Book Club

The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths

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The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths front cover

Double CFL Award winner Elly Griffiths has been writing about forensic archeologist Dr Ruth Galloway since 2009. We’re up to book 14, and while some writers might be flagging by this point The Locked Room reveals an author right on the top of her game.

This is Griffiths’ lockdown novel, the one she wrote when the pandemic was at its height and in which the virus has a vital role to play. But don’t let that put you off, because although COVID-19 does feel like an extra character, it is never allowed to dominate proceedings – instead, it lurks in the shadows like some unwanted guest.

If the title has lured you into expecting a run of the mill locked-room mystery, then you’ll be disappointed because the trope is not played out in the traditional way. Yes, there are dead women, who apparently committed suicide inside rooms that were apparently locked from the inside, but fans of Elly Griffiths know that this is not an author who treads familiar paths.

Instead, expect the unexpected as Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson get embroiled in deaths both ancient and modern – and there are strange goings on in the appropriately named Tombland area of Norwich, too. Meanwhile, as people are out on their doorsteps clapping for the NHS heroes, a well-loved character desperately needs medical help…

The Locked Room received five stars in our review earlier this year – proof, if proof were needed, that Elly Griffiths fully deserved the plaudits in Crime Fiction Lover’s inaugural awards. It is a beautifully constructed story and well worth a read.

Join our CFL Book Club discussion…

We thought it would be fun to open a discussion about the book, and see what other readers thought of it. If you’ve read The Locked Room, please join in. Here are our questions and discussion points:

1 – What are the ingredients that keep you hooked to a long running series?

2 – We think Ruth Galloway deserves a TV series. Who do you think should play her? And Harry Nelson?

3 – The “will they, won’t they?” relationship between Ruth and Nelson runs throughout the series. What would you like to happen to them?

4 – The pandemic has an important part to play in The Locked Room. Would the inclusion of a COVID backdrop put you off reading a book?

5 – North Norfolk is beautifully portrayed in all of the Ruth Galloway books. How important do you think setting is in creating a memorable crime read?

If you don’t have a copy, grab one from Amazon or Please post your responses in the comments below – it could be an interesting discussion…


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