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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

The Postscript Murders

The Postscript Murders

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/04/2021

INVENTING CRIME STORIES CAN GET YOU KILLED 'A LOVE LETTER TO MURDER MYSTERIES' SUNDAY MIRROR The ultimate gripping murder mystery to curl up with, from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka's account of Peggy Smith's death. But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her... And that Peggy Smith had been a 'murder consultant' who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to... And when clearing out Peggy's flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure... Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all. From the sleepy seaside town of Shoreham to the granite streets of Aberdeen, The Postscript Murders is a literary mystery for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Christie and anyone who's ever wondered just how authors think up such realistic crimes...

The Janus Stone

The Janus Stone

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2021

A gruesome discovery at an old children's home lays bare terrible secret's from Norwich's past in the second gripping mystery for Dr Ruth Galloway. 'The setting is enticingly atmospheric . . . a really intelligent murder story' Independent Dr Ruth Galloway's forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child - minus the skull - beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate. The house was once a children's home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before - a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child's bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death...

The Woman In Blue

The Woman In Blue

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2021

The murder of women priests in Norfolk's spooky shrine town of Walsingham draws forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway into a thrilling new adventure. 'Ever-more ingenious detective stories with a powerful sense of place' The Times When Ruth's friend Cathbad sees a vision of the Virgin Mary, in a white gown and blue cloak, in Walsingham's graveyard, he takes it in his stride. Walsingham has strong connections to Mary, and Cathbad is a druid after all; visions come with the job. But when the body of a woman in a blue dressing-gown is found dead the next day in a nearby ditch, it is clear that a horrible crime has been committed, and DCI Nelson and his team are called in for what is now a murder investigation. Ruth, a devout atheist, has managed to avoid Walsingham during her seventeen years in Norfolk. But then an old university friend asks to meet her in the village, and Ruth is amazed to discover that she is now a priest. She has been receiving vitriolic anonymous letters targeting women priests - letters containing references to local archaeology and a striking phrase about a woman 'clad in blue, weeping for the world'. Then another woman is murdered - a priest. As Walsingham prepares for its annual Easter re-enactment of the Crucifixion, the race is on to unmask the killer before they strike again...

A Room Full of Bones

A Room Full of Bones

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2021

WINNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. Halloween night, and the dead are closer than ever for Dr Ruth Galloway. She is used to long-dead bodies, but a fresh corpse in the middle of a museum is a new challenge. The fourth beguiling Dr Ruth Galloway mystery. 'A wonderfully rich mix of ancient and contemporary' Guardian It is Halloween in King's Lynn, and forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway is attending a strange event at the local history museum - the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But then Ruth finds the body of the museum's curator lying beside the coffin. Soon the museum's wealthy owner lies dead in his stables too. These two deaths could be from natural causes but DCI Harry Nelson isn't convinced, and it is only a matter of time before Ruth and Nelson cross paths once more. When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth's friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, she and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling and the Aboriginal ritual of The Dreaming may hold the answer to these deaths - and be the key to their own survival.

The Vanishing Box

The Vanishing Box

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2021

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 Night Hawks

The Night Hawks

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2021

'THE MOST LOVABLE OF CURRENT CRIME SERIES' Sunday Express Dr Ruth Galloway returns to the moody and beautiful landscape of North Norfolk to confront another killer. A devastating new case for our favourite forensic archaeologist in this acclaimed and bestselling crime series. The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor's death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder. Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner's suicide note includes the line, 'He's buried in the garden.' Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog. All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn't scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm ...

The Night Hawks

The Night Hawks

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

'THE MOST LOVABLE OF CURRENT CRIME SERIES' Sunday Express Dr Ruth Galloway returns to the moody and beautiful landscape of North Norfolk to confront another killer. A devastating new case for our favourite forensic archaeologist in this acclaimed and bestselling crime series. The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor's death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder. Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner's suicide note includes the line, 'He's buried in the garden.' Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog. All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn't scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm ...

The Postscript Murders

The Postscript Murders

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2020

The ultimate gripping murder mystery for winter nights, from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries PS: thanks for the murders. The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka's account of Peggy Smith's death. But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her... And that Peggy Smith had been a 'murder consultant' who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to... And when clearing out Peggy's flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure... Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all. From the sleepy seaside town of Shoreham to the granite streets of Aberdeen, The Postscript Murders is a literary mystery for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Christie and anyone who's ever wondered just how authors think up such realistic crimes... PS: Trust no one.

The Postscript Murders

The Postscript Murders

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

The ultimate gripping murder mystery from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries PS: Thanks for the murders. The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka's account of Peggy Smith's death. But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her... And that Peggy Smith had been a 'murder consultant' who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to... And when clearing out Peggy's flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure... Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all. From the sleepy seaside town of Shoreham to the granite streets of Aberdeen, The Postscript Murders is a literary mystery for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Christie and anyone who's ever wondered just how authors think up such realistic crimes... PS: Trust no one.

A Girl Called Justice: The Smugglers' Secret

A Girl Called Justice: The Smugglers' Secret

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/05/2020

Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, is back for her second spine-tingling adventure! For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton. When Justice returns for spring term at Highbury House, it's not long before murder is back on her mind. Assigned to look after the elderly Mr Arthur in Smugglers' Lodge on the other side of the marshes from school, Justice is initially dismayed. But dismay quickly gives way to intrigue as she finds herself drawn to Mr Arthur and his stories of piloting in the First World War - and especially when Dorothy, who lives nearby, tells her that the lodge is haunted. But when Mr Arthur dies in mysterious circumstances, Justice soon has a list of questions in her journal: why hasn't he been given a proper military funeral? Why does the new Matron not seem to know much about First Aid? And what secrets does Smugglers' Lodge really hold? Justice sets out to uncover the deadly truth in this brilliant follow-up to A Girl Called Justice.

Now You See Them

Now You See Them

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/2020

A 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. 'Griffiths writes with a smart, sharp eye' Peter James 'Recalls the best of Agatha Christie' Sunday Express Three young women have gone missing. A girl called Rhonda has vanished from her boarding school. Maybe she ran away, but there are disturbing similarities to the disappearance of two other young women - those too thought not to be suspicious. But where are they? Detective Edgar Stephens is under pressure to solve Rhonda's disappearance, but it is his wife Emma, herself a former detective now frustrated at being just a housewife, who concludes there might be a connection between the three cases. Then the danger comes nearer home. Edgar's friend, magician Max Mephisto, is reinventing himself as a movie star and trying not to envy his daughter Ruby's television fame. Little do either of them know how close they are to being drawn into the deadly web of abduction and murder about to trap them all. 'A piquant mixture of humour, period detail . . . and truly beguiling characterisation' Financial Times

Now You See Them

Now You See Them

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

Gripping historical mystery from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries. 'Griffiths writes with a smart, sharp eye and great elegance' Peter James Three girls have left. None have come back. Brighton, 1963. Edgar Stephens has been promoted to Superintendent and is married to his former sergeant, 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. The funeral of an old friend highlights just how much the gang's lives have changed in the last nine years. Edgar is struggling with fresh responsibilities and the new swinging Brighton of rioting mods and rockers; Emma is chafing against the restrictions of life as a housewife. Bob Willis, meanwhile, is tackling his biggest case since his promotion to DI: a schoolgirl missing from high-class boarding school Roedean. It looks like she's run away; but there are disturbing similarities to the disappearances of a young local nurse and a tearaway Modette, neither of whom have been seen or heard from since... A new world is dawning in Brighton, but the city's dark side is as dangerous as ever. 'A piquant mixture of humour, period detail . . . and truly beguiling characterisation' Financial Times

Now You See Them

Now You See Them

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

Gripping historical mystery from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries. 'Griffiths writes with a smart, sharp eye and great elegance' Peter James Three girls have left. None have come back. Brighton, 1963. Edgar Stephens has been promoted to Superintendent and is married to his former sergeant, 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. The funeral of an old friend highlights just how much the gang's lives have changed in the last nine years. Edgar is struggling with fresh responsibilities and the new swinging Brighton of rioting mods and rockers; Emma is chafing against the restrictions of life as a housewife. Bob Willis, meanwhile, is tackling his biggest case since his promotion to DI: a schoolgirl missing from high-class boarding school Roedean. It looks like she's run away; but there are disturbing similarities to the disappearances of a young local nurse and a tearaway Modette, neither of whom have been seen or heard from since... A new world is dawning in Brighton, but the city's dark side is as dangerous as ever. 'A piquant mixture of humour, period detail . . . and truly beguiling characterisation' Financial Times

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 Dark Angel

The Dark Angel

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/07/2018

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 Vanishing Box

The Vanishing Box

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

'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.