I real enjoy Elly Griffith’s crime fiction (see my blogs on the Ruth Galloway series, The Lantern Men and The Stranger Diaries), so I was delighted to indulge in her two latest – The Postscript Murders, the next in the series that began with The Stranger Diaries, and The Night Hawks, the latest Ruth Galloway novel. They were both deeply enjoyable.
The Postscript Murders follows DS Harbinder Kaur as she gets increasingly irritated with a set of amateur detectives who are trying to work out if a little old lady called Peggy living in sheltered accommodation in Shoreham has been murdered. At first nothing seems suspicious in the death, but she is a self-styled ‘murder consultant’ who it turns out has helped lots of leading crime writers to come up with sticky endings for their characters. The book is filled with tongue-in-cheek references to the crime writing community and to the publishing industry and I loved the gentle fun-poking at book bloggers, as one myself. Edwin, a former neighbour of Peggy’s in his 80s teams up with a former monk and coffee shop owner, aptly-named Benedict, and a Ukrainian carer called Natalka, and they all go tearing up to Scotland to attend a crime writing festival to see if they can pick up any clues. After a few more writers get bumped off, they find themselves in danger, but thankfully the ever-professional DS Kaur is on hand to sort it out. She comes out to her Sikh parents in the process, but her choice of first potential girlfriend is a little suspect.
I had finished reading The Night Hawks within 36 hours of its release and it was enjoyable from start to finish. It starts with the discovery of a board on a north Norfolk beach, and DCI Nelson is soon in need of Ruth’s help, as it seems the very modern body has been found right next to a Bronze-age burial. Ruth has recently moved back to Norfolk from Cambridge with her daughter Kate (or Katie, as Nelson, Kate’s father irritatingly insists on calling her). She is single again and dealing with her new job as head of the archaeology department at the University of North Norfolk, her new and annoying colleague David (who seems a bit sinister) and her feelings for Nelson. It’s not long before a murder-suicide (or so it seems) occurs at a lonely Norfolk farmhouse, and Ruth is called in again by Nelson to dig up some bones in the garden. True to form, Nelson and Ruth then find themselves in danger, alongside Nelson’s long-suffering wife Michelle. I am mourning the fact that I now have to wait a year before the next book to find out what happens next in the love triangle that is Nelson, Ruth and Michelle.