehouse as I think that would cheer me up (unlike Ruth I don’t like solitude). But crime novel? It would have to be The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. DVD boxset would be The Office (US version) and the character would be Charles Paris from Simon Brett’s novels as at least we’d have a laugh – and a drink.


Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would be on the menu?
I’d invite Clive Stafford-Smith, Marcus Brigstocke, Bruce Springsteen, Germaine Greer and Jilly Cooper. We’d eat Italian food ideally cooked by my late Nonna (it is a dream after all).

What is your favourite line from a film/TV series/book?
It’s a few lines but Flora Poste’s telegram in Cold Comfort Farm. ‘Worst fears realised darling. Seth and Reuben too. Send gumboots.’

If you could write a book with any other crime or thriller writer, who would you choose and why?
I’d have great fun with Lesley Thomson, David Harrison (Tom Bale), Jim Kelly or Alison Bruce. Alison, Jim and I have talked about our fictional detectives meeting as our books are all set in the Cambridge/King’s Lynn area. They’d probably all hate each other too which would make for a fun read.

Who is your favourite onscreen detective?
I really like Jackson Brodie (Jason Isaacs) but my favourite is probably still David Suchet as Poirot.

If your book was being made into a film or a TV series, who would you want to play the lead character?
Ruth Jones or Eva Myles. She’d have to become Welsh but it would be worth it.

What crime novel do you wish you had written?
The Woman in White.

What’s the scariest place you’ve visited for inspiration?

The prison chapel in Lincoln Castle.

You are master of cluedo and have any name, weapon and room at your disposal, whodunit and what happened?
It would have to be the Reverend Green as I do like a theological thriller. Reverend Green (who’s a woman) in the library with the bible.

Featured books by Elly Griffiths

The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/07/2017

WINNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich's web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity - now it suggests a much more sinister purpose. Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she's gone 'underground'. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history - but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true? As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart - before it claims another victim.

ebook of the month
The Outcast Dead A Ruth Galloway Investigation

The Outcast Dead A Ruth Galloway Investigation

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/07/2014

Shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2015. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway has excavated a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle, once a prison. The body may be that of Victorian murderess Jemima Green. Called Mother Hook for her claw-like hand, Jemima was hanged for the murder of five children. DCI Harry Nelson has no time for long-ago killers. Investigating the case of three infants found dead, one after the other, in their King's Lynn home, he's convinced that their mother is responsible. Then a child goes missing. Could the abduction be linked to the long-dead Mother Hook? Ruth is pulled into the case, and back towards Nelson.

The Outcast Dead A Ruth Galloway Investigation

The Outcast Dead A Ruth Galloway Investigation

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/02/2014

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway has excavated a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle, a forbidding edifice that was once a prison. She believes the body may be that of infamous Victorian murderess Jemima Green. Called Mother Hook for her claw-like hand, Jemima was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children in her care. DCI Harry Nelson has no time for long-dead killers. Immersed in the case of three infants found dead, one after the other, in their King's Lynn home, he's convinced that a family member is responsible, though others on his team think differently. Then a child goes missing. Could the abduction be linked to the long-dead Mother Hook? Ruth is pulled into the case, and back towards Nelson.

Other books by Elly Griffiths

Now You See Them The Brighton Mysteries 5

Now You See Them The Brighton Mysteries 5

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

The fifth gripping Brighton-based mystery from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway series - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie, cosy crime and TV series such as Grantchester and Midsomer Murders. One after another, young women go missing in Brighton, but who's to say they didn't leave of their own free choice? Ten years have passed since the events described in The Vanishing Box. Edgar Stephens is now a Superintendent and married to former DS Emma Holmes. Edgar's wartime partner in arms, magician Max Mephisto, is a movie star in Hollywood, while his daughter Ruby has her own TV show, Ruby Magic. The funeral of Stan Parks, aka Diablo, actor and wartime comrade to Edgar and Max, throws the gang back together. The reunion sparks all sorts of feelings. Bob Willis, now a DI, is dealing with the disappearance of local schoolgirl Rhonda Miles. Emma, frustrated by living the life of a housewife and mother, keeps thinking how much better she would run the case. She is helped by Sam Collins, a woman reporter also hampered by sexism at work. Sam notices a pattern with other missing girls. Edgar listens to the theory but doesn't give it much credence. He is preoccupied with the threatened invasion of Brighton by Mods and Rockers on the May Bank Holiday. The case takes a more sinister turn when one of the missing girls is found dead. Then Ruby fails to turn up for a rendezvous and it becomes clear that she too has disappeared. Emma takes risks to track down the killer herself while Edgar is working flat out dealing with violent clashes between rival gangs on Brighton's seafront. With tension and anger hitting him on all sides, Edgar must keep the coolest of heads to track down the killer.

Now You See Them The Brighton Mysteries 5

Now You See Them The Brighton Mysteries 5

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

The fifth gripping Brighton-based mystery from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway series - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie, cosy crime and TV series such as Grantchester and Midsomer Murders. One after another, young women go missing in Brighton, but who's to say they didn't leave of their own free choice? Ten years have passed since the events described in The Vanishing Box. Edgar Stephens is now a Superintendent and married to former DS Emma Holmes. Edgar's wartime partner in arms, magician Max Mephisto, is a movie star in Hollywood, while his daughter Ruby has her own TV show, Ruby Magic. The funeral of Stan Parks, aka Diablo, actor and wartime comrade to Edgar and Max, throws the gang back together. The reunion sparks all sorts of feelings. Bob Willis, now a DI, is dealing with the disappearance of local schoolgirl Rhonda Miles. Emma, frustrated by living the life of a housewife and mother, keeps thinking how much better she would run the case. She is helped by Sam Collins, a woman reporter also hampered by sexism at work. Sam notices a pattern with other missing girls. Edgar listens to the theory but doesn't give it much credence. He is preoccupied with the threatened invasion of Brighton by Mods and Rockers on the May Bank Holiday. The case takes a more sinister turn when one of the missing girls is found dead. Then Ruby fails to turn up for a rendezvous and it becomes clear that she too has disappeared. Emma takes risks to track down the killer herself while Edgar is working flat out dealing with violent clashes between rival gangs on Brighton's seafront. With tension and anger hitting him on all sides, Edgar must keep the coolest of heads to track down the killer.

The Stone Circle The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 11

The Stone Circle The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 11

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

'My favourite series' Val McDermid DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to 'go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there'. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle's baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they? Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh - another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle - trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared thirty years ago. As the Margaret Lacey case progresses, more and more aspects of it begin to hark back to that first case of The Crossing Places, and to Scarlett Henderson, the girl Nelson couldn't save. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.

A Girl Called Justice

A Girl Called Justice

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

Missing maids, suspicious teachers and a snow storm to die for... For a fearless girl called Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, it's just the start of a spine-tingling first term at Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton. When Justice's mother dies, her father packs her off to Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. He's a barrister - specialising in murder trials - and he's just too busy to look after her alone. Having previously been home-schooled, the transition is a shock. Can it really be the case that blondes rule the corridors? Are all uniforms such a charming shade of brown? And do schools normally hide dangerous secrets about the murder of a chamber maid? Justice takes it upon herself to uncover the truth. (Mainly about the murder, but perhaps she can figure out her new nemesis - the angelic Rose - at the same time.) But when a storm cuts the school off from the real world, the body count starts to rise and Justice realises she'll need help from her new friends if she's going to find the killer before it's too late ...

The Stone Circle The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 11

The Stone Circle The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 11

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/02/2019

'My favourite series' Val McDermid DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to 'go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there'. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle's baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they? Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh - another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle - trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared thirty years ago. As the Margaret Lacey case progresses, more and more aspects of it begin to hark back to that first case of The Crossing Places, and to Scarlett Henderson, the girl Nelson couldn't save. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly.

The Vanishing Box The Brighton Mysteries 4

The Vanishing Box The Brighton Mysteries 4

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2018

The fourth Stephens and Mephisto mystery from the author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series - a must-read for fans of Bryant and May. 'Mixes cosiness and sharpness in a way that recalls the best of Agatha Christie' Sunday Express (on Smoke and Mirrors) What do a murdered Brighton flower seller, the death of Cleopatra and a nude tableau show have in common? Read the most dangerous case yet for Stephens and Mephisto to find out. Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked 'living statues'. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens' current case of the death of a quiet flowerseller, but if there's one thing the old comrades have learned it's that, in Brighton, the line between art and life - and death - is all too easily blurred...

The Stranger Diaries The Bestselling Richard & Judy Book Club Pick

The Stranger Diaries The Bestselling Richard & Judy Book Club Pick

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2018

THE TIMES CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR THE RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB PICK 'Utterly bewitching ... a pitch-perfect modern Gothic' AJ FINN, author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW 'Compelling, intelligent and increasingly mesmerising' PETER JAMES 'At once a homage to the Gothic thriller, and a re-imagining, it is goose-bump spooky, smart, and haunting, in every sense. I loved this book! And you will too' LOUISE PENNY A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time? Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare's life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer's works somehow hold the key to the case. Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn't hers...

The Dark Angel The Sunday Times Bestseller

The Dark Angel The Sunday Times Bestseller

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/07/2018

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'My favourite current crime series' Val McDermid Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village near Rome but doesn't know what to make of them. It's years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome! So Ruth travels to Castello degli Angeli, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a baffling Roman mystery and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also soon finds Harry Nelson, with Cathbad in tow. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock - the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Castello degli Angeli that someone would kill to protect

The Dark Angel The Sunday Times Bestseller

The Dark Angel The Sunday Times Bestseller

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/02/2018

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'My favourite current crime series' Val McDermid Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village near Rome but doesn't know what to make of them. It's years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome! So Ruth travels to Castello degli Angeli, accompanied by her daughter Kate and friend Shona. In the town she finds a baffling Roman mystery and a dark secret involving the war years and the Resistance. To her amazement she also soon finds Harry Nelson, with Cathbad in tow. But there is no time to overcome their mutual shock - the ancient bones spark a modern murder, and Ruth must discover what secrets there are in Castello degli Angeli that someone would kill to protect

The Vanishing Box

The Vanishing Box

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/12/2017

Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked 'living statues'. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens' investigation into the death of a quiet flower seller, but if there's one thing the old comrades have learned it's that, in Brighton, the line between art and life - and death - is all too easily blurred...

The Blood Card The Brighton Mysteries 3

The Blood Card The Brighton Mysteries 3

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2017

On the eve of the Queen's coronation, DI Stephens and Max Mephisto uncover an anarchist plot and a ticking bomb at the same time as solving the murder of a man close to them - from the author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries. 'Mixes cosiness and sharpness in a way that recalls the best of Agatha Christie' Sunday Express (on Smoke and Mirrors) Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are for Stephens and Mephisto to be summoned to the case. Edgar's ongoing investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show - and his television debut - so it's Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He's on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone silences him first. It's Edgar's colleague, DS Emma Holmes, who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day. Now it's up to Edgar, Max and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who's been dealing the cards . . .

The Vanishing Box The Brighton Mysteries 4

The Vanishing Box The Brighton Mysteries 4

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2017

'Vivid description, masterful sleight of hand and a lightness of touch add up to a terrific read for aficionados and newcomers alike' Guardian Winter, 1953. A young flower seller is found dead in her room at a Brighton boarding-house, posed with chilling perfection into a recreation of the death of Lady Jane Grey. This is a killer unlike any DI Edgar Stephens has encountered before. Across the city at the Hippodrome theatre, Max Mephisto is top of the bill in a double act with his daughter Ruby. Tarnishing the experience, though, is one of the other acts: a seedy 'living tableaux' show where barely-dressed women strike poses from famous historical scenes. Is the resemblance to the murder scene pure coincidence, or is life imitating art? When another death occurs - this time within the troupe itself - Max once again finds himself involved in one of Edgar's cases, and a threat that will come closer to home than anything before. What should be just a job is about to become personal.

The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 05/10/2017

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich's web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder inquiry on his hands. Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours of the chalk-mining tunnels being home to a community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the gruesome secrets of the underground before it claims another victim.

Blood Card

Blood Card

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 05/09/2017

In the third Magic Men mystery, the first partially set in America, a threat of mass violence looms over Elizabeth II's coronation. Can DI Edgar Stephens and Max Mephisto crack the case and save the crown?Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but DI Edgar Stephens is busy investigating the death of a local fortune-teller. Meanwhile, his old pal, the magician Max Mephisto, is rehearsing for his television debut, a Coronation Day variety show. But upon hearing that their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, has been found dead in his flat, the two men join forces to find out what happened. While Max is stuck in rehearsals, Edgar finds himself heading to New York, hot on the trail of a mesmerist he's sure has valuable information for them-and his trusty sergeant, Emma, investigates some important leads at home. As the clock ticks down to Coronation Day, the team must scramble to keep Max's small-screen debut from ending in a dangerously explosive finale.

Engelskinder

Engelskinder

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 21/07/2017

Die Hand an der WiegeDie Arme auf dem Rcken gefesselt, ein rostiger Eisenhaken statt der linken Hand, so liegt die Tote in ihrem Grab. Als Dr. Ruth Galloway unter dem Gemuer einer Burg ein Skelett aus viktorianischer Zeit freilegt, glaubt sie, die Gebeine der berchtigtsten Mrderin von Norfolk gefunden zu haben. Zahlreiche Schauermrchen ranken sich um "e;Mother Hook"e;, die Kinder bei sich aufgenommen und dann gettet haben soll. Doch whrend der Untersuchung kommen der forensischen Archologin Zweifel an ihrer Schuld. Zur gleichen Zeit verschwindet ein Kind aus der Nachbarschaft. Offenbar will jemand mit allen Mitteln ein jahrhundertealtes Geheimnis hten