The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

16th September 2021.

This beautifully written and crafted murder mystery has a ghost story at its heart and a killer in the shadows. It’s narrated by three characters: Clare’s an English teacher and colleague of murder victim, Ellie. But were they best friends? Georgie, Clare’s daughter, has a few secrets of her own. DI Kaur, who investigates the murder, uncovers the secrets others want to hide

When Clare’s fellow teacher and best friend, Ellie is murdered, there’s a striking similarity to a crime in a story she knows well – The Stranger. As the investigation progresses, Ellie’s life comes under scrutiny, exposing affairs and conflicts in her work and private life. Then, a second murder, which again has echoes of The Stranger, has Clare wondering if her own life is in danger. Then she discovers someone has left sinister notes for her in her diary…

I enjoyed the gentle way the suspense built as the story progressed. Seeing the details from three different viewpoints helped to increase the suspense and tension and cast doubt on the views and actions of other main characters. It also helped to develop a healthy cast of suspects.

As the tension mounted, the atmosphere became almost claustrophobic until the killer was revealed. I’m not often surprised, but this one caught me out in the best possible way. Masterful plotting and storytelling by an author at the top of her game.

If you like a tense, atmospheric murder mystery with great characters and twisting plot, look no further.


A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time?

This is what the police know: English teacher Clare Cassidy’s friend Ella has just been murdered. Clare and Ella had recently fallen out. Found beside the body was a line from The Stranger, a story by the Gothic writer Clare teaches, and the murder scene is identical to one of the deaths in the story.

This is what Clare knows: No one else was aware of her fight with Ella. Few others have even read The Stranger. Someone has wormed their way into her life and her work. They know her darkest secrets. And they don’t mean well.

This is what the killer knows: Who will be next to die.

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

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