Summary

The Locked Room delivers a mystery, complete with the complications of England going into lockdown because of the pandemic.

4-STAR REVIEW: THE LOCKED ROOM by Elly Griffiths

About The Book

Ruth Galloway: Book 14
Publication Date: June 28, 2022

Pandemic lockdowns have Ruth Galloway feeling isolated from everyone but a new neighbor—until Nelson comes calling, investigating a decades-long string of murder-suicides that’s looming ever closer.

Three years after her mother’s death, Ruth is finally sorting through her things when she finds a curious relic: a decades-old photograph of her own Norfolk cottage—before she lived there—with a peculiar inscription on the back. Ruth returns to the cot­tage to uncover its meaning as Norfolk’s first cases of Covid-19 make headlines, leaving her and Kate to shelter in place there. They struggle to stave off isolation by clapping for frontline workers each evening and befriending a kind neighbor, Zoe, from a distance.

Meanwhile, Nelson is investigating a series of deaths of women that may or may not be suicide. When he links a case to an archaeological dis­covery, he breaks curfew to visit Ruth and enlist her help. But the further Nelson investigates the deaths, the closer he gets to Ruth’s isolated cot­tage—until Ruth, Zoe, and Kate all go missing, and Nelson is left scrambling to find them before it’s too late.

The Review

It all begins with a photo found tucked away by her late mother, taken five years before Dr. Ruth Galloway was born. Why would her mother have a picture of a cottage Ruth wouldn’t own for three decades? With The Locked Room, author Elly Griffiths pens an intriguing mystery tying past and present together.

As the 14th book in the Ruth Galloway series, this is easily enjoyed as a standalone. Told against the backdrop of the pandemic, the story focuses on Ruth and her daughter, Kate, as the Covid-19 lockdown begins. Meanwhile, investigators are looking into some unexpected deaths that appear to be linked.

What ensues is an intriguing “whodunit” featuring a skeleton, a new neighbor, and locked rooms. Seeing the lockdown from this perspective was enlightening, especially in noting the different ways people reacted to the news. Nelson plays a significant role in this installment not only from an investigative standpoint but because he spends time with Ruth and their daughter while his wife is away.

While there are obviously reoccurring characters whose stories unfolded in earlier installments, there was enough substance that I didn’t have a sense that I had missed anything. The conclusion neatly ties up not only the photo mystery but solves the murders, as well.

The Locked Room delivers a mystery, complete with the complications of England going into lockdown because of the pandemic.

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About The AuthorElly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly’s husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece’s head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.

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REVIEW AUTHOR

Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.

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4-STAR REVIEW: THE LOCKED ROOM by Elly GriffithsThe Locked Room delivers a mystery, complete with the complications of England going into lockdown because of the pandemic.