Review 1663: The Woman in Blue

Elly Griffiths is getting much better at fooling me than she was in the first few Ruth Galloway books, so that is all to the good.

Ruth’s friend Cathbad is house- and cat-sitting in Walsingham when the cat gets out one night and runs into the cemetery. There, Cathbad sees a young blond woman wearing a blue cloak. He is about to offer help when the cat trips him up and the woman disappears. The next morning she is found strangled.

That day Ruth has an appointment to meet Hilary, an old school friend, for lunch in Walsingham. She is astonished to find that her friend has become a priest. Hilary shows her some threatening letters she’s received, apparently because she’s a female priest.

When Ruth gives DCI Nelson the letters, he seems inclined to think they might be connected to the murder. A few nights later, the women priests, who are attending a conference, go out to dinner, a dinner to which Ruth is invited. Afterwards, one of them is found strangled.

Although Ruth uncovers a clue, she is not directly involved in the solution of the murders. That’s okay, though, because Griffiths has created an ensemble cast of strong characters. If Ruth isn’t out there sleuthing in every book, Griffiths gets around the problem of the unlikelihood of an amateur sleuth being involved in so many murders. The Ruth Galloway series continues to be interesting and engaging.

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