I have followed this series from book one through 4 and it's becoming a little too much of a stretch with all of the spirits and mysticism, which I find distracting. I also wish there wasn't so many inadequate referrals to previous books. Michele is an unrealistic betrayed wife. Either Ruth is in love with Nelson or she is not. She can't make up her mind. She is too wishy-washy! Why does she have to be portrayed as fat just because she likes to eat? At least with book 4 there wasn't the predictable story line of Nelson rescuing Ruth from some mad man.
Ruth Galloway, forensic archeologist, is one of my favourite mystery characters. She's a real person and I like her a lot. In this title, we see the challenges Ruth faces as a single working Mom. Old and new romances come to light and a mystery surrounding a museum and drug smuggling are featured with the pieces fitting together nicely.
Better than the previous book - well-told, well-constructed mystery, but a lot of external stuff interfered with my enjoyment of the book.
Griffiths does well with a duel story line, but it isn't Ruth who solves the mystery. She and her baby, Kate, are the main characters, but the action is with DCI Nelson and his crew. Ruth's life and those of her friends move on, which is satisfying, but we are becoming more interested in the development of the police unit and how their human failings affect the solution.
The latest entry in the Ruth Galloway series finds Ruth called on to open a casket of a 14th century bishop and to examine a whole room of bones in the basement of a privately owned museum. To me the mystery in this book takes a bit of a back seat to the characters which I love. Dead bodies do pile up and some drug dealing is going on but more important is how Ruth is coping with Kate now that she?s walking and starting to call every male she meets (except Nelson because she does not get to see him) ?Dada?. How is Michelle coping? We?re brought up to speed on goings on with Judy and Cathbad, Phil and Shona and the intrepid Clough. Love it!
This was a rather disappointing installment in the Ruth Galloway series, unless I've forgotten how much her mysteries are interwoven with spirits, dreaming, curses, and the romantic relationships of the characters. This one has a vividly described near-death experience in addition.
This series is o.k but I don't think the last couple of books were as good as the earlier ones. Not sure if I will continue as I find I'm getting a bit tired of single-mum Ruth.
Not the best in the series but does move the story line forward as to the relationship between Ruth & Nelson. Ruth seems to have misplaced her spine since becoming a mom, allowing others to come in & out of her life as they please at her expense & her character is less interesting for it. Also, the author attempts to recap the previous books in many places to explain current events (ostensibly for new readers) but it ends up interrupting the flow of the narrative & I found myself skimming ahead to find where the story picked up again.
I suppose the main advantage of a series is you have the opportunity to revisit a group of characters in much the same way one sees friends and acquaintances over a long period of time. They become more real. Important even. I was getting that feeling about Ruth Galloway and her friends until <i>A Room Full of Bones</i> got me thinking instead about all the disadvantages of a series. To start with there is that not so subtle stretch at the beginning with a baritone voice-over that hums, "Previously on Dr. Ruth... I cringe. It isn't easy to seamlessly backtrack through 4 previous novels to enlighten new readers (or old readers with less than facile memories, e.g. mine) without muddying up the floors and interrupting any hope of a galloping start. And especially in a mystery series, where fresh blood can't be supplied by anonymous donors, you need more characters and more victims each book until the reader cries out for a dramatis personnae even if it requires a triple-bi-fold insert to list them all. I was lost too often. Finally, beating dead horses seems as inhumane as it is inevitable when the heroine is perpetually balanced on the fulcrum of a belief in science and dependence on pagan craft. What was intriguing in Book 1 has become a little too predictable in Book 5. Elly Griffiths remains a very tempting author, but the task of keeping a series both readable and fresh is daunting, perhaps too daunting, perhaps a misuse of her fine talents.
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