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The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths
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The Woman in Blue

by Elly Griffiths

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ruth Galloway (8)

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3573047,529 (3.75)1 / 92
"In the next Ruth Galloway mystery, a vision of the Virgin Mary foreshadows a string of cold-blooded murders, revealing a dark current of religious fanaticism in an old medieval town. Known as England's Nazareth, the medieval town of Little Walsingham is famous for religious apparitions. So when Ruth Galloway's druid friend Cathbad sees a woman in a white dress and a dark blue cloak standing alone in the local cemetery one night, he takes her as a vision of the Virgin Mary. But then a woman wrapped in blue cloth is found dead the next day, and Ruth's old friend Hilary, an Anglican priest, receives a series of hateful, threatening letters. Could these crimes be connected? When one of Hilary's fellow female priests is murdered just before Little Walsingham's annual Good Friday Passion Play, Ruth, Cathbad, and DCI Harry Nelson must team up to find the killer before he strikes again"--… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Much as I love Ruth Galloway books, this one was less satisfying. First of all the plot and motive for murder was weak, more cannot be explained without giving a spoiler. Parts of the story were implausible to say the least: two characters decided to go for a walk in the middle of the night, one while drunk after a night of serious drinking, and another in nightclothes? Ruth's contribution to solving the crime was almost nil and the one piece of information she uncovered concerning a missing broken glass vial was ignored.

Griffiths' intention for this book was to highlight the shrine at Walsingham as well as to work into the story a real person and dog (the distinction won in a contest at a charity fundraiser) but I believe this stratagem came at the cost of her novel. And there was far too much religion, understandable to a point, given the location, but it began to wear. I couldn't imagine police wearing the robes of the apostles in order to blend in. I still have a soft spot for Ruth, Nelson, Cathbad and Clough and I'm sorry to see Tim leave but I'll expect more from Griffiths in the next episode. ( )
  VivienneR | Oct 16, 2019 |
A rather disappointing development in the continuing lives of Ruth Galloway, daughter Kate, Cathbad, Nelson and his police team in the serious crimes unit. The murder mystery theme was innovative, although terribly contrived and I didn't feel drawn in by the story except for the initial scene (when Cathbad sees an apparition that manifests as if she's the Virgin Mary).

Griffiths' great strengths in this series are her evocative descriptions of the low lying Norfolk broads, the marshes and the archaeological discoveries. These aspects were largely missing from the story and along with a few of those eye-roll passages, I was bored. I think 3½ ★s is a generous rating, but I do intend to keep on with my RG addiction. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Sep 19, 2019 |
A woman is found dead in a ditch in Walsingham. It seems that she is a model and she has been treated for addiction in a close by hospital. Nelson is investigation the case and soon his path will cross with Ruth again who is in Walsingham meeting an old friend that she studied with and then changed her career and become a priest. She has gotten threats and wants Ruth's help since she works closely with the police. Then, another woman gets killed and this time, it's a female priest.

There were some things that irked me with this book, not so much the case itself with the dead women as the preconceived attitude towards female priests and religion that pervades this book. Especially Ruth Galloway is extremely anti-religion and it was for me very frustrating to read because the attitude bothered me. This is not something new, she has been wary about religion since she was young and this is something that has been addressed previously in the books. But since this book is about threats against female priests and also a murder that seems to be connected to the treats are the preconceived attitude that Ruth is displaying quite frustrating for me to read who is so used to the ecclesial world (or, at least, was). Ruth's attitude towards her old friend Hilary that changed her career and decided to become a priest felt a bit condescending.

This is something that probably will not bother everyone that reads the book. But I do prefer Cathbad's more open attitude towards religion than Ruth and Nelson's quite closed attitude. I can be quite tired about Ruth whining about Nelson called their daughter Katie instead of Kate. Come on Ruth. Don't be so sensitive it's just a nickname. At least, she wasn't whining that much about her weight in this book.

Alright, I needed to get that off my chest. Let's return to the case itself. I was really looking forward to this book since this is one of my favorite series (yes, despite that I find Ruth a bit too whiny sometimes) and this case sounded interesting. And, in a way it was, I mean there were several possible candidates for whom could be the killers. The police, of course, found themselves a possible suspect early one, but I was quite sure that was a red herring. But, the book was never really thrilling, it was an OK read. However, still I felt that something was lacking, could be that my annoyance with Ruth and Nelson that took away some excitement with reading this book or that the story just not to my liking. Probably a mix of it.

But, still I'm going to look forward to reading the next book in this series. I love the mix of crime and archeology. And, now when I think about is it probably what made this book less interesting to read. Too little archeology involved in the story.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
This opened strongly with Cathbad cat-sitting Chesterton, and the sections dealing with the death of Chloe, the model murdered while in rehab, were good. Progress was made on Nelson/Tim/Michelle, which was satisfactory. However, the rest was less good. Certain plot strands seemed entirely extraneous, for example

SPOILERS

the group obsessed with the breast-feeding Virgin Mary, which seemed to include almost all the male clergy knocking around, and also the suicide of Chloe's boyfriend.

The motive for the murders was thin and very unlikely. ( )
  pgchuis | May 19, 2019 |
A woman's body is found in Walsingham the same night Ruth's friend Cathbad saw a woman in blue in a local cemetery. Then a friend of Ruth's starts receiving some threatening hate mail against women priests. Is there any connection between them and what happens when another body is found.

Book 8 in the series set in the beautiful Walsingham. Another interesting mystery for the gang and another big secret is finally revealed. This wasnt my favourite of the series but it was still a really good read. Of course living in Norfolk myself means that I love reading about areas I know. Cathbad is still my favourite character in these but I do have a soft spot for Nelson. ( )
  Kezzlou85 | Mar 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elly Griffithsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Björklund, Ing-BrittTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dazeley, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, MarthaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDowell, JaneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Weep, weep, O Walsingham,

Whose dayes are nights,

Blessings turned to blasphemies,

Holy deeds to despites.

Sinne is where Our Ladye sate,

Heaven turned is to helle;

Satan sitthe where Our Lord did swaye,

Walsingham, O farewell!

--Ballad of Walsingham, anonymous

sixteenth century
Dedication
For Giulia
First words
19 February 2014
Cathbad and the cat look at each other.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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