Stranger Diaries
by Griffiths, Elly






A first stand-alone mystery by the author of the Ruth Galloway series finds a high school English teacher chronicling her suspicions about the murder of a colleague before discovering a sinister message in her own diary. 35,000 first printing.





ELLY GRIFFITHS is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series, and the standalone novel The Stranger Diaries. She is a recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award.





*Starred Review* In a departure from her acclaimed Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series, Griffiths has gifted readers with a gripping homage to the gothic novel. Clare Cassidy teaches a course on the fictional eighteenth-century writer R. M. Holland, author of the grim but beloved story, "The Stranger." Her colleague and good friend is murdered and a line from the story is left by the body. Someone has begun writing in her diary, starting off with an ominous "Hallo Clare. You don't know me." Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White opens "This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure." Like Collins, who wove his tale with multiple voices, Griffiths uses three different narrators here, none of whom is entirely reliable. This is an entrancing literary tour de force in which Shakespeare's line, "Hell is empty," from The Tempest, cleverly connects past and present. Georgette Heyer fans will relish this, as will readers who enjoyed Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale (2006) and Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders (2017). Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





A secondary school English department in West Sussex is turned upside down by a series of bookish killings. Clare Cassidy is heading into middle age with just her teenage daughter, her faithful dog, her diary, and her teaching job to occupy her time. The most exciting part of her life may be the biography she hopes to write of R.M. Holland, a writer of gothic tales who once lived in the school where she works. But when one of her colleagues in the English department at Talgarth High is found murdered with a line from "The Stranger," the very same Holland story that has long obsessed Clare, left on a Post-it next to her body, she quickly realizes the murderer must be someone who knows an awful lot about her. This suspicion is confirmed when, the day before Halloween, Clare discovers that someone else has left her a note in her own diary. As the violence escalates, Clare and the police must figure out why the killer seems so fixated on Clare—and what a supernaturally ting ed tale more than a hundred years old has to do with the quiet lives of small-town Brits. Griffiths alternates points of view among Clare, her 15-year-old daughter, Georgie, and DS Harbinder Kaur, the queer policewoman in charge of the murder investigation. Thrown into the mix are excerpts from "The Stranger," itself a delicious homage to writers like M.R. James. Though all these ingredients occasionally cause some structural unwieldiness, Griffiths (The Vanishing Box, 2018, etc.) hits a sweet spot for readers who love British mysteries and who are looking for something to satisfy an itch once Broadchurch has been binged and Wilkie Collins reread. Griffiths, who is known for the Magic Men mysteries and the Ruth Galloway series, has written her first stand-alone novel with immensely pleasurable results. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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