Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
The House at Sea’s End is the third in Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series – and by the end of the novel it’s clear that a fourth is surely a ‘must’. Ruth Galloway is a forensics expert working with the police on cases where archaeology is involved, in the setting of the atmospheric marshlands of the north Norfolk coast.
In the current case it isn’t the usual one body involved, but six. Nor do they date back long in archaeological terms – about sixty years. Having lain buried in the sand, the bodies are now found at the foot of the cliffs by a team of archaeologists studying coastal erosion. Ruth and her police colleague Harry Nelson begin to uncover a dark mystery stemming from the early days of the Second World War, a mystery that still affects those who were involved, and who go to extreme lengths to prevent the truth emerging. Murder is the result, and the investigation catapults its way to a gripping climax.
Ruth finds herself emotionally torn during the case, devoted to her baby daughter Kate but absorbed in the job to which she is equally committed. Her relationship with Harry Nelson throws another spanner into the even working of Ruth’s life.
Elly Griffiths is an excellent writer, who can evoke location as skilfully as she draws her characters and their relationships. The House at Sea’s End is a well-plotted page-turner, and I look forward to that fourth case.