As The Janus Stone begins, Dr. Ruth Galloway, head of the forensic archelogy at the University of North Norfolk, is called to a dig site in the town of Norwich. A very large Victorian style house and accompanying grounds are being massively modified and rebuilt into seventy-five luxury apartments. Edward Spens, owner and builder, is moving fast on his project and won’t be happy that with any delay. That is too bad for him, as bones have been found which is why Dr. Galloway has been called to the site.the-janus-stone


The bones, minus the skull, appear to be human and of a child. Since she can’t determine their age just by looking at the bones, it seems to best to contact the police. That means Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson and his team are soon onsite and working the case. Whether the bones come from the time of Romans ruling England or far more recently, is one of the many puzzles at work in The Janus Stone.


Following by just a few months after The Crossing Place both Nelson and Galloway are dealing with the events of the case. Those repercussions continue to play a role in their lives while they work the current case. Both characters continue to develop in this second book of the series, as do many of the secondary characters.


Even if one was unaware that there is a long running series, it would be clear from reading the books that author Elly Griffiths intended to continue building on the vast family of people and relationships that were established in The Crossing Places. While archeology and history have important roles in this book and series, they are secondary to the mystery itself as well as those relationships. Events have consequences and repercussions and those are present here in a major way for several characters as are the issues with the complicated new case. The result is another very good read in an intriguing series.


Like all really good series, this one must be read in order.








The Janus Stone: A Ruth Galloway Mystery

Elly Griffiths

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

January 2011

ISBN# 978-0-547-23744-2

Hardback (also available in paperback, audio, and eBook formats)

352 Pages (includes 15 pages of the next book in the series)



Material was obtained via the Plano Public Library System to read and review.



Kevin R. Tipple ©2016

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