A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths: A review

I've been working my way through the series by Elly Griffiths that features forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway. This is number five in the series. 

The plot here is that an old friend of Ruth's has died in a house fire, but before he died he had written to her saying that he had made a ground-breaking archaeological discovery. He didn't explain what the discovery was. Could his discovery have had something to do with his death? And could the discovery have been related, as is hinted, in some way to King Arthur? Ruth, of course, is determined to find the answer to those questions and to find out what that mysterious discovery was. 

She travels to Blackpoll which just happens to be the home territory of DCI Harry Nelson with whom Ruth had had a brief - very brief - fling (Harry is married.) which resulted in her getting pregnant, and that resulted in their daughter Kate. So off she goes with Kate and, of course, Cathbad the druid who is Kate's godfather, in tow. 

Then one of Cathbad's friends, who may have some connection to the mystery, commits suicide. And the plot, as they say, thickens.

I find Ruth to be a very sympathetic character with her worries about her weight and her parenting skills. She is sensitive to how others see her and regard her both personally and professionally. Moreover, she is utterly devoted to her daughter but she has not been able to achieve true harmony in her life. Her relationships with men have been problematic and the one with her current boyfriend is faltering, and, based on what we know of him, that is probably a good thing! 

Archaeology has long been an interest of mine. In fact, at one point in my life, I wanted to be an archaeologist, but in the end, I chose another branch of the social sciences. The fact that Elly Griffiths manages to weave strands of information regarding archaeology and history into her Ruth Galloway plots is one of the strengths of this series and one of the reasons that I greatly enjoy reading her books. There are at last count (I believe) fifteen books in the series so I have at least ten more chances to experience that enjoyment.


  1. Thanks for the book review! I will look for it at the library.
    Have a blessed day!

  2. These books are great audiobooks. I’ve finished them all & they are very entertaining. Ruth Galloway is definitely a more realistic modern woman (not a size 6- ha ha)

  3. I love how she combines archaeology and mystery in this series! And Ruth is a sympathetic and likable character. I really need to try and catch up on this one. I don't even know how many books I'm behind in now. Enjoy your weekend!

  4. One of my favorite series. I'm so glad that you enjoy it, too!


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