I really enjoy the Ruth Galloway series and I was really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Woman in Blue. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Whilst this is book 8 in the Ruth Galloway series written by Elly Griffiths, it can easily be read as a stand alone novel, but after reading it, I am sure you will want to go through her back catalogue and get the rest of the series!!
The blurb – Ruth Galloway’s friend Cathbad is house-sitting in Walsingham, a Norfolk village famous as a centre for pilgrimages to the Virgin Mary. In an attempt to stop a malevolent cat from escaping, Cathbad sees a strange vision in the graveyard beside the cottage: a young woman dressed in blue. Cathbad thinks that he may have seen the Madonna herself but, the next morning, the woman’s body, dressed in white nightdress and blue dressing-gown, is found in a ditch outside Walsingham. DCI Nelson and his team are called in and establish that the dead woman was a recovering addict being treated at a nearby private hospital.
Ruth, a devout atheist, has managed to avoid Walsingham during her seventeen years in Norfolk. But then an old university friend, Hilary Smithson, asks to meet her in the village. When Ruth arrives at the Blue Lady café, she’s amazed to discover that her friend is now a priest. Hilary has been receiving vitriolic anonymous letters targeting women priests – letters containing references to local archaeology and a striking phrase about a woman ‘clad in blue, weeping for the world.’
Then another woman is murdered – a priest.
As Walsingham prepares for its annual Easter re-enactment of the Crucifixion, the race is on to unmask the killer before they strike again. Ruth has got herself tangled up in a grisly mystery play …
For me this is not one of the strongest in the series but I still find it thoroughly enjoyable and was eager to find out where the story was heading and the outcome. It still has the same great characters and their relationships are still as complex as always but with some great crime mysteries thrown in. I thought there was less of a focus in Ruth’s role as an archaeologist in this work and for me I felt a tad disappointed by that – 4 stars from me for this one and already looking forward to the next. I really love this series.