Elly Griffiths: The Ruth Galloway Series In Order

If you love murder mysteries, you’ll know that sometimes, they’re a bit hit-and-miss. While some authors manage to create utterly enthralling stories that keep you guessing to the end, others lack depth and mystery and can leave you feeling deflated.

Elly Griffiths: The Ruth Galloway Series In Order

Good news: The Ruth Galloway series is not the latter. These suspenseful, mysterious stories are part of an ever-growing collection that never fails to dazzle readers, and if you’ve yet to read one, the time is now.

Let’s take a closer look at the Ruth Galloway mystery series in order.

About The Ruth Galloway Books

Ruth Galloway

The Ruth Galloway books follow the life and mystery of Dr. Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist working for Norfolk police in England.

When mysterious remains are discovered and investigators are left scrambling for answers, Ruth is bought in to lend her expertise and help detectives crack the case.

In these books, Ruth finds herself up against a different mystery in every novel.

There is an intriguing blend of history, modern murder, mystery, and archeology that we don’t see in other mystery novels, and this gives the series a thrilling edge that’s hard to match.

There are currently 15 books in the series, however, author Elly Griffiths has confirmed more books are in the pipeline.

This is great news for her devoted fan base which all seem to agree that here compelling murder mysteries only get better with time.

The Crossing Places

The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) (Ruth Galloway Mysteries, 1)

The Crossing Places is the first installment in the Ruth Galloway series. The Crossing Places, published in 2009, introduces the story of Forensic archaeologist Ruth, who lives her life alone in a remote, rural area of Norfolk, England.

Although Ruth’s entire career is built on digging up the remnants of the past, her life is changed when the remains of a small child are discovered on a desolate beach.

Ruth is called to help investigate the case alongside Detective Inspector Nelson, who believes the remains belong to a young girl who went missing in the area almost a decade ago.

What’s more, her abductor, and now suspected murderer, continues to taunt the Detective with strange notes… When a second girl goes missing, they must work together to solve the mystery.


  • Captivating descriptions of the setting and other characters, which help readers visualize the vents
  • An intriguing plotline that will keep you hooked
  • An exciting and fast-paced story


  • Unfortunately, some aspects of the plot feel predictable

The Janus Stone

By Elly Griffiths:the Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) [Hardcover]

The Janus Stone, follows on from the first installment in the series, The Crossing Places.

In this book, it has been a few months since the event, where Ruth found herself in the midst of an intriguing, yet incredibly dangerous, missing persons case.

However, when an old property in Norwich is being knocked down, the construction workers discover more skeletal remains; this time, of a child beneath a doorway… without the skull.

Ruth’s expertise could help crack this mysterious case, which leaves detectives baffled.


  • A smart, powerful main character that will appeal to all readers
  • Complex characters that feel authentic
  • Mysterious plot with lots of twists and turns


  • More dialogue than action, which can sometimes leave things feeling unresolved

The House At Sea’s End

The House At Sea's End: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway series Book 3)

The third book in the series is The House at Sea’s End. In this book, a team of archeologists is working in Norfolk to investigate coastal erosion on the coast.

However, a routine job soon turns into an eerie discovery, when the remains of six bodies are found below a cliff.

How long have they been deceased, and how did they get there? Once again, Dr. Ruth Galloway is called in to assist, and she must work hard to unravel the seemingly age-old mystery.


  • Can be read as a standalone book
  • Good humor to keep readers interested
  • Consistent tone throughout


  • Lacks as much mystery and intrigue as the previous two books

A Room Full Of Bones

A Room Full Of Bones: A Ruth Galloway Mystery (Ruth Galloway series Book 4)

Next on our list is A Room Full of Bones. Our favorite archeological heroine is back, and this time, she finds herself embroiled in a crime with a dash of the occult…

When Ruth goes to examine the coffin of a medieval bishop, she finds the curator, Neil, dead beside it.

His death seems to be related to a string of mysterious and sinister incidents.

As DCI Nelson finds himself in grave danger, Ruth must snap into action to crack the case, and save lives.


  • Loveable characters that relate well to each other
  • Several mysteries tied into one
  • The clever plotline has depth


  • Some aspects feel repetitive

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree

Ruth's First Christmas Tree: A Ruth Galloway Christmas Story (Ruth Galloway Series)

The fifth installment in the series is Ruth’s First Christmas Tree. In this ‘festive’ installment, it’s Christmas, and the bad weather batters Ruth’s hometown of Norfolk.

Although the bleak backdrop usually represents how Ruth feels about Christmas, this time, she decides she wants it to be different for her daughter.

Although her new boyfriend is planning to stay, not everything goes to plan…


  • Quick read, great for those short on time
  • Sweet and emotional
  • Offers more insight into the character’s personal lives


  • The storyline lacks intrigue and mystery

A Dying Fall

A Dying Fall: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway series Book 5)

In A Dying Fall, Ruth learns that her old friend Dan has tragically died in a house fire. However, before his sudden death, he informed Ruth that he’d made a truly life-changing archeological discovery…

Could his mysterious finds be related to his death, and can Ruth decipher the sinister threats he was receiving while alive?


  • Characters feel real and relatable, and their development from previous books continues
  • Different and descriptive setting which feels exciting
  • Plenty of mystery to keep you guessing


  • Some parts of the plot lack depth

The Outcast Dead

The Outcast Dead: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway series Book 6)

Next up, we have The Outcast Dead. In this story, our protagonist Ruth has recently completed an archeological dig at Norwich Castle.

However, she discovered more than she bargained for when the remains of Mother Hook, a lady from the 1800s who was hanged for killing her five children, were uncovered.

Meanwhile, DCI Nelson is involved in a troubling case investigating the mysterious deaths of three children, all found dead in their home – the mother is the prime suspect…

When another child is abducted, they’ll have to find out whether there are two murderers in the game or if they’re related…


  • Multiple mysteries tied together
  • Familiar and likable characters that readers will enjoy getting to know
  • Intelligent plot


  • Not as compelling as other installments

The Ghost Fields

The Ghost Fields: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway series Book 7)

In The Ghost Fields, a construction crew working in Norfolk finds a puzzling archeological find – a WWII plane, with the skeleton of a pilot still inside…

When Ruth is called to investigate, she soon realizes that it’s impossible for the remains to be the pilots, and DNA analysis soon confirms his identity: a local aristocrat reported dead at sea…

When more human remains are discovered, Ruth and her team must use their talents to track down the killer and stop tragedy from striking again.


  • An interesting blend of archeology, mythology, and history
  • Intriguing characters with colorful lives


  • The main character is not as interesting as she is in other books

The Woman In Blue

The Woman In Blue: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway Series Book 8)

Next in the series is The Woman in Blue. This time, we’re in the town of Little Walsingham, famous for its mysterious religious apparitions.

When one of Ruth’s friends spots the figure of a woman in a white dress and a blue cloak roaming the cemetery at night, he believes he’s seen the Virgin Mary.

However, the woman in question is found dead a day later. Just as her body is discovered, a priest starts receiving threatening letters… Is there some connection, and can Ruth and her colleague DCI Nelson crack the case?


  • Familiar characters
  • Interesting setting
  • Different mysteries tie together well


  • Not as many archeological discoveries as we’ve seen in other books

The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 9)

The next installment in the series is The Chalk Pit. In a series of underground tunnels, boiled human bones have been discovered – and the remains are recent.

Although Ruth once thought this was a medieval mystery, it seems there’s a new murder investigation for DCI Nelson to pursue.

In a parallel plot, DCI Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a homeless woman, with only one lead – that she’s gone ‘underground’… Are the two connected, and do rumors of cannibalism and ritual killing tie into the case?


  • Mysterious plotline
  • Dark and eerie
  • Enthralling read that will keep you turning the pages


  • Some characters feel bland and underdeveloped

The Dark Angel

The Dark Angel: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 10)

In The Dark Angel, Italian archeologist Angelo Morelli calls on Ruth for help with a complex case: a collection of bones discovered on a hill in a remote village.

When Angelo struggles to know what to make of the discovery, Ruth’s skills will be put to the test.

However, further investigations in the village reveal medieval shrines and terrifying secrets… It seems the pair may have a modern murder on their hands, and they’ll need to stop him from striking again…


  • New setting
  • Good blend of history, archeology, and murder
  • Tense and mysterious


  • Some long-term characters feel useless in this book

The Stone Circle

The Stone Circle: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 11)

Next in the series is The Stone Circle. This time, DCI Nelson is in danger, when he starts receiving threatening letters with instructions to go to the ‘stone circle’ and find the body that’s buried there.

These letters feel eerily familiar to Nelson and Ruth, or are they from a completely new suspect?

Meanwhile, a dig in a Saltmarsh uncovers the remains of a girl who disappeared over 30 years ago… something sinister is going on, and Ruth and DCI Nelson must get to the bottom of it.


  • Interesting characters
  • Intriguing references and parallels
  • Mysterious


  • Difficult to follow main character relationships

The Lantern Men

The Lantern Men: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 12)

In The Lantern Men, Ruth’s life has changed dramatically – with a new partner, home, and job, she’s almost entirely separated from the Norfolk police until a convicted murderer wants to make a deal with DCI Nelson…

Murderer March is willing to reveal the locations of his victims, but only if Ruth is the one to excavate them.

Ruth agrees, but why is she so important to this case, and are the killings really finished with?


  • Can be read as a standalone
  • Suspenseful
  • Interesting police work


  • Not as much focus on Ruth and her archeological work

The Night Hawks

The Night Hawks: A British Cozy Mystery (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 13)

Next up is The Night Hawks. Our favorite heroine Ruth Galloway is back in the misty landscape of North Norfolk.

A group of hobbyist metal detectors known as The Night Hawks, unexpectedly discover a body on the beach. He’s soon identified as a local man who recently left prison.

Although on the surface, this could seem like an accidental drowning, it appears there’s more than meets the eye…

When DCI Nelson is asked to investigate a murder-suicide at a local farm, things get even more complicated, and Ruth could find herself in danger.


  • Gripping
  • Interesting character relationships
  • Will keep readers guessing


  • Some aspects of the plot feel overly complicated

The Locked Room

The Locked Room: A British Mystery (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 14)

In The Locked Room, Ruth is sorting through her late-mothers possessions when she discovers something intriguing: an old photograph of a Norfolk cottage with a mysterious caption…

When Ruth tracks down the cottage to investigate, the first cases of COVID-19 are making the news, so she’s forced to isolate herself in the cottage.

As DCI Nelson breaks quarantine to help, he soon discovers that Kate, the seemingly friendly neighbor to the cottage, is not quite who she says she is…

Meanwhile, his investigations into a group of murder-suicides make for a compelling archeological discovery.


  • Interesting links to current events
  • Great detective work
  • Mysterious characters


  • Not as suspenseful as other books in the series

The Last Remains

The Last Remains: A Read with Jenna Pick (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 15)

Next up, we have The Last Remains, which is the fifteenth book in the series. While renovating a cafe, a group of builders discovers a human skeleton, and Dr. Ruth is called in to help.

The body is identified as a young archeology student who was reported missing in 2002.

As the investigation gets underway, there are plenty of mysterious characters and unexpected suspects are thrown into the mix, including her old Cambridge tutor, and a fellow archeological enthusiast, and Ruth’s long-term friend, Cathbad.

Who is responsible for the young girl’s murder, and will Ruth and her team be able to prove her friend’s innocence (or guilt) in the case?


  • A personal case for the characters
  • Captivating plot
  • Lots of mystery


  • Some main characters aren’t as likable

Other Editions In The Series

Above, you’ll find an extensive list of the books featured in the Ruth Galloway series. However, you may come across a few more, including:

  • Ruth Galloway: The Early Cases
  • Ruth Galloway Series: The First Three Novels
  • Dr. Ruth Galloway Mysteries Books 4-6

These books are not new mysteries, they are simply individual collections of a few stories in the series that link together, and they are not mandatory.

You can read these books individually from the list above, or read them in one of the three collections mentioned here.

Final Thoughts

Although many mystery series seem to lose their appeal with time, it feels as though Elly Griffith’s books just keep getting better and better.

There are no repetitive storylines, no boring characters, and no rehashed plots in the Ruth Galloway series.

Author Elly Griffiths manages to keep the spark alive throughout the whole series, and she shows no sign of slowing down just yet.

If you want a consistently well-written and captivating mystery series to keep you on your toes, we’d have no trouble recommending the Ruth Galloway novels to any reader who loves a unique mystery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should Ruth Galloway Books Be Read In Order?

Although many of these books can be read as standalone novels, it helps to read them in order.

There are several long-term characters who undergo immense personal growth throughout the series, and it helps to be familiar with their lives in order to better understand, and appreciate some subplots.

Is Elly Griffiths Still Writing?

Elly Griffiths is still writing for the Ruth Galloway series, and she has confirmed that more stories are in development. It’s a great time to get hooked on this thrilling series.

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Anna Davis