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A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway #4)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  4,073 ratings  ·  392 reviews
It is Halloween night, and the local museum in King's Lynn is preparing for an unusual event - the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But when Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise, she finds the museum's curator lying dead beside the coffin. It is only a matter of time before she and DI Nelson cross paths once more, as he is called in to investiga ...more
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published December 21st 2011 by Quercus
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Dec 26, 2012 Daenerys rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't know a thing about forensic archaeology
Shelves: thriller
Well, Elly Griffiths, this is starting to be really repetitive.
Ruth is depressed and overweight and she doesn't feel she's a good mother and she loves the depressing saltmarsh where she lives and she likes her job and blah blah. Yes, we get it.
Nelson is a tough working-class northern guy, and blah blah blah. We get that too, we heard it all before (about three times in three other books, in fact) with exactly the same words you used in this book. If you can't find an original way to give infor
I have read and enjoyed the first three books in this series by Elly Griffiths, about forensic archeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. But this one was a disappointment. The storyline is ridiculous, the characters are stereotypes who behave in the silliest of ways, the writing is clunky and the pace is sluggish. It simply doesn't live up to its predecessors. If you're wondering if you need to have read the other books in the series, the answer is no: however if you haven't read them, they're better books ...more
I'm always pleased to hear that another Elly Griffiths novel is on its way and no less this time. The mystery was a little different in this outing, with Ruth, the forensic archaeologist, more removed from the central action than in prior books. But she is very involved with the central characters and these novels are as much about the characters as the mystery.

The story involves a small, local museum and the planned opening of a recently unearthed casket of a medieval bishop. Moving on from thi
Susan Johnson
I really like this series. Ruth is such an unique character and her supporting characters are interesting in their own right. This one does not really involve Ruth's skills as a forensic archeologist but two different mysteries twine themselves throughout the story. Kate, Ruth's daughter, is one now and is starting to develop a personality.

The story involves a misplaced casket of a medieval bishop who has some surprising secrets. These secrets push Nelson and Ruth to a new dimension in their r
A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths
Published 2012, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Stars: (3.5)
Review also posted at: Slapdash & Sundry

3.5 stars

I'm having a hard time deciding just what to rate this between 3 and 4 stars, so I'm going to settle on 3.5 stars.

Storywise, I feel like it was a pretty week entry in the series. There were a LOT of plot strings in this one, and while it's nice that they all didn't end up being the same culprit/storyline, they made for a tangled mess at certain points.
This latest in the Ruth Galloway mystery series started out okay but then fizzled out. I think the worst part was when all sense was abandoned and one drug tripping hippie type entered the dreams of a friend who was lying in hospital close to dying from a deadly spore he inhaled while standing too near a coffin being opened after a few hundred years. Really? I have been waiting for the series to offer up a little more forensics archeology (that's what the main character supposedly does for a liv ...more
Read my full review:

My opinion: Lovers of Kathy Reich's will enjoy this British archaeologist who gets into as much trouble as Temperance Brennan, but is much more approachable and imperfect than her American counterpart.

In general, I feel that the writing of Ms. Griffiths is much more approachable than Ms. Reich's current releases. The books still have the feeling of being fresh and the characters not worn out. Furthermore, I enjoy the characters of this book. As stated pr
A Room Full Of Bones
Elly Griffths

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Ruth, Kate, Nelson...are not allowed to see each other. Nelson and Ruth are sort of involved due to the nature of the crime...Ruth is doing her best to raise Kate without any visits or help from Nelson...who is Kate's father. In this's all about the bones and heads and Aboriginal skulls that are not where they belong.

My thoughts after reading this book...

That above summary sounds confusing...doesn't it...but the thing
A couple of years ago, I picked up the inaugural book in this series, The Crossing Series, for our local library adult reading group. The series features Ruth Galloway, an overweight, introverted forensic anthropologist and archaeology teacher at a local university. The series is set in a seaside area not far from Brighton. This is the fourth book in the series. Ruth will soon be celebrating Kate's birthday. Kate is nearly a year old now and, of course, has changed Ruth's life completely. Kate i ...more
First Sentence: The coffin is definitely a health and safety hazard.

Professor and forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway arrives at a family-owned museum to supervise the opening of the family’s ancestor, a medieval bishop. Instead, she finds the body of the museum curator dead of an apparent heart attack. His death is followed by that of the Museum owner and owner of a horse-training stable, who had received threatening letters regarding the repatriation of Aboriginal skulls to an Australian repre
Another in the Ruth Galloway series and as you can see from the 3 stars, not my favorite. But still, any Ruth Galloway mystery is far and above better than most mystery series so I'll take it.
Michele Benson
This book has everything you want to know about elginists (people who want their ancestors remains returned to their land of origin) and a really great aboriginal shaman. Also for you infectious disease experts their is a fun twist at the end with some pretty nasty mold spores. Ruth is fabulous as always and Kate (not Katie) turns one year old! That is 3 murders in her little English town since her conception. I think that is a fairly dangerous place to be bringing up a toddler. Thank goodness C ...more
This is definitely not the best book of the series at all. I found the constant references to the previous stories quite tedious. If you have read them all, as I have, then it's very repetitive in the extreme and seems to take a large portion of this book up because of it.

I did find some of the plot quite implausible but on the whole I did like it but not enough to give it more than a three star rating.

I just love Cathbad and I hope he stays in Elly's next books as he is a really interesting c
I actually enjoyed the Ruth/Nelson/Max sub plots more than the main story but I am really enjoying this setting and Ruth's strong character. On to book #5!

If I’ve had a long work week and am “peopled out,” one of my favorite things to do is come home, curl up, and lose myself in an absorbing book. Elly Griffiths’ books offer that kind of reward, and every time I get one, I look forward to a couple of days of pure enjoyment. A Room Full of Bones is the fourth in a series of mysteries investigated by Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist/university lecturer, and DCI Harry Nelson. It was another satisfying, absorbing read.

The novel starts with the
I am going to go with 3 1/2 stars because I like the series so much.

This is the fourth in a series and I have read them all, more or less in order. I read #3 first and then went back to catch up. The stories build off of each other, the characters develop, and key events from prior novels are mentioned so it is best to read them in order to avoid spoilers and get the full enjoyment.

I am a huge fan of this series and I recommend it highly to people who enjoy light mysteries with a good bit of hum
Dana Burgess
A Room Full of Bones is the second of Elly Griffiths’ books that I have read. She is one of the exceptions to my personal reading rules – I don’t read British authors and I don’t read books that feature the same protagonist across several volumes. I DO read and thoroughly enjoy British author, Elly Griffiths, ‘Ruth Galloway mysteries’. So what makes these books worth the deviation?
1) Ruth Galloway. She is overweight, down to earth, unassuming, intelligent, insecure, fabulous… I could go on. I lo
When forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway arrives early at a museum for the opening of the coffin of a medieval bishop, she finds the body of the curator. The death appears to be natural causes, but the police are called in to be sure.

Detective Inspector Harry Nelson, the married father of Ruth’s one-year-old daughter, arrives and, as might be expected from the state of their relationship at the end of the previous book in the series, the encounter proves awkward.

Nelson, who is in the midst of a
Cathy Cole
First Line: The coffin is definitely a health and safety hazard.

The coffin in question belongs to a medieval bishop named Augustine who is dug up when the site of his burial is scheduled to be turned into a huge grocery store. Despite all the warnings Augustine gave about leaving his remains alone, a small "unveiling" is scheduled in the Smith Museum, presently owned by one of Augustine's descendants. Forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway has been asked to preside over the opening of the coff
Ruth & Nelson just keep getting better and better. There was somewhat less archaeology in this one, more pagan/indigenous culture -- still riveting in my view. Ruth's evolution as a new mother is complex and compelling. She's deeply loving of Kate, but she's awkward with "mommy culture," unsurprisingly. Her relationship with Nelson remains complicated and very real. I continue to love Cathbad as a fully developed pagan man (a Druid) who is comfortable with living in the Mystery, yet retains ...more
I'm not sure what I was hoping for in reading another Ruth Galloway mystery. This one started off as a promising page turner built around the questions concerning the bones of Australian Aborigines and a Christian Bishop. However in the end I felt disappointed. This series has tried to tread both sides of the line between the rational world and various spirit worlds, keeping you guessing about what "really" happened. Maybe that isn't for me. The real world explanations for several deaths seem so ...more
☔Diane S.
3.5 Fourth book in this series that I like very much because it combines archeology with detective work. Love the character of Cathbad, the druid, he is unique and fun. As always one learns quite a bit about different things when reading these novels. This one deals with the aborigine and the British colonization of Australia, as well as the Aborigine culture and their beliefs. It is always interesting to see how characters personal lives have progressed and where they are going next. Highly rec ...more
Always something going on in Ruth's world.... Series is good -- not great. Do enjoy it. Good reading; entertaining.

Set in Norfolk, England, A Room Full of Bones embroils, once again, our brainy heroine in a crime tinged by occult forces. On Halloween night, the Smith Museum in King's Lynn is preparing for an unusual event -- the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But when forensic archaelogist Ruth Galloway arrives to supervise, she finds the curator, Neil Topham, dea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mandie Kok
This was the least successful book in the series so far.

First of all, the storyline drifted too far off course from gloomy British marshes for my liking. Going to fetch characters all the way from Australia felt like a bit of a stretch.

Secondly, the developing relationship between Ruth and Harry came to an abrupt end, which was only resumed near the end of the story. I find these two characters so interesting and their attraction to each other so compelling, I really wanted to see more growth fr
Whenever I read a book by Elly Griffiths I want to read it in one go. Shame I don't have time. I'm working my way through the whole series and I love them. Dr Ruth Galloway (forensic archaeologist) is invited to the opening of a coffin of a medieval bishop. On arriving she finds the museum's curator dead by the coffin. This book is full of twists and turns and sees the return of favourite characters, like Cathbad, the Druid, and of course DI Harry Nelson. Ruth is drawn into the repatriation of A ...more
I enjoy this series. Ruth Galloway is a likable and realistic character. The books always have a bit of history, a bit of mysticism, and a bit of normal human drama. This one centered around a wealthy family with stables of race horses, holding on to a,dusty museum with artifacts collected by their ancestors. As usual there were myths and kooky characters and in the end the mystery was solved by good police work! I look forward to the next book.
4th in the Dr Ruth Galloway series. Kate, Ruth and Harry's daughter, is a year old. Michelle, Harry's wife, has declared Harry's to have nothing to do with Ruth and Kate. Cathbad is about. Ruth is working on the Bishop's Coffin/surprising discovery. Harry and his crew are working on parallel mysteries: sudden influx of drugs in the community and the death of museum curator. There's murders, mysteries, Aborigines, and some romance. Good read.
YES I READ ALL THESE AND DIDN'T TELL YOU AS I WAS GOING ALONG. SORRY. I'M A MONSTER WHO CAN'T BE STOPPED (except by DPL, because they don't have any more of the books in kindle format CURSE YOU DPL).

Okay minor spoiler sorry, part of the B plot (which, as previously discussed, isn't really even that B) is that Ruth has a baby now and the only thing that has pulled me out of these books has been raising an eyebrow at how quickly the baby has been developing. I know, some kids are walking before th
I love this series. Ruth Galloway is one of those characters who I feel a type of kinship with. She has struggles with everything from her body to her child. The plot of this book was a little different. She wasn't off digging, which was a small disappointment. But, I learned so much more about the people that it kept me reading almost nonstop until I finished this great, fun book.
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Has the series improved.. 1 21 Jul 06, 2014 09:18AM  
  • Red Bones (Shetland, #3)
  • The Book of Killowen (Nora Gavin, #4)
  • Dead Scared (Lacey Flint, #2)
  • Like This, For Ever (Lacey Flint, #3)
  • Death Wore White (DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine, #1)
  • The Risk of Darkness (Simon Serrailler, #3)
  • Slash and Burn (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #8)
  • The Flesh Tailor (Wesley Peterson, #14)
  • Island of Bones (Crowther and Westerman, #3)
  • The Blood Detective
  • The Sound of Broken Glass (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #15)
Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly's husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.

More about Elly Griffiths...

Other Books in the Series

Ruth Galloway (7 books)
  • The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, #1)
  • The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2)
  • The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway, #3)
  • A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway #5)
  • The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway #6)
  • The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway #7)
The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, #1) The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2) The House at Sea's End (Ruth Galloway, #3) A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway #5) The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway #6)

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