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The Stranger Diaries

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  3,381 ratings  ·  823 reviews
From the author of the beloved Ruth Galloway series, a modern gothic mystery for fans of Magpie Murders and The Lake House.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. H
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published November 1st 2018)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,381 ratings  ·  823 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
"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
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
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 wit
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 nov
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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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 you
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing

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
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
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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 t
I’m swimming against the tide here.
I found this book hard to get into, maybe it’s a case of “it’s not you it’s me” and my frame of mind is not right. Who knows.

The different perspectives were easy enough to follow. The characters diverse enough.

The ghostly feeling of it all is either something you like or not. For me, sadly not.

I guessed the killer very early on, wasn’t 100% sure at first but then it became clear.
I didn’t know why, so read on. I had to read on because I needed to know what happ
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
4 stars rounded up to 5

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 of
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
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
Elly Griffiths takes a break from her popular series to bring us a spooky stand alone. And you get 2 stories for the price of one.

Clare Cassidy is a recently divorced english teacher who moved to the Sussex coast with her daughter for a fresh start. She’s working on a book about author R.M. Holland whose chilling story “The Stranger” was a one hit wonder. Teaching at Talgarth Academy is a big plus as it was once Holland’s home & his study has been perfectly preserved.

Daughter Georgie has se
Book of Secrets
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars → THE STRANGER DIARIES was creepy good fun! Clare is a high school English teacher, as well as a scholar of 19th century Gothic novelist R.M. Holland, who once lived in the building where she teaches. When one of her colleagues is murdered, mysterious events begin to mirror those in Holland's famous short story, "The Stranger." Is there a flesh and blood killer on the loose, or is there a connection with the restless spirit rumored to haunt the school?

I enjoyed this book very much. Al
Something a little different from the usual thriller..... Its Gothic, haunting, mystery who dunnit.

I loved the setting a creepy historic old building which was once home to gothic writer RM Holland: His most famous work a short story “The Stranger”. The building is now the local high school (Talgrath High)

The story follows three POVs:

Claire a teacher at the high school, she teaches teenagers about the famous writer RM Holland. Her friend and former colleague Ella is found murdered with a note n
Clare Cassidy is an English teacher at Talgarth High. She's also writing a book on Gothic writer R.M. Holland, known for his famous ghost story, "The Stranger." Clare is horrified when she's told that her close friend in the English department, Ella, has been murdered. Even worse, it seems like Ella's death has linkages to Clare and "The Stranger"--with a line from the story left at the crime scene. Clare turns to her diary, her one safe place. Then one day she finds writing in her diary that is ...more
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