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A Room Full of Bones: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 4

(Ruth Galloway #4)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  12,476 ratings  ·  910 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 ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Quercus (first published December 21st 2011)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Book Three in this series ended with a bit of a cliffhanger and at the beginning of book four, it’s resolved. Michele has figured out that Nelson is Kate’s father and has forbidden him from having any contact with Ruth or Kate, except professional. Well, Ruth finding a dead body at the local museum provides the professional excuse for them to again interact. The museum also houses a whole collection of Aborigine bones, which a group called The Elginists are seeking to repatriate back to
Nov 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Lisa Vegan
I do love this series but I wasn’t really in the mood to read this book. All my books on library hold aren’t ready though and this one came quickly so I decided to read it. That’s the thing about the books in these series though. I love them and thoroughly enjoy them even when not in the mood for them.

This one felt more choppy than the first three books: There are multiple people/places/events in paragraphs in many chapters that often made me eager to get back to the people/places/events that
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book in the Ruth Galloway series. It felt to me like this is the weakest so far. The first half of the book includes much discussion of the exploration of Australia, the ravaging of Aboriginal holy relics, and efforts for the repatriation of human remains. I think this was just sort of interesting, too long, and delayed the "meat" of the book. The pace eventually picks up in the second half when the owner of a museum and horse racing stable dies, Nelson falls deathly ill, Ruth ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was great to read an enjoyable story after reading some books I didn't like much.
Ruth is not a detective but a forensic archeologist, so you get the story from a different angle. I skipped no. 3 in the series by accident, so that's what I'm going to read now.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a formula (or balance) in my favorite mystery series— something like 70-80% mystery/crime threads to about 20-30% main sleuth/ regular character development. So based on that, this entry in the wonderful Dr Ruth Galloway series would only rate three stars because the mystery is barely 50% of the story.

But that’s okay because this book concentrates on the personal lives of Ruth and her friends. This book feels like a major turning point in the Galloway/Nelson relationship. And it’s really
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hilary by: Lisa Vegan
This is the fourth book in the series. We revisit old characters and meet some new ones, and the complicated lives and relationships continue to unfold.

This book had a couple of different storylines, a collection of bones that the aboriginal community wants returned and buried, a horse racing yard, a new relationship for Ruth, a surprise for Shona and problems for Michelle and Harry. Some parts worked well, others felt tacked on. I thought the part of the animal rights activist was negatively
This is a terrific mystery series. Why?

1. The recurring characters are interesting and have depth. The relationships developing between them make me want to leap from one book straight to the next.

2. British countryside near the sea. This is where the main character lives. It's creepy and dark at night. Bonus. What's not to like about the British countryside?

3. Griffiths' writing is easy to fall into. It can make me laugh and cry. She observes human nature keenly and weaves those observations
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
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
Rachel Hall
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fourth book in the Dr Ruth Galloway series is once again a hugely satisfying affair which manages to combine a well constructed mystery with another slice of personal drama in the lives of the quirky cast who surround our forensic archaeologist. Despite the third novel ending with a cliffhanger, A Room Full of Bones starts with a typically humorous episode as Ruth rushes round the King's Lynn branch of Somerfield frantically shopping for Kate's first birthday party the following day. She ...more
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Once again, it obviously doesn’t require much brain power to realise that if you are going to dip your toes into a series of crime novels about archaeologist, Ruth Galloway, number four isn’t the best place to start. Oh well, it was the one the library had and so here we are. Actually the adventures of Ruth, her druid friend, Cathbad, and her one time lover, DCI Harry Nelson (the former two seem, bizarrely, to be involved in all the latter’s cases) read more like a soap-opera than crime fiction. ...more
Tanja Berg
I don’t know what to make of the crimes presented in this book. They are contrived at best. There is also som aboriginal spiritual issues going on, due to some bones kept in a private collection. Too many different directions all at once.

What I do enjoy, tremendously, is the permanent cast of characters. Particularly Ruth the archeologist and protagonist. That is why I keep returning to the series. I will continue to do so, and hope that the plotting gets better eventually.
Griffiths is killing me.

This is the fourth in the Ruth Galloway series, a series which I have come to love.

A Room Full of Bones is probably the strongest in the series thus far when it comes to the mystery plot. It introduces quite a lot of interesting crime/mystery aspects, all seemingly unrelated until Griffiths quite cleverly weaves them together.

Ruth is asked to attend the opening of a recently discovered Bishop's coffin. When she gets to the museum holding the event, however, she finds the
Bruce Hatton
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-crime
This is the fourth novel in the very enjoyable series featuring forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway and, for me, the most intricately plotted and exciting one I've read so far. As well as the highly likeable Ruth, it features the other familiar characters from the previous books such as DCI Harry Nelson, Cathbad the druid etc.
There are two intersecting plotlines in this novel. The first concerning a couple of suspicious deaths relating to a museum which has a collection of Australian
Another good installment. I can't figure out why I like these so much. Some of the characters are misogynists, and the women aren't any better. Michelle asks - "What was it like sleeping with a fat woman?" Well, it's like a skinny girl, but squishier. If we can't support one another then how can we ask the men to treat us with respect? I lost a lot of respect for Michelle in this book. I realize she is the injured party, but she is so detrimental to the whole situation.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. This was not a thriller per se but it was a welcome reconnection with old friends. Ruth Galloway the forensic archaeologist, DCI Nelson with whom she has a complicated relationship and a daughter, his sidekick Clough and the inimitable Cathbad - druid and otherwise spiritual personage.

The Smith museum is to host an event around the opening of the coffin of a medieval bishop but before the event is due to start Ruth finds the curator of the museum dead beside the coffin. There is also
John Wiltshire
Aug 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: given-up-on
I'm getting increasingly irritated with this series. I was lying awake last night trying to work out why and it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the author never actually intended it to be a series. The first book had something a bit special with interesting characters and a strong sense of place. But then the second book didn't progress anything from that, nor the third...This is the fourth now, and if I read one more time about the wood henge on the Saltmarsh being moved, or Cathbad ...more
A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths.

This, in my opinion, was a riveting smash hit. The best entry in this marvelous series.

A coffin containing the remains of Bishop Augustine Smith is being moved into the Smith Museum from its original burial place outside the walls of St. Mary's Church. In the past the Bishop was thought to have been buried inside Norwich Cathedral. Lord Danforth Smith couldn't be more pleased to welcome his long deceased ancestor to his museum but it seems he is alone with
Susan Johnson
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jo Chambers
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
This is the fourth Ruth Galloway novel in this excellent crime series set in Norfolk. Ruth is an archaeologist who sometimes helps the Police in cases where old bones are found. In this case, she is called in to supervise the opening of a medieval coffin at a local museum. But when she arrives there, she finds the curator of the museum lying dead beside it. The museum is also at the centre of a controversy about pillaged bones of aborigines and a call for them to be repatriated. Add to the mix ...more
Cathy Cole
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england, mystery
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 ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Diane S ☔
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
The is the opening paragraph to my blog review:

As I mentioned in a previous post, when I had an Audible account, I listened to Elly Griffiths’s first three Ruth Galloway mysteries. Recently, I read #4, A Room Full of Bones, and it may be my favourite yet. (I have the rest stacked and ready to go all the way to the most recent, #11, The Stone Circle. I’m hooked, yes, and a fan.) Like her standalone mystery, The Stranger Diaries, Griffiths has a winning combination of elements: a likeable,
Charmaine Greenan
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars - my favourite Ruth Galloway so far.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better mystery, and some resolution to the messy relationships. She changed her writing tactics so the book wasn’t as predictable.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t impressed with this one at all. To say it was underwhelming would be an understatement. Where was the archaeology? Where was the history? Where was RUTH?

This series used to engage me in a way a crime book never had before, but now it’s just boring. The characters are either racist, transphobic, misogynistic, or completely flat and I’m TIRED of Ruth’s “I’m not a good mum” spiel. For the love of god. If anyone could have been the character to juggle it all it was Ruth. But now she’s
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Play Book Tag: A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths - 4 stars 3 19 May 24, 2018 03:16AM  
Has the series improved.. 1 35 Jul 06, 2014 09:18AM  

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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.

Other books in the series

Ruth Galloway (1 - 10 of 12 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 Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway, #8)
  • The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway, #9)
  • The Dark Angel (Ruth Galloway, #10)
  • The Stone Circle (Ruth Galloway, #11)