The Chalk Pit, by Elly Griffiths (2017)

The Chalk Pit by Elly GriffithsThis is the ninth installment in this mystery series set in Norfolk England, in which archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway teams up with Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson to solve crimes, quite similar to Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan series. When bones are found in an ancient tunnel by a restaurateur planning to open an upscale underground eatery, Galloway attends and soon determines the bones are not as ancient as first thought. Additionally, she finds evidence the bones were boiled, suggesting a possible crime. Meanwhile, Nelson’s team is also investigating a missing homeless woman (“rough sleeper in England-speak), and the urgency of the matter intensifies when someone stabs and kills the person who reported her missing. When a suburban mother of four also disappears, clues point to a community centre where the victims’ paths all crossed. Adding real depth to the story is the complex relationship between Nelson and Galloway, who have a child together though Nelson remains married, and his eldest daughters do not know about his six-year-old daughter with Galloway. The resolution is satisfying with intriguing hints of future complications that will leave readers waiting impatiently for the next title. This is a complicated character-driven procedural that will please fans of the series. It can be read as a stand-alone novel but there are several references to past incidents which will encourage new readers to start the series at the beginning. I really enjoy series in which protagonists change over time, and like the Canadian Inspector Gamache titles, I am pleased to have discovered this series that slipped by me despite clear popularity. My thanks to publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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