cover image The Woman in Blue: A Ruth Galloway Mystery

The Woman in Blue: A Ruth Galloway Mystery

Elly Griffiths. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (384p) ISBN 978-0-544-41785-4

The discovery of a woman’s body dumped in a ditch near the village of Walsingham kick-starts Griffiths’s satisfying eighth Ruth Galloway mystery set in Norfolk, England (after 2015’s The Ghost Fields). Det. Chief Insp. Harry Nelson, who heads the Serious Crimes Unit, learns that the victim, Chloe Jenkins, was receiving treatment at a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Meanwhile, Ruth, a forensic archeologist, receives a plea for help from an acquaintance, Hilary Smithson. Hilary, an Anglican vicar, tells Ruth that she has received threatening letters from someone who’s against women joining the priesthood. As the hunt for Chloe’s murderer begins, a second body turns up, and Nelson—with Ruth’s aid—searches for a link between the two crimes. They share a personal story, too, and their uneasy relationship adds a domestic element to the unfolding drama. Griffiths expertly conveys the mysteries of a particular brand of Christianity that’s drawn to physical manifestations of spirituality, ancient relics, and the stubbornly corporeal. [em]Agent: Rebecca Carter, Janklow & Nesbit. (May) [/em]