Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Stranger Diaries” as Want to Read:
The Stranger Diaries
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Stranger Diaries

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  12,740 ratings  ·  2,029 reviews
A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time?

A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries: Wilkie Collins and MR James meet Gone Girl and Disclaimer.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a shor
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Quercus
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Stranger Diaries, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Anna I do empathise with your concerns! As others have confirmed the dog lives to fight another day. I have stopped watching TV programmes when the family …moreI do empathise with your concerns! As others have confirmed the dog lives to fight another day. I have stopped watching TV programmes when the family pet is martyred to add suspense.(less)
Sarah Why would this be on Netflix? This is Goodreads (books) not IMDB (films) 🤔

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,740 ratings  ·  2,029 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Stranger Diaries
Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Dorie - Cats&Books :)
"Nothing in the world is hidden forever."-Wilkie Collins, No Name

NetGalley and I have been playing this game where it tempts me with a book, I play coy, and then one night after a few glasses of wine I click the READ NOW button and, the next thing I know, I'm the proud owner of a shiny new ARC and a small percentage added stress to get it reviewed before pub date. There, I admit that I have a problem. The trick with this game is that sometimes it doesn't work out well for me, but every now and t
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Creepy and Witty!

The Stranger Diaries is about an English teacher whose life begins to mirror a Gothic murder mystery.

Clare, a single mother to 15-year-old Georgie, is an English teacher in an idyllic seaside town. She happens to teach in the school where famous author R.M. Holland once lived. Clare, a Holland scholar, loves to teach his eerie short story “The Stranger.” When a fellow English teacher is murdered, Clare is shocked that her friend and colleague was murdered. Even more shocking i
Mary Beth
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Gothic Stars

Clare is an English teacher at Talgarth High School which was the home of an author named R.M. Holland. R.M. Holland's wife, Alice died and she roams and haunts the school. Clare was a fan of his book, The Stranger. She specializes in the gothic writer, R.M. Holland. She teaches a course in it every year. She decides to write a biography about him. Then one of Clare's colleague's Ella, who is a very close friend of hers dies and is murdered. There is also a note left by her body wh
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Elly Griffiths writes the perfect October read with this contemporary take on the Victorian Gothic novel set on the Sussex coast. Attractive Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher with a 15 year old daughter, Georgia, teaching at local comprehensive school, Talgarth High, where there is a building that Roland Montgomery Holland, a reclusive Victorian writer lived, a man famous for a short story titled The Stranger. Clare is writing a biography of RM Holland and is interested in the death of ...more
3.5 stars (rounded up) for Elly Griffiths' modern gothic mystery, The Stranger Diaries

Clare Cassidy is an English teacher specializing in Gothic writer R.M. Holland and his short story, The Stranger . Clare is working on a book based on the mysterious life of R.M. Holland, who once lived in the school where she now works.

One evening one of Clare's closest friends and colleagues, Ella, is murdered with a line from R. M. Holland’s story left by her body. Clare's life eerily begins to collide w
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

I have to admit that the first time I started this book I was a little put off with all of the descriptions of gloomy gothic feeling British schools and talking about “The Stranger” a book by a supposedly famous author, none of which I knew anything about.

The second time I put aside an evening to immerse myself in this book and I was hooked after the first few chapters, actually I couldn’t stop reading it. There are so many interesting, unique characters, descriptions
Kylie D
An atmospheric thriller, full of chilling scenes, I found this book very hard to put down.

Clare is a teacher at a high school, set in a historic old building. It is the former home of writer RM Holland, author of the ghost story The Stranger. Then Clare's friend and colleague, Ella, is found dead, a note is left beside her body with a line from The Stranger.

Clare, afraid that the killer is someone she knows, turn to her journal, where she's always written down her thoughts and feelings. Then on
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
What a great book and a complete surprise to me as it was my first by this author. I have made a note to try her Ruth Galloway series as soon as possible!

The Stranger Diaries is a contemporary mystery with a Gothic flavour. There's a book within the book, old houses with creepy passageways, a deserted building with lights that flash from the windows at night and even a self proclaimed witch. What more do you need for the spookiness factor?

And then there is the murder mystery, actually murders be
Diane S ☔
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor-2019
Well, she's three for three, or I should say that this author, Elly Griffiths has not ever let me down. Her Ruth Galloway series is in my top ten, her newer Magic Men series is growing on me more and more, now this a standalone. All are in my view, terrific. She just is a master of atmosphere, but I think characters too. She makes the reader care.

In this outing an English teacher Clair, who also teaches a writing class, is involved in a mystery. One of the books she uses as an example in her cla
Holly  B
An absorbing and unsettling contemporary thriller that mirrors a gothic tale~

Some elements I loved~

1. There is a gothic Victorian book placed inside the main story. inside a book
2. Several points of view.

3. The mixture of modern and old school.

4. Police procedural mixed with the creepiness of the setting.

5. A quirky female detective with a sharp eye for inconsistencies. (She was my fave)

6. The setting of a "haunted" school.

If your craving something a little different from y
Brenda -Traveling Sister
Elly Griffiths is well known for her Ruth Galloway series. The Stranger Diaries is a stand-alone and my first book by Elly Griffiths. I read it in our Traveling Sisters reading group.

A gothic murder mystery with a modern twist, a whodunnit, and a ghost story.

The Stranger Diaries has a unique and interesting format to the story that we all loved. The story is told from different overlapping POVs, and timelines, passages from a book, a story within the story method and diary entries from one of t
Norma * Traveling Sister and proud Grandma!!!
Classic whodunnit, witty prose, & a spooky gothic vibe!

THE STRANGER DIARIES by ELLY GRIFFITHS is an entertaining, eerie, and gothic suspense tale that opens up with quite the hook with a creepy short darkish ghost story entitled THE STRANGER. This technique of a short story interwoven into the narrative definitely set the tone for a spooky sinister tale and immediately piqued my interest.

ELLY GRIFFITHS delivers an atmospheric, intriguing, multi-layered, complex, and well-written tale here that
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rounded 3.75 ghostly stars.
This is great combination of Victorian gothic vibes and modern mystery. The writer perfectly developed the story and used the menacing, thrilling, disturbing elements of horror impeccably. Only the bad thing about the novel for me was the characters are a little dull and boring for me.
But compelling and moving writing make me read more novels of this writer.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Despite a dear friend telling how much she loves the Ruth Galloway series, I’ve never read Elly Griffiths. So her first stand alone novel seemed like a good place to start, especially when it was compared to Magpie Murders. “A modern gothic mystery”, according to the book’s description. Perfect! And this book did work for me on so many levels.

First the characters…there are three narrators and I enjoyed each of them. It was easy for me to bond with Clare. An English teacher who teaches creative
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"It can be a dangerous thing, reading too much."

Clare Cassidy, a high school English teacher, specializes in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland. She and the rest of the school is shocked when one of her friends and colleagues is found dead with a line from Holland's most famous story, "The Stranger: is found near her body. Police further shock her when they inform her that they believe the killer is someone she knows.

Could she and her fifteen-year-old daughter, Georgie, be in danger? It seems so, e
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
The Stranger Diaries has the elements of a police procedural, gothic mystery, and possibly a haunting. Yes! Yes! & Yes!

Clare Cassidy is a well respected English teacher. Divorced, she lives with her daughter, Georgie, and her adorable pup, Herbert. (I love Herbert!!!) Her best friend and fellow English teacher, Ella, has been discovered murdered and covered in stab wounds. A note lay beside her reading "Hell is Empty".

A book within a book. Clare teaches a class on R.M. Holland's horror novella
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
My friends in the UK love this author, and it’s about time I try an Elly Griffiths’ book! And it’s a win!

The Stranger Diaries is a gothic mystery of sorts centered on Clare Cassidy. She’s a high school English teacher whose area of expertise is a particular Gothic author.

One day, one of her closest friends is murdered, and right beside her body? A copy of the Gothic writer’s most famous story.

On top of that, the police insist that author connection means Clare must know the killer.

Clare has
This is my first Elly Griffiths novel and I'll be checking out more of her novels in the future. The story is told from three POVs although there is also a short story contained within the novel that gives us a fourth narrator for those parts of the book. The short story is The Stranger, written by the fictional Gothic writer R. M. Holland, who one of the main characters, Clare, specializes in teaching in her high school English classes. Clare's 15 year old daughter Georgia attends the same high ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heavy draperied rooms, long winding staircases, and imposing carved wooden doors lend themselves to a Victorian Gothic panoramic view.

Elly Griffiths sets this treasure box of a story within the walls of Talgarth Academy in Sussex. There's an array of buildings that stretch across the campus including the Old Building that houses the original effects of the writer, R.M. Holland. Holland lived there with his wife, Alice, and an elusive daughter, Mariana. According to legend, no one knows what hap
3.5 Stars.

Thank you to the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

Murder mysteries aren't my usual favorite reading genre, but because of its gothic flavor and setting in England and Scotland, I took the plunge. Decades ago when Stephen King first hit the scene, I faithfully read everything he put out. I was on a horror kick for awhile there. Today my go to genres are biographies and historical fiction. Yet, this has been getting many favorable rev
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clare Cassidy, divorcee with 15 year old daughter Georgia, had moved from London to West Sussex, having accepted a position teaching English at Talgarth High School. Clare and Georgia now reside in an isolated house near an abandoned factory. Clare maintains a diary reflecting her innermost thoughts. Additionally, she shares her feelings with rescue dog, Herbert. After all, a dog will not judge his owner! Clare is thrilled that author R.M. Holland, the writer of a gothic ghost story called "The ...more
“I collect my papers and lock the classroom. Then I’m almost sprinting across the gravel towards my car. It’s five o’clock but it feels like midnight. There are only a few lights left on in the school and the wind is blowing through the trees.”

An old ghost story seems to be coming to life for attractive, divorced Clare, who teaches English at Talgarth High in West Sussex, England. She’s taught ‘The Stranger’ in her class and even named her dog Herbert, after the dog in the story. The book open
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The perfect blend of gothic horror, psychological suspense, and police procedural!


‘"If you’ll permit me,” said the Stranger, “I’d like to tell you a story.”’

As much as I love spooky old houses with a dark history, and possible ghosts sightings, a thought-to-be haunted house turned into a secondary school had me even more excited. The Old Building of Talgarth High, was once home to Victorian Horror writer R.M. Holland, best remembered for his horror-themed, scary short story, The Stranger. The
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although I was interested in the description of this novel, I was, initially, a little wary. I had tried Elly Griffiths popular Ruth Galloway series, and stalled with it. However, I am glad that I gave this a try, as I absolutely loved it and it has made me determined to go back and give Ruth Galloway another try.

This is a clever, literary mystery, with an excellent cast of characters. Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher, living with teenage daughter, Georgie and working at Talgarth High
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clare Cassidy, divorced and living with her 15 y old daughter Georgie, left London for a quieter life on the Sussex coast where she teaches English at a comprehensive school. Part of the attraction of the school for Clare, is that one of the older sections was once the home of the gothic story writer R.M Holland, whose biography Clare is writing. Holland was mostly known for his famous gothic tale, 'The Stranger', which Clare uses to teach her adult creative writing class. Her dog Herbert is eve ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book with its gothic atmosphere, fascinating characters and incredibly engaging writing style.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Elly Griffiths has woven together a tale of gothic suspense, psychological terror and marvelous detective work and thrown in a full measure of classical literature, all of which create a beautiful tapestry called The Stranger Diaries. Whew.

If you think that opening line was a lot to absorb, just wait until you read the book. I’m still trying to untangle my mind from the who’s and who’s nots and what’s real and what’s not! For someone who had an imaginary playmate until she was 10 years old and s
Katie B
What I enjoyed most about this book is how it was this interesting combination of a mystery taking place in modern day England and yet it also had this old-fashioned, gothic vibe to it. It was actually refreshing to read because this one felt more like a straightforward mystery rather than most current books in the genre that rely too heavily on insane plot twists. While this book might not have worked for me on every level, I would definitely be interested in checking out more books by the auth ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clare Cassidy is an English teacher, at Talgrath High, who specializes in teaching about the (fictional) Gothic writer, R.M Holland, author of the famous short story titled, “The Stranger” and a former resident of the school.

It has been rumored that his wife, Alice, had either fallen down, or was pushed down, a staircase, and that her ghost will sometimes be seen at the school....just before another death occurs...

R.M. Holland may or may not, have also had a daughter, Mariana, and Clare is hopi
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Hallo, Clare. You don’t know me.

Someone has written in my diary. I didn't recognize the handwriting. It was thin and spiky, written with what we used to call an italic pen. I keep thinking of that bit in I Claudius where Caligula drives his father to madness and death by, amongst other things, writing his name on the wall in tiny letters. One letter less each day until, by the time he got to the G in Germanicus, his father was dead.

Who is my Caligula?

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Clare Cassidy is
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Statesboro-Bulloc...: March pick 1 3 Feb 19, 2020 07:44AM  
Play Book Tag: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths -- 4.5 stars 3 19 Oct 14, 2019 04:16AM  
Understanding the story 2 59 Apr 23, 2019 08:27AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 3 28 Apr 05, 2019 01:18AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
  • The Hunting Party
  • A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)
  • The Sentence is Death (Hawthorne, #2)
  • Eight Perfect Murders
  • The Turn of the Key
  • Big Sky (Jackson Brodie, #5)
  • A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #18)
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Invited
  • The Lost Man
  • She Lies in Wait (DCI Jonah Sheens, #1)
  • The Whisper Man
  • Freeman
  • The Sun Down Motel
  • Lock Every Door
  • Lady in the Lake
  • The Benefit of Hindsight (Simon Serrailler, #10)
See similar books…
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.

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
95 likes · 46 comments
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” 3 likes
“Why are Georgette Heyer's covers so naff? When you think of all the exciting things that happen - abductions, false identities, wild horseback chases - the front of the book nearly always shows a woman in a ballgown, simpering sweetly up at a man.” 3 likes
More quotes…