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A Room Full of Bones

by Elly Griffiths

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ruth Galloway (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7055322,906 (3.65)141
When a curator is found murdered, Ruth Galloway and Detective Inspector Nelson track down links between the murder, Aborigine skulls, and a drug-smuggling operation that forces Ruth to question her loyalties.



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» See also 141 mentions

English (51)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
A good entry in this sometimes slow but interesting series. Murders? drug smuggling; so much for the quiet life of a college professor. Single mom raising an infant, weird friends, didgeridoo music and native Australian dances add to the strange mix currently in Ruth Galloway's never humdrum life. Oh yes, there are also two mysterious deaths ( )
  jamespurcell | Jul 25, 2020 |
These are always inventive. In this case there's an array of crimes, but none of them are the one you think you're going to be reading about when you first start reading and Ruth discovers the first body. In this case we have a coffin of an ancient Bishop, some aboriginal skulls, a drug smuggling case and some animal rights activists all mixed up, to varying degrees, in the resolution of the first death. The refreshing thing in this book is that Ruth doesn't run headlong into danger, she has more of an onlookers role in this one. It all gets a bit far fetched, but isn't that part of the fun? ( )
  Helenliz | Feb 7, 2020 |
Best Ruth Galloway mystery so far! 4.5 stars! ( )
  Skatuva | Feb 2, 2020 |
better than the previous one, but the plot is getting old. ( )
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
I do love this series but I wasn’t really in the mood to read this book. All my books on library hold aren’t ready though and this one came quickly so I decided to read it. That’s the thing about the books in these series though. I love them and thoroughly enjoy them even when not in the mood for them.

This one felt more choppy than the first three books: There are multiple people/places/events in paragraphs in many chapters that often made me eager to get back to the people/places/events that had just been left.

One of those viruses resistant to antibiotics?! Such as ALL of them. Maybe the word meant to use was infection? Or resistant to anti-viral drugs? Or ???

There are some really fine red herrings in this book, including some mixed-up identities, and I found that entertaining. The story is deftly told.

I do love Ruth and so many old and new characters are particularly interesting. Some people and events seemed so real to me I had urges to look them up.

Because this is book 4 and spoilers are easy to come by for those who haven’t read books 1-3:

I love Kate in this book. It’s so enjoyable to see her grown. She’s obviously smart but not unrealistically portrayed. She mostly seems her age. I think in future books she’ll be even more fun as she ages and can even more fully express herself, but I do already love her character. At the end of book one I was worried I’d stop liking the books but she and Ruth’s changes to accommodate her makes me love the books even more.

I still love Cathbad though I’m not sure I agree with him and sometimes he drives me a bit nuts even though I find him lovable and in some ways is one of my favorite characters. He’s certainly a unique one. But I’m disappointed to see him always decked out in dead furs and animal skins and in feathers. Ditto Bob Woonunga too, always with the animals furs as he cares about his people/ancestors but not about other

In this book I was so worried about the mystical and magical re curses and such and was so glad that eventually a scientific explanation was provided as a possible probably probable explanation. I was also fine with the cause(s) being left open.

– and do love Cathbad though in the context or ar/veganism I’m always so disappointed to see him always decked out in feather, dead animal skins, furs, etc. Ditto Bob Woonunga always with the furs as he cares about his people/ancestors but not other sentient beings. I’m always puzzled by “animal lovers” who dress, eat, etc. in ways that torture and kill animals for their own use for no good reasons in my opinion – and many traditions are worth ditching so “traditions” don’t always work for me.

I was also worried about how vegans and animal rights people were portrayed and it was mixed, though nothing bad was said about the food, and it didn’t end up reflecting on animal rights vegans quite a poorly as I’d feared, and wasn’t completely unrealistic given that there are subcultures in the vegan/ar movement. I suppose just to have this content in a regular book I appreciated: vegan food, vegans, animal rights activists. IN a non-vegan promoting or “vegan” or “animal rights” book this is a big deal.

I was happiest that at the end, when Michelle agrees that Nelson and Kate should have monthly meeting because keeping them completely apart felt wrong to me and didn’t make sense with the rest of Michelle in the long term. In the the short term her shock and anger and hurt and decision I guess was understandable. I had been angry at Michelle as I understand her order re Ruth but not Kate especially she is the mother of two daughters, but I see why Ruth likes her and I basically like her too, especially in this book. If I think about it I might like her more than I like Nelson, at least in some ways.
( )
  Lisa2013 | Sep 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
The English writer Elly Griffiths loves contradiction. In A Room Full of Bones, she gives us a possibly homicidal animal rights’ activist married to a trainer of racehorses. Then there’s the recently wedded police detective, female, who is having an affair with a man who turns out to be a suspect in a murder case. And, also typically for Griffiths, we get the dashing druid whose day job is as a dreary man of science at its most humble level.

This list, tantalizing in its promises, doesn’t include Griffiths’s two central characters, both of whom, adorable as they are, represent scads of contradiction. DCI Harry Nelson is the ace sleuth in all of North Norfolk, somewhat abrupt by nature and super organized (Harry loves lists). Ruth Galloway, rather overweight and inclined to the solitary life, heads up the forensic archeology department at the University of North Norfolk.

In the previous three books in the series, Harry and Ruth were frequently thrown together in the interests of solving murders. On the one momentous occasion they slept together, the intimacy led to Ruth’s pregnancy and later to the birth of Kate. A baby daughter suited the single Ruth just fine. Harry, on the other hand, had to answer to the beautiful Michelle, to whom he has been happily married for 20 years.

In the new book, the triangle of cause and effect involving Harry, Ruth and Michelle is played for all it’s worth, which is plenty in terms of melodrama. The current state of the complicated relationships pumps up the emotional level over that of the earlier books, giving a new density to the series, a sense that events are no longer taking place exclusively on the surface.

Meanwhile, Harry and Ruth must deal with an inexplicable upswing in local drug trafficking, two unfathomable deaths, some funny business at a horse racing stable, numerous interventions by the druid fellow, and countless episodes of mysterious contradiction. Just typical reading time in the company of Elly Griffiths’s friendly, funny and involving series.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Mar 24, 2012)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Griffiths, Ellyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Franci-Ekeler, Elssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Handels, TanjaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, MarthaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lönnroth, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDowell, JaneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roos, Gunillasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Nancy and Anita
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The coffin is definitely a health and safety hazard. (Prologue)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

When a curator is found murdered, Ruth Galloway and Detective Inspector Nelson track down links between the murder, Aborigine skulls, and a drug-smuggling operation that forces Ruth to question her loyalties.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
two dead - one coffin
ruth adapting to motherhood
get off your high horse

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