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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


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Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 18/10/2016

In the sequel to Zig Zag Girl, DI Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto hunt for a killer after two children are murdered in a tragic tableau of a very grim fairy tale.It's Christmastime in Brighton, and the city is abuzz about a local production of Aladdin, starring the marvelous Max Mephisto. But the holiday cheer is lost on DI Edgar Stephens. He's investigating the murder of two children, Annie and Mark, who were strangled to death in the woods, abandoned alongside a trail of candy-a horrifying scene eerily reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel. Edgar has plenty of leads to investigate. Annie, a surprisingly dark child, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms' fairy tales. Does the key to the case lie in her unfinished final script? Or does the macabre staging of Annie and Mark's deaths point to the theater and the capricious cast of characters performing in Aladdin? Once again Edgar enlists Max's help in penetrating the shadowy world of the theater. But is this all just classic misdirection?


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Smoke and Mirrors The Brighton Mysteries 2

Smoke and Mirrors The Brighton Mysteries 2

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Brighton, 1950s, mid-winter. Two missing children are found buried under snow in this chilling new case for DI Stephens and Max Mephisto. Max's star turn in Aladdin has been overshadowed by the murder --of two local children. With fairy tales in the air, it's not long before the press have found a nickname for the case: 'Hansel and Gretel'. 'An excellent whodunnit, matched by the terrific down-at-heel atmosphere of postwar Brighton' - The Times DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The missing girl, Annie, used to write plays and perform them with her friends. Does the clue lie in Annie's unfinished - and rather disturbing - last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric actor types who have assembled for the pantomime? Once again Edgar enlists Max's help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But is this all just classic misdirection?


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The Woman In Blue The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 8

The Woman In Blue The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 8

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/07/2016

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...


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The House at Sea's End The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 3

The House at Sea's End The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 3

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

WNNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. The shadow of the Second World War looms dark over the third chilling mystery for Dr Ruth Galloway. Some buried secrets shouldn't be uncovered. 'A melancholy setting, an eerie discovery, a lone investigator... perfect for the long winter evening' Financial Times Dr Ruth Galloway is called in by a team of archaeologists investigating coastal erosion on the north Norfolk coast, when they unearth six bodies buried at the foot of a cliff. They seem to have been there a very long time. Ruth must help discover how long, and how on earth they got there. Ruth and DCI Nelson are drawn together once more to unravel the past. Tests reveal that the bodies have lain, preserved in the sand, for sixty years. The mystery of their deaths stretches back to the Second World War, a time when Great Britain was threatened by invasion. Ruth thought she knew the history of Norfolk - she's about to find out just how wrong she was, and how far someone will go to keep their secrets buried.


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A Dying Fall A spooky, gripping read for Halloween (Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 5)

A Dying Fall A spooky, gripping read for Halloween (Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 5)

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

WINNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. When murder strikes close to home, Dr Ruth Galloway is determined to find justice - without ending up in the firing line herself. A nailbiting new adventure for fans of Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves. 'One of the most cinematic finales in recent crime fiction' Daily Telegraph Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, spends a lot of time looking at death. But now death has found her, with the news that her long-time friend and ex-colleague Dan Golding has been killed in a house fire. Ruth's grief soon turns to suspicion of arson when she receives a desperate letter from Dan, sent the day before he died. He had made a ground-breaking discovery that he was sure would change archaeology forever - and was petrified of the consequences. Ruth feels compelled to travel north to investigate further, alongside DCI Harry Nelson who is also drawn into the case. But where Ruth goes, so does her young daughter, Kate. This time, the risks are even higher.


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The Janus Stone The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2

The Janus Stone The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 2

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

WINNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. The discovery of a child's skeleton lays bare terrible secret's from Norwich's past in the second gripping mystery for Dr Ruth Galloway. A must-read for fans of Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves. '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...


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The Ghost Fields The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 7

The Ghost Fields The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 7

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

WINNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. A bullet-ridden body is unearthed from a buried WW2 plane - but the body isn't from WW2. Dr Ruth Galloway must discover who the victim was, and who put him there, in this atmospheric mystery for fans of Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves. 'An almost gothic plot, involving family feuds and a crumbling stately home . . . one of the most vivid novels in a delightful series' Sunday Times When DCI Harry Nelson calls Ruth Galloway in to investigate a body found inside a buried fighter plane, she quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn't possibly be the pilot. DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk's deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger remaining Blackstocks. Then human bones are found on the farm and, as the greatest storm Norfolk has seen for decades brews in the distance, another Blackstock is attacked. Can the team outrace the rising flood to find the killer?


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The Outcast Dead The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 6

The Outcast Dead The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 6

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

WINNER OF THE 2016 CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY. Historical crimes involving a Victorian child killer may hold the key to several contemporary deaths in this macabre outing for Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist. Perfect for fans of Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves. 'Told with a deepening sense of the unease, seasoned with a touch of the occult' Daily Mail Ruth has excavated a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle, which was 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.


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A Room Full of Bones The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 4

A Room Full of Bones The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 4

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

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.


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Ruth Galloway Series

Ruth Galloway Series

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 01/12/2015

Looking for a new mystery series to suck you in? Dive into the inaugural novels of the captivating Ruth Galloway mysteries with this starter pack. Archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway turns amateur sleuth once Detective Chief Inspector Nelson calls her for help when a child's bones are found on a desolate beach. Gone are the days of digging up artifacts and living alone with her catsRuth is pulled into the world of shadowy murders, resurfaced bones, historical mysteries, twisted secrets, and a dash of romance.THE CROSSING PLACES Join Dr. Ruth Galloway in her first foray into the world of forensic archaeology when a child's bones are found on a beach. Ruth is called in to help decipher whether they are the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing a decade ago and whose abductor continues to taunt Detective Chief Inspector Nelson with bizarre letters containing references to ritual sacrifice, Shakespeare, and the Bible. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives a new letterexactly like the ones about Lucy. Is it the same killer? Or a copycat murderer, linked in some way to the site near Ruth's remote house?THE JANUS STONE It's been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorwayminus its skullRuth is once again called upon to investigate. Is it a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand?THE HOUSE AT SEA'S END Just back from maternity leave, forensic archaeologist Ruth is finding it hard to juggle motherhood and work when she is called in to investigate human bones that have surfaced on a remote Norfolk beach. The bonessix men with their arms boundit turns out, date back to World War II, a desperate time on this stretch of coastland. Elly Griffiths's work has been praised by the Associated Press as ';must-reads for fans of crime fiction.' The e-book includes The Crossing Places, The Janus Stone, and The House at Sea's End.


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Rabenkonig

Rabenkonig

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 25/09/2015

Ein neuer Fall fur Dr. Ruth Galloway, forensische Archaologin. Und der spektakularste Knochenfund ihrer Karriere: die Gebeine von Konig Artus. "e;Ich habe die Knochen des Rabenknigs gefunden, Ruth. Diese Entdeckung wird alles verndern. Trotzdem frchte ich mich."e;Wenige Tage nach dem Verfassen dieser Zeilen ist Ruth Galloways Studienfreund Dan Golding tot. Kurzerhand reist die forensische Archologin mit Tchterchen Kate zur Ausgrabungssttte in den Norden Englands - ausgerechnet dorthin, wo ihre groe Liebe DCI Nelson gerade mit seiner Familie Urlaub macht. Als Ruth die Knochen untersucht, ist schnell klar, dass es sich tatschlich um den legendren Knig Artus handelt, genannt der Rabenknig. Doch offenbar will jemand die Entdeckung um jeden Preis vertuschen. Ruth erfhrt von der geheimen Bruderschaft "e;Die weie Hand"e; - und wird durch anonyme Nachrichten bedroht. Doch erst als Nelson und sie die ganze Wahrheit ber den Rabenknig herausfinden, begreifen sie, was auf dem Spiel steht. Der 5. Teil der erfolgreichen Krimireihe aus England: fr alle Leser von Minette Walters, Deborah Crombie und Ann Cleeves.


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Zig Zag Girl

Zig Zag Girl

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 15/09/2015

In the first installment of a compelling new series by Elly Griffiths, a band of magicians who served together in World War II track a killer who's performing their deadly tricks.Brighton, 1950. The body of a girl is found cut into three pieces. Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is convinced the killer is mimicking a famous magic trick-the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old war friend of Edgar's. They served together in a shadowy unit called the Magic Men, a special ops troop that used stage tricks to confound the enemy.Max is on the traveling show circuit, touring seaside towns with ventriloquists, sword-swallowers, and dancing girls. He's reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate but advises him to identify the victim quickly-it takes a special sidekick to do the Zig Zag Girl. Those words come back to haunt Max when the dead girl turns out to be Ethel, one of his best assistants to date. He's soon at Edgar's side, hunting for Ethel's killer.Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max are sure the answer to the murders lies in their army days. And when Edgar receives a letter warning of another "e;trick"e; on the way-the Wolf Trap-he knows they're all in the killer's sights.


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Ruth Galloway: The Early Cases

Ruth Galloway: The Early Cases

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2014

The first three cases in Elly Griffiths' bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway mystery series. THE CROSSING PLACES. Ruth Galloway is called upon by DCI Nelson to investigate human remains found in the Norfolk marshes, thought to be those of a missing girl about whom the police having been receiving some very strange letters. THE JANUS STONE. Bones are unearthed on the site of an old children's home. Two children had gone missing from the home forty years previously... but the evidence points to a different crime altogether. THE HOUSE AT SEA'S END. Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson find themselves investigating a hideous crime that has been concealed for decades. And it soon becomes clear that someone wants the truth to stay buried, and they will go to any lengths to keep it that way.'Ruth Galloway is one of the most engaging characters in modern crime fiction' - Kate Mosse


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Aller Heiligen Fluch

Aller Heiligen Fluch

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2014

Ruth Galloway, forensische Archaologin und alleinerziehende Mutter, will nur bei der feierlichen Offnung des Sarges des legendaren Bischofs Augustin im Museum von King's Lynn dabei sein. Doch als sie ein wenig vor der Zeit den Ausstellungsraum betritt, findet sie neben dem Sarg eine Leiche: den Museumskurator. Wurde er ermordet? Schon steckt Ruth, die eigentlich die Geburtstagsparty fur ihre kleine Tochter organisieren muss, mitten in den Ermittlungen. Da ist es wirklich keine Hilfe, dass auch ihre groe Liebe DCI Harry Nelson auf den Fall angesetzt ist, den sie nach dem Willen seiner Frau eigentlich gar nicht mehr treffen darf. Bald verstricken sich die beiden in einem undurchdringlichen Geflecht aus Intrigen, Seilschaften und Legenden. Und Ruth muss sich einmal mehr fur oder gegen Harry entscheiden - nur dass diesmal ihr Uberleben davon abhangt ...