Elly Griffiths — Stranger Diaries

Much of the story takes place in a school building that was once the home of gothic author R. M. Holland. His ghost story is given to us piecemeal throughout the book. His wife died in the home and is said to haunt the building. An old mystery hangs over the school about how she died—accident, suicide, or homicide—and a mystery of his daughter if there was one. Two current murders of teachers from the school are the central plot.

Three main characters switch first-person points of view—Police Detective Harbinder, English teacher Clare, and Clare’s teenage daughter Georgia—all well-written with distinct and likable personalities. One small problem with the plot is that we know that two of Harbinder’s main suspects, Clare and Georgia, are not the villain because we follow them throughout the story. The author left no hints about the actual killer until close to the end (or did I miss them?).

I like reading mysteries and crime novels by British authors. There’s something about the style that’s different from American authors. Griffiths is new to me, and I’ll look for more books by her.