cover image A Room Full of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A Room Full of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Mystery

Elly Griffiths. HMH, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-547-27120-0

Forensic anthropologist Dr. Galloway's fourth exploit, set in 2009 in Norfolk, England after The House at Sea's End, is another solid puzzle, matching crafty plotting with living and breathing characters readers will invest in. With her boss away, Galloway is representing the University of North Norfolk at the opening of a coffin believed to belong to 14th-century bishop Augustine Smith. What should be a routine duty turns out to be anything but. Griffiths's wry understatement is perfect for Galloway's grim discovery%E2%80%94the "Local History Room seems to be empty apart from a coffin on a trestle table, and a body lying beside it." The corpse belongs to museum curator Neil Topham. There's no obvious cause of death, but the police soon find evidence of foul play in the form of a threatening letter discovered in the dead man's desk. The deductions and story developments are first-rate, and will certainly lead many first-timers to seek out other Galloway books. (July)