Cover of A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths

A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths

10th February 2023.

The fourth novel in the Dr Ruth Galloway series starts with her at a local history museum for the opening of a coffin containing a medieval bishop. But instead of a ceremonial opening, she finds the museum’s curator dead on the floor.

For Ruth, already doubting whether she’s a good mum for daughter Kate, it’s the start of a curious story concerning two deaths, drug smuggling and the return of historical artefacts to their country of origin. A new neighbour of Aboriginal descent adds a further mystical element to the story.

When the museum’s owner also dies, DCI Harry Nelson suspects murder, though both victims seem to have died from natural causes. Only this time his usual direct approach doesn’t seem to get him anywhere.

Cathbad plays his part, always there when needed, always mysterious, always offering a mystical alternative to science and forensics. He’s one of many different elements that combine to make an entertaining and well written story that’s gently paced, but never less than absorbing. The exciting climax brings all the various pieces come together in a resolution that leaves no loose ends.

You can read this as a standalone, but it’s far more enjoyable if you start at the beginning of the series and follow the lives of these engaging characters.


It is Halloween in King’s Lynn, and forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway is attending a strange event at the local history museum – the opening of a coffin containing the bones of a medieval bishop. But then Ruth finds the body of the museum’s curator lying beside the coffin.

Soon the museum’s wealthy owner lies dead in his stables too. These two deaths could be from natural causes but DCI Harry Nelson isn’t convinced, and it is only a matter of time before Ruth and Nelson cross paths once more.

When threatening letters come to light, events take an even more sinister turn. But as Ruth’s friends become involved, where will her loyalties lie? As her convictions are tested, she and Nelson must discover how Aboriginal skulls, drug smuggling and the Aboriginal ritual of The Dreaming may hold the answer to these deaths – and be the key to their own survival.

Cover of A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths

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