The Stranger Diaries

The Stranger Diaries

Elly Griffiths / Aug 22, 2019

The Stranger Diaries A dark story has been brought to terrifying life Can the ending be rewritten in time A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries Wilkie Collin

  • Title: The Stranger Diaries
  • Author: Elly Griffiths
  • ISBN: The Stranger Diaries
  • ASIN
    B077XH4CQ3
    Characters
  • Page: 459
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A dark story has been brought to terrifying life Can the ending be rewritten in time A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries Wilkie Collins and MR James meet Gone Girl and Disclaimer.Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a shor A dark story has been brought to terrifying life Can the ending be rewritten in time A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries Wilkie Collins and MR James meet Gone Girl and Disclaimer.Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a short course on it every year Then Clare s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body The investigating police detective is convinced the writer s works somehow hold the key to the case.Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary Writing that isn t hers Get A Copy Kindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Kindle Edition, 416 pages Published November 1st 2018 by Quercus More Details Original Title The Stranger Diaries ASIN B077XH4CQ3 Characters Clare Cassidy, Harbinder Kaur, Georgia Newton Other Editions 8 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about The Stranger Diaries, please sign up Popular Answered Questions Will this be available on Netflix like 7 months ago See all 2 answers Sarah Why would this be on Netflix This is books not films flag See 1 question about The Stranger Diaries Lists with This Book Psychological Suspense for 2018 WAIT THERE S MORE Part 2 Updated 8 12 18 70 books 49 voters 2018 Gothic 35 books 18 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Oct 12, 2018 Paromjit rated it really liked it Shelves crime fiction, mystery, netgalley, thriller Elly Griffiths writes the perfect October read with this contemporary take on the Victorian Gothic novel set on the Sussex coast Attractive Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher with a 15 year old daughter, Georgia, teaching at local comprehensive school, Talgarth High, where there is a building that Roland Montgomery Holland, a reclusive Victorian writer lived, a man famous for a short story titled The Stranger Clare is writing a biography of RM Holland and is interested in the death of Elly Griffiths writes the perfect October read with this contemporary take on the Victorian Gothic novel set on the Sussex coast Attractive Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher with a 15 year old daughter, Georgia, teaching at local comprehensive school, Talgarth High, where there is a building that Roland Montgomery Holland, a reclusive Victorian writer lived, a man famous for a short story titled The Stranger Clare is writing a biography of RM Holland and is interested in the death of his wife, Alice Avery, rumoured to have fallen to her death, and his mysterious daughter, Mariana, about whom virtually nothing is known Alice s ghost is said to haunt the school, and if seen, is said to foreshadow a death Clare s best friend and colleague, Ella Elphick, is found murdered with a note that is a quote from The Stranger Hell is empty In a narrative delivered by three female voices, Clare, Georgia and DS Harbinder Kaur, aspects of The Stranger are interspersed throughout the novel, as creepy and menacing echoes of the Victorian story are to be found in a series of murders in the present.Ella was a well liked member of the English department and the entire school is shocked by her death The police investigation is led by DS Kaur who attended Talgarth High as a pupil and her experiences of the school pepper the story Clare is less than forthcoming to Kaur about the intrigue in the department and Ella, but then events take a sinister turn and murders take place Clare has been a long term keeper of personal diaries documenting her inner thoughts and events in her life She is left afraid and unsettled when she discovers someone else has written in her diary at which point she hands her journals to Kaur who finds them revealing of Clare, and the truth of Ella s character and personal life Clare thinks she knows her daughter, Georgie, rather well, but there is much that Georgia keep secret, including her attendance of a creative writing course run by Bryony Hughes, known as a white witch In the meantime, Clare finds a romantic interest in Cambridge academic, Henry Hamilton, who has unearthed further information on RM Holland.Elly Griffiths always writes compelling stories with gripping characters and this is no different There is plenty of atmosphere of the ghostly and menacing kind along with that of the location with its dense sea mists and abandoned warehouses Whilst Clare was of less interest to me as a person, I loved her daughter, Georgie, with her much older boyfriend, the dog, Herbert, and the gay DS Harbinder Kaur is a person I would definitely like to meet again with her wit, her family, her mum that waits up for her and cooks such fabulous food This is a great read for this time of year with Halloween approaching I found it an enthralling read which I recommend highly Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC flag 127 likesLike see review View all 21 comments Jan 03, 2019 Michelle rated it really liked it Shelves edelweiss arc s The Stranger Diaries has the elements of a police procedural, gothic mystery, and possibly a haunting Yes Yes Yes Clare Cassidy is a well respected English teacher Divorced, she lives with her daughter, Georgie, and her adorable pup, Herbert I love Herbert Her best friend and fellow English teacher, Ella, has been discovered murdered and covered in stab wounds A note lay beside her reading Hell is Empty A book within a book Clare teaches a class on R.M Holland s horror nov The Stranger Diaries has the elements of a police procedural, gothic mystery, and possibly a haunting Yes Yes Yes Clare Cassidy is a well respected English teacher Divorced, she lives with her daughter, Georgie, and her adorable pup, Herbert I love Herbert Her best friend and fellow English teacher, Ella, has been discovered murdered and covered in stab wounds A note lay beside her reading Hell is Empty A book within a book Clare teaches a class on R.M Holland s horror novella, The Stranger She also works at a school in which he once lived many years previous She is currently writing a book about the mysterious death of his wife, Alice, who apparently haunts the halls of the school When another English teacher is found dead the detectives decide they need to take a closer look at everyone in the school, students and teachers alike, and it appears that everyone has secrets When Clare discovers that someone else has written in her private and personal diary her fear is that she will be the next victim HALLO, CLARE YOU DON T KNOW ME Is there really a murderer or is something ghostly happening here I thought this was an incredibly well written mystery without being too dark or gruesome I believe this will appeal to a much larger audience because of that People that are easily triggered shouldn t have any problems The books resolution may have been its one downfall as I didn t like how it all wrapped up Still I enjoyed the heck out of reading this and wouldn t hesitate to pick up another book by this author because she can definitely spin a tale 3.5 stars but I m rounding up for Herbert because dogs are better than people except for my fellow Goodreaders of course Thank you to Edelweiss and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. flag 85 likesLike see review View all 39 comments Nov 11, 2018 Holly B rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves crime police procedural, disturbing content, enjoyed the characters, enjoyed the setting, gothic, net galley, read in 2018 An absorbing and unsettling contemporary thriller that mirrors a gothic tale Some elements I loved 1 There is a gothic Victorian book placed inside the main story oohbook inside a book 2 Several points of view 3 The mixture of modern and old school 4 Police procedural mixed with the creepiness of the setting 5 A quirky female detective with a sharp eye for inconsistencies She was my fave 6 The setting of a haunted school.If your craving something a little different from you An absorbing and unsettling contemporary thriller that mirrors a gothic tale Some elements I loved 1 There is a gothic Victorian book placed inside the main story oohbook inside a book 2 Several points of view 3 The mixture of modern and old school 4 Police procedural mixed with the creepiness of the setting 5 A quirky female detective with a sharp eye for inconsistencies She was my fave 6 The setting of a haunted school.If your craving something a little different from your standard thriller, this one has a lot to offer I was absorbed in the story and it has just enough creepiness without being gruesome or overly graphic.I loved how the author brought in the gothic feeling by using a book inside of the story that would hold answers to the mystery.I found it atmospheric, entertaining, and unique.Thanks to NG for my copy to read review flag 84 likesLike see review View all 46 comments Oct 30, 2018 Linda rated it really liked it Shelves mystery thrillers, net galley, police procedural Heavy draperied rooms, long winding staircases, and imposing carved wooden doors lend themselves to a Victorian Gothic panoramic view Elly Griffiths sets this treasure box of a story within the walls of Talgarth Academy in Sussex There s an array of buildings that stretch across the campus including the Old Building that houses the original effects of the writer, R.M Holland Holland lived there with his wife, Alice, and an elusive daughter, Mariana According to legend, no one knows what hap Heavy draperied rooms, long winding staircases, and imposing carved wooden doors lend themselves to a Victorian Gothic panoramic view Elly Griffiths sets this treasure box of a story within the walls of Talgarth Academy in Sussex There s an array of buildings that stretch across the campus including the Old Building that houses the original effects of the writer, R.M Holland Holland lived there with his wife, Alice, and an elusive daughter, Mariana According to legend, no one knows what happened to Mariana Alice, dear Alice, was to have taken a tumble down the lush staircase and never recovered Students claim to have seen a white mist floating at times with a definite chill in the air An immediate death was to occur after the sighting like clockwork.We re introduced to Clare Cassidy, a literature teacher, who is smitten with The Stranger by Holland and implements the story into her classes She is presently writing her own book on Holland s peculiar life and career and wishes to find out what happened to Mariana Georgie, her fifteen year old daughter, resides with Clare off campus and attends the Academy Clare has been divorced from her husband, Simon, for the past two years Clare has no idea of what murderous intent will be assigned on this semester s syllabus.A sudden pounding on Clare s front door marks the arrival of tragic news Ella, best friend and co worker, has been stabbed to death in her own cottage DS Harbinder Kaur is lead investigator Griffiths has created quite the multi faceted character here Kaur is bright, witty, and highly analytical by nature Her backstory is layered with interesting detail and the reader is drawn in immediately It s my hope that Elly Griffiths brings Kaur back front and center in another book.The story weaver lines up many threads throughout with inserts of The Stranger between chapters and references to The Woman in White Pay attention to the Shakespearean quote from The Tempest Hell is empty and all the devils are here A luscious literature stew simmering on a burner of mystery told in revolving chapters by the main characters Truly a classic who done it with all the trimmings.I received a copy of The Stranger Diaries through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to the talented Elly Griffiths and to Quercus Books for the opportunity flag 72 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Jan 20, 2019 Fran rated it it was amazing review of another edition Clare Cassidy, divorcee with 15 year old daughter Georgia, had moved from London to West Sussex, having accepted a position teaching English at Talgarth High School Clare and Georgia now reside in an isolated house near an abandoned factory Clare maintains a diary reflecting her innermost thoughts Additionally, she shares her feelings with rescue dog, Herbert After all, a dog will not judge his owner Clare is thrilled that author R.M Holland, the writer of a gothic ghost story called The Clare Cassidy, divorcee with 15 year old daughter Georgia, had moved from London to West Sussex, having accepted a position teaching English at Talgarth High School Clare and Georgia now reside in an isolated house near an abandoned factory Clare maintains a diary reflecting her innermost thoughts Additionally, she shares her feelings with rescue dog, Herbert After all, a dog will not judge his owner Clare is thrilled that author R.M Holland, the writer of a gothic ghost story called The Stranger , formerly resided at the Annex of Talgarth HS.Talgarth was comprised of a New Building where most student life took place and an Old Building once called Holland House The attic was R.M.Holland s study until 1902 Clare, as resident Holland expert, had a key allowing her access to the attic She planned to write the first ever biography of the reclusive author of The Stranger Perhaps she could investigate the death of Holland s wife, Alice Was Holland House haunted by a woman in a white nightdress floating down the stairs If you see her, is a death imminent It started with the death of Ella Ephick, Clare Cassidy s friend and colleague A troubling note beside the body contained a quote from The Stranger Hell is empty DS Harbinder Kaur,a Talgarth graduate, and DS Neil Winston are brought in to investigate Harbinder is convinced that the murder is not random She visits Talgarth HS I just want to imagine Ella here.The impact of Ella s murder and the events following are seen through the eyes and perspective of three distinct characters Clare, daughter Georgie, and Harbinder Clare and Georgie s lives are additionally compromised when Clare finds several strange handwritten entries in her personal diary Could the killer have left his her calling card The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths was a suspenseful literary novel like no other I have read I enjoyed the literary references and the book within a book Harbinder was my favorite protagonist Perhaps she seemed crusty and distant but she had heart Dog lovers will be thoroughly entertained by the loving relationship between Herbert and his humans This stand alone novel from Elly Griffiths is a gothic, police procedural I highly recommend.Thank you Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review The Stranger Diaries flag 68 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Oct 11, 2018 Susan rated it it was amazing Although I was interested in the description of this novel, I was, initially, a little wary I had tried Elly Griffiths popular Ruth Galloway series, and stalled with it However, I am glad that I gave this a try, as I absolutely loved it and it has made me determined to go back and give Ruth Galloway another try.This is a clever, literary mystery, with an excellent cast of characters Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher, living with teenage daughter, Georgie and working at Talgarth High Although I was interested in the description of this novel, I was, initially, a little wary I had tried Elly Griffiths popular Ruth Galloway series, and stalled with it However, I am glad that I gave this a try, as I absolutely loved it and it has made me determined to go back and give Ruth Galloway another try.This is a clever, literary mystery, with an excellent cast of characters Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher, living with teenage daughter, Georgie and working at Talgarth High Although a modern secondary school, there is an Old Building, where Gothic author, R.M Holland once worked Indeed, his study remains, intact, at the top of the building and Clare is writing a book about him However, when we meet her, her research has stalled and she is teaching a creative writing class in the holidays When fellow English teacher, Elly Elphick, is murdered, it sends shock waves through the school There is a quote left by the body and then messages are written in Clare s private diary I particularly enjoyed the characters in this novel Spiky, assertive, D S Harbinder Kaur and her partner, Neil Winston, added an excellent dimension so often in crime novels you have either interesting suspects, or interesting investigators, but this novel has both There is also an engaging academic flavour, with Henry H Hamilton, a Cambridge academic, contacting Clare about some possible information he has on R.M Holland, and a rather creepy teacher, Bryony Hughes, who seems to see herself as a modern Miss Jean Brodie Over riding the story are snippets from R.M Holland s most famous story, which mirrors events in a very creepy way A really good cast of possible suspects makes it hard for you to spot the killer and I enjoyed Clare s diary snippets too as well as those of Georgie Diary writing might be a dying art, but hopefully Elly Griffiths will persuade some readers to take up their pen Overall, I loved this and I particularly hope that D S Kaur will appear in future books I am now, most definitely, an Elly Griffiths convert I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review flag 56 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Nov 14, 2018 NZLisaM rated it it was amazing Shelves favourites, crime, gothic horror, mystery, suspense The perfect blend of gothic horror, psychological suspense, and police procedural If you ll permit me, said the Stranger, I d like to tell you a story As much as I love spooky old houses with a dark history, and possible ghosts sightings, a thought to be haunted house turned into a secondary school had me even excited The Old Building of Talgarth High, was once home to Victorian Horror writer R.M Holland, best remembered for his horror themed, scary short story, The Stranger The t The perfect blend of gothic horror, psychological suspense, and police procedural If you ll permit me, said the Stranger, I d like to tell you a story As much as I love spooky old houses with a dark history, and possible ghosts sightings, a thought to be haunted house turned into a secondary school had me even excited The Old Building of Talgarth High, was once home to Victorian Horror writer R.M Holland, best remembered for his horror themed, scary short story, The Stranger The top floor still houses his study, out of bounds to students, and eerily preserved just as he left it The ghost of Holland s wife, Alice, rumoured to have died tragically from a fall down the stairs, is said to haunt the corridors and classrooms of the lower floor, the belief being that if you see her, someone will die shortly thereafter Not only is the school creepy, but so was the location of the protagonist, Clare s, house one of a row of townhouses in the middle of nowhere, initially built to house workers of the nearby cement factory which now sits abandoned and derelict As scary as I ve made it out to be, this is neither gory, nor a horror story, but is largely modern day crime, mystery, psychological suspense, with a side of gothic foreboding, meaning that even those who don t do horror would enjoy this We were given three first person narrations Clare Cassidy An English teacher at Talgarth, single mum to Georgie, friend and fellow co worker of Ella, currently working on a biography of R.M Holland.DS Harbinder Kaur The detective investigating the murder of one of the school s English teachers, Ella Elphick, who was stabbed to death in her own home Harbinder attended Talgarth as a student Georgie Cassidy Clare s teenage daughter, current student at Talgarth.The POV s were split into parts, with Clare voicing Part 1, Harbinder Part 2, you get the picture Excerpts from The Stranger were included throughout, as well as pages from Clare s diary I warmed to all three characters early on, even though right from their introduction all of them came across as secretive, and not entirely trustworthy I enjoyed the contrasting perspectives teacher, student, detective former student and how they all had a connection to Talgarth I alternated between the book and the audio version, and have to mention that Andrew Wincott s over the top, dramatic reading of the gothic tale, The Stranger, is a must listen.Side Note I was thrilled to bits when Claire s dog, Herbert, was described as a white Hairy Maclary from Donaldson s Dairy, the first in a series of children s picture books penned by New Zealand author, Lynley Dodd Ta Dah This is what he looks like, except white Elly Griffiths totally killed it every element fitted together seamlessly One of my favourite reads for this year, and will undoubtedly make my top ten Perfect for next Halloween, but why wait that long, cosy up by the fire with it this winter, or if like me, you are heading into summer, prioritise it as your next beach read Move it to the top, or add it to your tbr, today You won t be sorry flag 55 likesLike see review View all 19 comments Jan 12, 2019 Mackey rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves favorites, my reviews, books read 2019, thriller suspense, horror, netgalley ew Elly Griffiths has woven together a tale of gothic suspense, psychological terror and marvelous detective work and thrown in a full measure of classical literature, all of which create a beautiful tapestry called The Stranger Diaries Whew.If you think that opening line was a lot to absorb, just wait until you read the book I m still trying to untangle my mind from the who s and who s nots and what s real and what s not For someone who had an imaginary playmate until she was 10 years old and s Elly Griffiths has woven together a tale of gothic suspense, psychological terror and marvelous detective work and thrown in a full measure of classical literature, all of which create a beautiful tapestry called The Stranger Diaries Whew.If you think that opening line was a lot to absorb, just wait until you read the book I m still trying to untangle my mind from the who s and who s nots and what s real and what s not For someone who had an imaginary playmate until she was 10 years old and still has a crush on Harry Bosch, whom I ve been told is not a real person, trying to decipher a book within a book within a book written by fictional character written by an author with a nom de plume was a lot to comprehend But, hand on heart, this book The Stranger Diaries was worth every single moment spent reading it It is fantastic The book opens with a line from The Stranger, a gothic short story written by RM Hammond, whom our main character, Clare, is studying in hopes of writing a book about his life and works If you ll permit me, said the Stranger, I d like to tell you a story Clare is an English teacher at a school that is nestled in the old home where Hammond once lived Her fellow teacher and best friend, Ella, is found stabbed to death with a note lying next to her body which reads, Hell is Empty, also a line from Hammond s book As The Stranger Diaries continues, the body count rises as does the spooky, creepy factor of the entire tale Folded within the story itself is the re telling of The Stranger and the we as readers learn, the similarity there is between current events and the haunting, gothic tale of the past The Stranger Diaries reads, at once, both as a ghost story and a gothic suspense The writing is marvelous, intelligent and might possibly have you scrambling to look up classical literature references along the way Note Hammond is a fictional writer, much to my dismay I loved all of the characters, except the ex husband and even he was the perfect ex In all, this is a terrific mystery, ghost story, gothic tale that crosses multiple genres and can enjoyed by many I highly recommend it.Thank you to Edelweiss, HoughtonMiflinHarcout and EllyGriffiths for my copy of The Stranger Diaries flag 43 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Oct 23, 2018 Tammie rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves mystery thriller The Stranger Diaries was a solid 4 stars for me A mystery thriller, this book centers around main characters Clare a divorced English teacher who specializes in RM Holland , Georgie her 15 year old daughter , and Harbinder Kaur a detective Most of this thriller centers around the school Talgarth High this is where the famous Victorian writer RM Holland wrote and lived An interesting character, Clare spends some of her free time researching aspects of his life for a book she is writing Th The Stranger Diaries was a solid 4 stars for me A mystery thriller, this book centers around main characters Clare a divorced English teacher who specializes in RM Holland , Georgie her 15 year old daughter , and Harbinder Kaur a detective Most of this thriller centers around the school Talgarth High this is where the famous Victorian writer RM Holland wrote and lived An interesting character, Clare spends some of her free time researching aspects of his life for a book she is writing The real mystery in Stranger Diaries begins when fellow English teacher Elle is murdered in her home with a quote written on her body a quote from Holland s story The Stranger Someone is also leaving messages in Clare s personal diary could it be the killer Told from multiple POVs, readers get to know the main characters in better detail and their observations and thoughts on Elle s murder Overall, Stranger Diaries is a slower paced book but well worth the read Recommended to fans of mystery thriller books flag 30 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jul 02, 2018 Liz Barnsley rated it really liked it Modern gothic with a noir feel, a creepy intelligently woven story and a proper old school whodunit, The Stranger Diaries is a beautifully immersive reading experience I read it all in one go Excellent Full review for publication in November flag 26 likesLike see review Jan 12, 2019 RoryReads rated it really liked it Shelves mystery, netgalley completed 4 Stars.I m a fan of Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway mysteries, and couldn t wait to sink my teeth into this one I was not disappointed It s a treat The Stranger Diaries is a perfect concoction of interesting characters, suspense, and thrills with a bit of spookiness thrown in When teacher Clare Cassidy s friend and work colleague, Ella Elphick is found brutally murdered in her home, Clare is badly shaken and their school is plunged into mourning Who would have wanted to harm Ella She was po 4 Stars.I m a fan of Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway mysteries, and couldn t wait to sink my teeth into this one I was not disappointed It s a treat The Stranger Diaries is a perfect concoction of interesting characters, suspense, and thrills with a bit of spookiness thrown in When teacher Clare Cassidy s friend and work colleague, Ella Elphick is found brutally murdered in her home, Clare is badly shaken and their school is plunged into mourning Who would have wanted to harm Ella She was popular with the staff and students alike, and seemed to have no enemies Of course people always keep secrets, but did one of Ella s get her killed Clare s school was once the home of author R.M Holland, a Victorian writer who produced The Stranger, a famous Gothic mystery and who s wife died in the house under mysterious circumstances It is said that the school is haunted by Mrs Holland s ghost and that seeing her is a sign a death is imminent Somewhat obsessed with The Stranger, Clare hopes to write a book about Holland and solve the mysteries of his wife s death and the disappearance of his daughter Mariana.When Clare discovers a note referencing The Stranger, written in another hand, in her private diary, she becomes worried for the safety of her teenage daughter Georgie and herself It doesn t help her nerves any to know that the detective on Ella s case, DS Harbinder Kaur seems to think she had something to do with the murder.Things quickly go from bad to worse because the killer isn t finished yet, with Clare or her school.This mystery is pure enjoyment from beginning to end I can t wait for the next one.Thank you to NetGalley and the author for a copy of the book flag 21 likesLike see review View 2 comments Apr 15, 2018 Blair rated it really liked it Shelves 2018 release, netgalley, ghosts and horror, mystery thriller etc, contemporary, read on kindle Clare teaches English key stage 3 in term time, adult creative writing courses over the holidays and specialises in the work of R.M Holland, a 19th century writer of ghost stories whose personal life was as lurid as his fiction At the beginning of the book, Clare receives a phone call with the awful news that her friend and colleague Ella has been murdered She s later told a handwritten note was found next to Ella s body a phrase from The Tempest, hell is empty The quote also happens Clare teaches English key stage 3 in term time, adult creative writing courses over the holidays and specialises in the work of R.M Holland, a 19th century writer of ghost stories whose personal life was as lurid as his fiction At the beginning of the book, Clare receives a phone call with the awful news that her friend and colleague Ella has been murdered She s later told a handwritten note was found next to Ella s body a phrase from The Tempest, hell is empty The quote also happens to have links to Holland s best known story, The Stranger, and soon it seems that Holland s work could be instrumental in identifying Ella s killer.Elly Griffiths is best known as the author of the Ruth Galloway crime novels, a series I ve only dipped my toe into I read the first book, The Crossing Places, about 7 years ago, and found it enjoyable, but not interesting enough for me to persist further The Stranger Diaries, meanwhile, is a standalone, billed as a contemporary gothic thriller.Before starting this I d seen a couple of lukewarm reviews suggesting the gothic elements were just window dressing, which made me feel a bit wary But what quickly becomes apparent and it s not exactly surprising given her background is that Griffiths really knows how to write a story that grips you from page to page It s as hooky as a bush full of sticky buds Side note was prompted to look up the proper name for these it s Galium aparine or cleavers Sticky buds was the name I grew up with but apparently some people call it sticky willy There are numerous narrative voices in the book, and they do actually sound and feel like different people, Clare and Harbinder especially And I for one was pleased with how much a spooky, chilling atmosphere pervades the story.There are some slightly grating implausibilities for example anachronistic language in Holland s story and his letters I also knew immediately there was something off about one character, simply because there is a situation in the book I found completely unbelievable, and from there well, let s just say it s quite easy to figure certain things out.What I look for in books like this is pure enjoyment I want something I can curl up on the sofa with and devour The Stranger Diaries suited those needs perfectly plus it has a Halloween setting And because I was interested in the characters, it didn t really bother me that whodunnit is obvious If this also turns into a series, I d consider reading , especially if they all have gothic tendencies.I received an advance review copy of The Stranger Diaries from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr flag 20 likesLike see review View 2 comments Oct 20, 2018 Jess at JessicaWrites added it Shelves received for review, 2018, dnf, gothic, thriller DNF 5%I am just not a fan of the way this is written and it s making it incredibly difficult to read and get into invested I feel bad for not even getting 25% through as this was an ARC but I just can t bring myself to carry on flag 17 likesLike see review View 1 comment Oct 24, 2018 Richard rated it it was amazing Two books for the price of one.Elly Griffiths has a new crime mystery that has no direct link with her two established series One of the things it does have in common is that it is very good Full of her delightful humour and investable characters but for her as an author a bold venture as lacking the security of the familiar It strays into uncharted territory over as there is a cap doffed to gothic horror and ghostly terror.Interspersed with the modern day fiction is the frightening tale Two books for the price of one.Elly Griffiths has a new crime mystery that has no direct link with her two established series One of the things it does have in common is that it is very good Full of her delightful humour and investable characters but for her as an author a bold venture as lacking the security of the familiar It strays into uncharted territory over as there is a cap doffed to gothic horror and ghostly terror.Interspersed with the modern day fiction is the frightening tale of a Stranger on a train who recounts a horror story while the journey is delayed, fittingly he narrates his story on 31st October, as it concerned events that happened on previous Halloween nights.The mantra Hell is empty ties this story into the modern murder mystery as an English teacher is found dead With the body is a note which is a quote from The Stranger which also relates to a quotation from The Tempest.Set in part within a school English department which in itself shares part of Holland House where the author of The Stranger lived and where his wife is a noted ghostly apparition Elly blends the fiction of the narrated tale on the lonely train with her modern murder mystery The detective team in the police investigation are as lost as we readers are The book tells its story through the perspective of three characters which spins the narration around like a fairground ride and disorientate one s own focus on who is perhaps less open and truthful.It is almost a play within a play full of drama and high pitched tension It is a genuine stand alone by a well respected author who does not need to enhance her reputation but this novel clearly does that by its originality and should seal her self belief The Stranger Diaries reflects well on her story telling ability and her writing prowess.I loved this homage to English Literature and thought it a fitting tale to demonstrate real skill for an accomplished author at ease in her work and in love with literature.I can imagine the plot has moved across the waters of Elly s subconscious since her own student days, like some sea fret rolling ashore.It is always a pleasure to meet Elly at book events and signings Behind bright, intelligent eyes you know that there is talent with so much to give I am delighted to say that twinkle in her eyes just got brighter as this new novel is a tour de force.Other authors look away now She is also one of my favourite modern writers as a person and as a exponent of her art And the reading audience shout More flag 15 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jan 02, 2019 Bill Kupersmith rated it liked it The Norfolk settings first drew me to Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway series Kings Lynn is one of my very favourite English towns But after several outings I d begun to find Ruth annoying The Zig Zag Girl featured a fascinating period the 1950s but stage magic and Brighton don t appeal to me Yet I had very high expectations for The Stranger Diaries and I expect that I d been less disappointed had it not promised so much Griffiths has created a ghost story, supposedly written by R M Hol The Norfolk settings first drew me to Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway series Kings Lynn is one of my very favourite English towns But after several outings I d begun to find Ruth annoying The Zig Zag Girl featured a fascinating period the 1950s but stage magic and Brighton don t appeal to me Yet I had very high expectations for The Stranger Diaries and I expect that I d been less disappointed had it not promised so much Griffiths has created a ghost story, supposedly written by R M Holland notice those initials , The Stranger, that we are to believe has achieved a place in the canon of classic English ghost stories as exemplified by M R James One huge problem with making a writer a principal character in fiction is having to provide samples of the character s actual writing Antonia Byatt did it Joyce Carol Oates solved it by having him drunk all the time Dodie Smith gave him writer s block Elly Griffith deserves the highest praise by providing the entire story at the end of the book Unfortunately it s not quite in the M R James class and I expect James may have been astonished to learn that Cambridge University had a postgraduate studies programme in the 1840s In the contemporary story, the setting is Talgard School, a comprehensive on the south coast near Chichester Holland s old house, which of course is believed to be haunted, is part of the school, though there is a modern block where most of the teaching takes place The fortyish divorced Clare Cassidy teaches at the school, where her fifteen year old daughter Georgia is a pupil Clare s colleague and BF Elly is gruesomely murdered, which brings DS Harbinder Kaur into the story Clare along with Clare s diary , Georgia, and Harbinder share the narrator s voice.Which makes The Stranger Diaries what we Iowans would call a hybrid It s a cross of ghost story with police procedural I expect most readers addicted to the latter find themselves creating their own private detective squad Mine stars P D James s Cordelia Gray I will never forgive the BBC for making James drop her , Sharon Bolton s Lacey Flint, and Tana French s Cassie Maddox But I ve sent French s Scorcher Kennedy and Antoinette Conway off to the traffic squad for being unpleasant boors along with the epidemic of Andy Dalziel impersonators in current detective fiction Harbinder, like Jane Casey s Maeve Kerrigan, seems to have a love hate relationship with her own ethnicity, living at home with her parents but hiding her sexuality BTW, Harbinder or Harvinder seems usually a boy s name If addressed as Sergeant she ll reprove the miscreant with It s Detective Sergeant I d be tempted to apologise with, Well, excuse me, your Detective Sergeantship Clare, fortunately, is appealing although slightly over her head with teaching and parental duties even before Elly gets murdered and daughter Georgia is a gem Like so many novels these days, a teenager is the most attractive principal character.The murder of Elly is followed by that of the department head, also in a manner reminiscent of Holland s story Is the perpetrator a demonic revenant or an ordinary human criminal There are a number of suspects For most the book, I was carried along eager to find out But then I was disappointed When we finally discover the motivation for the murders, it seemed totally unprepared I always find it cheating when the author has a character notice something but then doesn t tell us what the character noticed And if you interrupt the villain in the midst of perpetrating villainy, it s awfully easy to get your solve That s how I felt about this one Griffiths assembled excellent ingredients, but they were woefully undercooked, and the result was neither first rate supernatural fiction, nor mystery story.As for Harbinder, I recall awful road congestion back in the days when I was travelling to Itchenor on weekends to sail in Chichester Harbour I m sure she d be a great help ironing out the bottlenecks on the A27 flag 12 likesLike see review Nov 12, 2018 Leah rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018, crime, horror Hell is empty Clare Cassidy is writing a biography of the writer RM Holland, who was best known for his terrifying ghost story, The Stranger So she s happy to be teaching at Talgarth Academy, a school in Sussex which was once Holland s home and where his study is still intact, giving Clare access to his papers Clare uses The Stranger as part of her lessons, both for her school pupils and for the adults who attend her creative writing classes in school holidays But when one of her colleagues Hell is empty Clare Cassidy is writing a biography of the writer RM Holland, who was best known for his terrifying ghost story, The Stranger So she s happy to be teaching at Talgarth Academy, a school in Sussex which was once Holland s home and where his study is still intact, giving Clare access to his papers Clare uses The Stranger as part of her lessons, both for her school pupils and for the adults who attend her creative writing classes in school holidays But when one of her colleagues is brutally murdered, Clare is shocked to learn that a piece of paper was found by her body containing a line from Holland s story And soon, as the plot thickens, it becomes clear that somehow the story holds the clue to the caseElly Griffiths is brilliant, and so is this I m tempted to leave the review at that, since the real joy of the book is going into it completely cold and watching Griffiths gradually build up some great characterisations and a truly spooky atmosphere So, if you re going to read it soon, my advice would be to stop reading this and avoid other reviews just in case Still here The book is told to us from three points of view Clare, her daughter Georgie, and DS Harbinder Kaur, the detective in charge of the case I found each of them a little off putting at first for different reasons, but as Griffiths gradually developed them fully, I grew to like them all though not necessarily to trust them In fact, as the saying goes, I trusted no one Griffiths left me happily in doubt all the way through as to everyone s guilt, innocence, reliability as narrators, motives The pleasure of this one is not so much the destination as the journey The three voices are distinct, and each is fun in her own way Through Clare we learn a lot about the background to RM Holland s story and the rumours that the school is haunted by the ghost of his wife We also learn about her friendship with Ella, the victim, often through extracts from Clare s diary Georgie is a bright, intelligent teenager and her narrative shows her manipulating the adults around her by playing on their expectations of what a teenager should be like Harbinder gradually becomes the star, however Indian, gay and still living at home with her parents in her thirties, her sections are increasingly full of humour as the reader realises that her abrasiveness and sarcasm are really a kind of defence mechanism I loved the way Griffiths gradually fed us the story of The Stranger, which in itself is a pretty good pastiche of a real Victorian ghost story But the spookiness doesn t stop with it the main story has some seriously goose pimply moments, and at least two where I gasped out loud Lovely Gothic stuff, with the old house and all the diary writing and mysterious messages and other things I ll leave you to discover for yourself Even the investigation has a rather old fashioned feel to it, with the emphasis on suspects, motives and clues rather than on forensics.A great read, especially for this time of year Griffiths is undoubtedly one of the most talented and prolific writers out there at the moment, and she shows here that she can step beyond the usual police procedural I ve seen a few reviewers say they hope Harbinder will get a series of her own Much though I enjoyed her character, I vote no I m hoping Griffiths will continue to break free from the predictability of series and give us standalones, complete in themselves, instead Highly recommended NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Quercusctionfanblog.wordpress flag 12 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Jan 22, 2019 Robin Bonne rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves did not finish, mystery thrillers, netgalley DNF 27%This book had an interesting setup divorced mother with childhood trauma moves into a murderous author s mansion I really, really tried to like this gothic fiction is my favorite genre, after all.I ended up hating the main character, Clare She was insufferable with all her whining about her daughter not getting into the universities she wanted She was the clich evil gothic matriarch, only the author tried to force the reader to sympathize with her I hated the protagonist so much DNF 27%This book had an interesting setup divorced mother with childhood trauma moves into a murderous author s mansion I really, really tried to like this gothic fiction is my favorite genre, after all.I ended up hating the main character, Clare She was insufferable with all her whining about her daughter not getting into the universities she wanted She was the clich evil gothic matriarch, only the author tried to force the reader to sympathize with her I hated the protagonist so much I hoped the murderer would cut to the chase, hurry up and murder her so I wouldn t have to suffer through any.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review flag 13 likesLike see review Nov 20, 2018 Jessica Woodbury rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves arc, crime mystery If you enjoyed the way MAGPIE MURDERS combined a cozy country mystery with a modern one, THE STRANGER DIARIES does something similarly smart with gothic novels It totally gets the gothic tradition to the point that I got actually creeped out a few times while reading it While not quite a horror novel, it was really enjoyable The short story by the fictional Victorian writer in the book is A , I loved all the bits of it scattered throughout the book This mystery walks a fine line between kee If you enjoyed the way MAGPIE MURDERS combined a cozy country mystery with a modern one, THE STRANGER DIARIES does something similarly smart with gothic novels It totally gets the gothic tradition to the point that I got actually creeped out a few times while reading it While not quite a horror novel, it was really enjoyable The short story by the fictional Victorian writer in the book is A , I loved all the bits of it scattered throughout the book This mystery walks a fine line between keeping it simple while still providing ghastly flourishes There s a limited cast of characters perhaps too limited, if I d thought about it for five seconds I probably could have figured out the killer, but by the end of the book I was speeding through it so intensely I didn t stop to ponder that leaves plenty of room for the gothic fun Our central protagonist, Clare, is an English teacher working on a book about R M Holland, a gothic writer whose former home has now been converted into the school where she teaches We get enough Holland to make him interesting but not so much that it feels academic or boring, just enough to add extra depth to the story, especially when his most famous story is tied into a murder.I m also a fan of books where we switch points of view and here we get not just Clare s narration but also lesbian Sikh detective yes Harbinder and Clare s teenage daughter Georgie, all of them providing very different points of view and the kind of snide commentary I particularly like in a switching points of view book like this It s always delightful to spend several chapters with Character A only to have Character B call them out within 5 seconds flag 11 likesLike see review View 1 comment Nov 05, 2018 Joanna Park rated it it was amazing I m a huge fan of any mystery or thriller that evolves around a book so The Stranger Diaries intrigued me from the start I love the idea of a book holding clues to a mystery that s happening in the present so this book was a big hit with me I wasn t sure about the main character Claire On one hand she seemed very sassy and I found some of her observations very amusing However she seemed like an unreliable narrator as she kept lying to the police which made me question her motives.This book is I m a huge fan of any mystery or thriller that evolves around a book so The Stranger Diaries intrigued me from the start I love the idea of a book holding clues to a mystery that s happening in the present so this book was a big hit with me I wasn t sure about the main character Claire On one hand she seemed very sassy and I found some of her observations very amusing However she seemed like an unreliable narrator as she kept lying to the police which made me question her motives.This book is fairly fast paced as there is always something happening That along with a creepy school, an old mystery and a murderer who starts to emulate the plot of a book and things start getting very thrilling very quickly I soon found myself tearing through the pages and trying to hide from the kids to read a little.I ve read quite a few books by Elly and I really enjoy her original thrillers I can t wait to see what she comes up with next.Huge thanks to Quercus publishers for my copy of this book via Netgalley and to Olivia from Quercus for inviting me into the blog tour If you like dark, thrilling mysteries then you ll love this book flag 12 likesLike see review Nov 23, 2018 Rachel Hall rated it it was amazing Elly Griffiths first sensational standalone is a magnificent piece of storytelling that manages to combine a contemporary murder mystery between the pages of a chilling Gothic ghost story and proves as entertaining as it is atmospheric The Stranger Diaries not only works as a homage to the work of R.M Holland, a fictional Victorian writer known for his Gothic mysteries, but it also brings to life his crowning achievement in the form of his notable short story, The Stranger Cleverly worked and Elly Griffiths first sensational standalone is a magnificent piece of storytelling that manages to combine a contemporary murder mystery between the pages of a chilling Gothic ghost story and proves as entertaining as it is atmospheric The Stranger Diaries not only works as a homage to the work of R.M Holland, a fictional Victorian writer known for his Gothic mysteries, but it also brings to life his crowning achievement in the form of his notable short story, The Stranger Cleverly worked and full of literary flair, three contrasting and highly memorable female characters give voice to a fast moving modern tale packed with unforeseen twists that will keep the reader guessing until the closing pages.Attractive single mother and respected forty five year old English teacher at Talgarth High, a middling comprehensive school in West Sussex, Clare Cassidy is fascinated by the life of renowned Gothic mystery author, R.M Holland As she teaches creative writing in the rooms in which the reclusive author resided that are now part of Talgarth High, she uses his most famous short story to deliver a primer in ghost stories Midway through writing a biography of Holland and hoping to shed light on the mysteries in his own life the circumstances of the dying fall of his wife, Alice, the presence of her ghost within the school grounds and the existence of a daughter , Clare is also contemplating a return to a new term and her mixed bag of colleagues from a trendy super head with politically correct ideas to the old school socialist in her department A popular figure within the school and mother to fifteen year old pupil, Georgia, the news that Clare s colleague and friend in the shape of vivacious English teacher, Ella Elphick, has been brutally murdered sends shockwaves through the school community and unsettles Clare With no forensic evidence to be found at the scene, the one clue is a note beside Ella s corpse reading, Hell is empty , a key line from both Shakespeare s The Tempest and The Stranger, the obscure M.R Holland ghost story And this is just the start of things as another murder soon followsThe arrival of DS Harbinder Kaur, a three five year old punchy Indian detective still living at home who takes a instant dislike to Clare and her smug demeanour and seems to fancy her for the murder of Ella soon picks up on the literary quote Her suspicions are further heightened by the appearance of mysterious writing in the journals of dedicated diarist, Clare, which not only sheds light on her unspoken feelings but the work of an insatiable killer Narrated by Clare, DS Kaur and Georgia, who unbeknownst to her mother is crafting her own storytelling with a select group of students attending the sessions of spiritual sixth form tutor and reputed white witch, Miss Bryony Hughes, the story builds to a tense denouement.Griffiths pitches the voice of each of these flawed characters perfectly and all leave a lasting impression, perhaps because they feel so on point and ordinarily human, At times I could empathise with each of them and I was impressed at how the story allows each of the protagonists to develop and fully emerge from the page throughout its course The lively exchanges between DS Kaur and her sidekick, DS Neil Winston, himself happy to take a back seat, provide a witty commentary on the investigation as they test out theories, work through the list of suspects and expose many a secret along the way Griffiths attitude to education and the tropes who flock to teaching is refreshing honest as is her take on modern comprehensive eduction and this thoroughly engaging story provides a cast of colourful teachers and self involved students Whilst the cast is not particularly large I was completely fooled by Griffiths sleight of hand and the dramatic unveiling of a killer, perhaps because I was so caught up in the interplay between M.R Holland s spooky short story and its modern re enactment.As a reader who would normally steer clear of a Gothic ghost story I was unsure what to expect and was surprised to find the format so accessible, with the contemporary mystery very much at the fore and making the story and its characters so relatable My only disappointment is that The Stranger Diaries is a standalone and therefore does not guarantee a repeat appearance by the effortlessly glamorous Clare Cassidy, prickly DS Harbinder Kaur or wise beyond her years teenager, Georgia not to mention part poodle, Herbert Brilliantly done, cleverly understated and thoroughly compelling, The Stranger Diaries, is Elly Griffiths at her majestic best flag 10 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Sep 09, 2018 Roman Clodia rated it liked it I read this on the strength of Elly Griffiths name as I love her Ruth Galloway series this book is entertaining enough but doesn t show off Griffiths strengths i.e her ability to create quirky characters like Ruth, Harry, Cathbart etc and there are only occasional gestures towards her trademark comedy satire bon mots in fact, the only time Clare raises interest is when she articulates something Ruth would say.The story itself is a modern Gothic y serial killer with one of those dubious a I read this on the strength of Elly Griffiths name as I love her Ruth Galloway series this book is entertaining enough but doesn t show off Griffiths strengths i.e her ability to create quirky characters like Ruth, Harry, Cathbart etc and there are only occasional gestures towards her trademark comedy satire bon mots in fact, the only time Clare raises interest is when she articulates something Ruth would say.The story itself is a modern Gothic y serial killer with one of those dubious and unconvincing motives that fiction so loves The whole thing could have been solved very quickly if only the police had used a bit of common sense over the diary view spoiler surely it s obvious that they just need to find who has access to Clare s diaries With her daughter discounted, that only leaves one person dun, dun, dun hide spoiler That said, the female DS adds some energy to the book though I m not sure I d be up for of her if Griffiths turns this into a series Not everyone will be bothered by this but I was distracted by the implausibilities of the background that Clare is a secondary school teacher but is somehow teaching an adult education class at half term, and that she s teaching creative writing with no experience of creative writing herself, apart from a half written biography of a Gothic writer for which she seems to do no researchThe so called spookiness is a red herring and JK Rowling made a better plot out of the diary trope with Tom Riddle than is the case here Even the invented short story of The Stranger just sort of fizzles out This is enjoyable enough as a piece of throwaway Halloween entertainment, but Griffiths is a better writer than this.Thanks to Quercus for ARCs via NetGalley and Vine flag 10 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Oct 04, 2018 Kate rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves favourites read in 2018, out in 2018 and read Elly Griffiths can do no wrong in my eyes and this fantastic stand alone Gothically atmospheric mystery is every bit as brilliant as I knew it would be I loved everything about it but especially Herbert the Dog Perfect reading for these longer evenings Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights flag 10 likesLike see review Sep 19, 2018 Lucy Banks rated it it was amazing I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.An eerie, cleverly written whodunnit very enjoyable It s always a pleasure when I dive into a book with no preconceptions and am pleasantly enthralled by what lies within I had no idea what sort of story would be, but right from the start, became swiftly engrossed in it Clare Cassidy is an attractive middle aged woman working at a school as a teacher, with a teenage daughter called Georgia The school happens to I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.An eerie, cleverly written whodunnit very enjoyable It s always a pleasure when I dive into a book with no preconceptions and am pleasantly enthralled by what lies within I had no idea what sort of story would be, but right from the start, became swiftly engrossed in it Clare Cassidy is an attractive middle aged woman working at a school as a teacher, with a teenage daughter called Georgia The school happens to have an interesting history it was the previous home of a writer the author of The Stranger, a story that has a lot to do with the forthcoming eventsPeople start being murdered, one by one Clare is a suspect, as are several other people The only peculiar thing is who is leaving notes in Clare s diary, and are they responsible for the sinister goings on Right from the start, I felt that Elly Griffiths established herself as a very confident storyteller the leap from Victorian gothic story to modern day was very skilfully done it threw me completely, but in a good way I also liked the multiple perspectives with the narrative continually shifting from Clare to Harbinder the detective working the case , then on to Georgia, the daughter.It was quite slow burning, but I felt that gave the author the golden opportunity to build on the atmosphere and growing sense of dread The ending was perhaps a little less the glorious reveal all that I d hoped for but it worked it certainly didn t leave me throwing the book down and declaring that it didn t make sense which is what usually happens when I read books like this Another thing that I think is worthy of note is the author s highly adept way of addressing people s preconceived notions about other people For example, Clare believes her daughter to be a fairly typical teen but when we experience Georgia s perspective, we realise she s anything but We also see Clare through Harbinder s eyes previously, she d been quite a sympathetic character, but according to the detective, she was a stuck up, manipulative, over privileged woman Clever Overall, a beautifully written, skilful book, very good stuff indeed flag 9 likesLike see review Dec 09, 2018 Sherrie rated it really liked it Equally as good as Elly Griffiths series of books As always, I had no idea who the murderer was It has kept me riveted from the start flag 9 likesLike see review View 1 comment Dec 08, 2018 Fictionophile rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves psychological thrillers, edelweiss titles, houghton mifflin harcourt, read in 2018, mysteries I have long been a fan of Elly Griffiths in particular her fabulous Ruth Galloway mystery series Therefore I was beyond excited to learn that she had written a new, stand alone novel Stranger Diaries has three distinct narrators and I was engaged with all three I enjoyed how the three narrators sometimes spoke of the same event, so that you could learn their differing perspectives both of the event and of each other If I had to pick a favourite character it would definitely be DS Harbin I have long been a fan of Elly Griffiths in particular her fabulous Ruth Galloway mystery series Therefore I was beyond excited to learn that she had written a new, stand alone novel Stranger Diaries has three distinct narrators and I was engaged with all three I enjoyed how the three narrators sometimes spoke of the same event, so that you could learn their differing perspectives both of the event and of each other If I had to pick a favourite character it would definitely be DS Harbinder Kaur A petite, though fierce, young policewoman, she is a force to be reckoned with Her character was written with empathy and humour.The setting of the novel was atmospheric in the extreme Clare s house was isolated and in the shadow of an abandoned factory Talgarth High had a new school, and an old school which housed R.M Holland s study which was accessed up a Victorian spiral staircase.The ending of the story which took place in Ullapool, Scotland, was exceedingly suspenseful, and tied up all loose ends The sign of a well written, joy to read, murder mystery.The book, though a stand alone was one which in my humble opinion could easily be morphed into a series I really hope this happens I want of DS Kaur and Clare Cassidy Elly Griffiths are you listening Overall, I found this novel to be an intelligently written, literary murder mystery with an outstanding cast of well developed characters.Highly recommended flag 9 likesLike see review Feb 01, 2019 Jenny Reading Envy rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves read2019, reviewcopy, ebooks, netgalley I enjoyed The Zig Zag Girl by this author, and fully intend to go back and read her first series, which I ve heard good things about This book was harder to read, because I felt little investment with the characters or interest in the story It did feel like every character was intentional, but the connections between the fictional story with the story of the novel and Wilkie Collins felt overly forced and made everything a little plodding Full disclosure I m not a frequent crime reader so pe I enjoyed The Zig Zag Girl by this author, and fully intend to go back and read her first series, which I ve heard good things about This book was harder to read, because I felt little investment with the characters or interest in the story It did feel like every character was intentional, but the connections between the fictional story with the story of the novel and Wilkie Collins felt overly forced and made everything a little plodding Full disclosure I m not a frequent crime reader so people who enjoy slow burn may find a winner in this standalone I received an eARC of this from the publisher through NetGalley It comes out March 5, 2019. flag 13 likesLike see review Oct 30, 2018 Karen rated it it was amazing Elly Griffiths is well known for her Ruth Galloway and Mephisto and Stephens series but if you re not familiar with those, fear not, for The Stranger Diaries is a standalone.It starts with a story from long ago, recounted by a stranger on a train at Halloween this immediately sets the tone for a deliciously creepy and atmospheric tale.Back to the present, teacher Clare Cassidy is writing her own book about a former horror writer called RM Holland this name, together with some of his work, w Elly Griffiths is well known for her Ruth Galloway and Mephisto and Stephens series but if you re not familiar with those, fear not, for The Stranger Diaries is a standalone.It starts with a story from long ago, recounted by a stranger on a train at Halloween this immediately sets the tone for a deliciously creepy and atmospheric tale.Back to the present, teacher Clare Cassidy is writing her own book about a former horror writer called RM Holland this name, together with some of his work, will feature heavily in this story The school was once his home and his study, now a museum, remains untouched in the attic There is a mystery surrounding his family and a ghostly apparition that a few people have claimed to have seen.Clare s life is turned upside down when her colleague and close friend Ella is found murdered She finds herself in the middle of the investigation for various reasons, and wonders just who she can trust None of the people surrounding her escape the fallout of Ella s murder with suspicion falling on almost everyone.Written from the viewpoint of three main characters, Clare, her teenage daughter Georgie and DC Harbinder Kaur, their accounts sometimes overlap, so we the other s perception of the same events.The Stranger Diaries is a murder mystery with a touch of the Gothic and paranormal From the beginning, I had the feeling that the murderer was someone close by and if I d had my wits about me, I might have realised before being told.There were some characters that I took to straight away whilst feeling a little repulsed by others I felt empathy for Clare even if she was a bit annoying at times and her daughter Georgie was a typical teenager, trying to keep some secrets to herself without her mother knowing everything And as for DC Kaur that woman deserves a series of her own I started off not really liking her she was ambitious and wanted to prove herself but I felt that this made her come across as quite cold she had own her prejudices, instantly distrusting and taking a dislike to people for the most odd reasons like the fact that one person had a suntan in October, however she won me over with her caustic comments and her dedicated determination to find out the truth.I was in a bit of a reading slump when I started the Stranger Diaries however this was the perfect book to get me out of it I was enthralled from the first page and this well paced and cleverly plotted story kept me turning the pages at all hours The Halloween setting of the Holland story running alongside made for an atmospheric and chilling read I loved it and wouldn t hesitate to recommend it flag 8 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 24, 2018 Ophelia Sings rated it liked it Just like in the books, when Poirot suddenly knows who the murderer is, but won t tell anyone because there are a hundred pages still to go So states a character less than half way through The Stranger Diaries The irony being that the reader has already worked out who the murderer is, and there s over half the book to go The blurb promises that Elly Griffiths new novel will be a darkly gothic affair, but instead we re served up a reasonably chilling but fairly standard killer thriller wi Just like in the books, when Poirot suddenly knows who the murderer is, but won t tell anyone because there are a hundred pages still to go So states a character less than half way through The Stranger Diaries The irony being that the reader has already worked out who the murderer is, and there s over half the book to go The blurb promises that Elly Griffiths new novel will be a darkly gothic affair, but instead we re served up a reasonably chilling but fairly standard killer thriller with the occasional side order of creepy The majority of the spookiness comes courtesy of RM Holland, the MR James esque Gothic writer whom our heroine Claire is researching for a biography the passages attributed to him are wonderfully spine tingling English teacher by day, the school Claire works at just happens to be the Holland s former home, replete with resident ghost There s some teenage dabbling with dried herbs and incantations too, and a benevolent white witch But at heart, the spookiness in The Stranger Diaries is just Hallowe en party window dressing, albeit fun, and the tale itself is a pretty straightforward whodunnit.As for who did do it, simple logic means that even the least astute reader will have worked it out by a few pages in It s a shame really, because the denouement lacks punch and the book sort of slouches to its end That s not to say it isn t enjoyable, however DS Harbinder Kaur and her wonderful family are a highlight and I d love to meet her again in another tale Clare, and all her associates, are verging on middle class caricature there s a child called Ocean and everyone has lovely kitchens and cashmere sweaters and skiing holidays It s unimaginable that anything bad could happen in their Jo Malone scented lives, and yet The Stranger Diaries is entertaining enough and genuinely fraught in places, but the reader is left feeling a little deflated particularly if what had piqued the interest in the first place was the promise of dark Gothic doings and mystery A reasonably diverting read, it doesn t really offer anything new A book by RM Holland featuring DS Kaur, however, would be a delicious prospect.My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review flag 8 likesLike see review View 1 comment Oct 28, 2018 Laura rated it really liked it Book reviews on snazzybooks I am a big Elly Griffiths fan, and love her Ruth Galloway series, so I was intrigued to try a book with different characters in it The Stranger Diaries definitely feels like a different read, but it was just as entertaining and absorbing as her other novels, and the characters which Elly Griffiths is always so great at shaping read like real people I could, on the whole, imagine actually existing.The plot is interesting and kept me intrigued at some poin Book reviews on snazzybooks I am a big Elly Griffiths fan, and love her Ruth Galloway series, so I was intrigued to try a book with different characters in it The Stranger Diaries definitely feels like a different read, but it was just as entertaining and absorbing as her other novels, and the characters which Elly Griffiths is always so great at shaping read like real people I could, on the whole, imagine actually existing.The plot is interesting and kept me intrigued at some points it required some suspension of disbelief definitely less believable than her Ruth Galloway series sorry to keep comparing but, hey, I love those books but it is a fun and engaging story, and has some enjoyable twists and turns I have to say that Harbinder, the DS, shone in this novel she s very confident, knows her own mind and rubs people up the wrong way, but she s a unique and interesting character who added something fresh to the story I did like Clare but felt at times she was a little annoying snobby I really couldn t identify with some of her opinions however Georgie, though a predictably stuck up whiny teenager some of the time, seemed likeable and overall a sweet girl This is a well written story and a good start to a new series, if that is what it will become I d read of DS Kaur for sure but it doesn t quite measure up to the brilliance of Elly Griffith s Ruth Galloway series Well worth a read, though flag 8 likesLike see review Aug 30, 2018 4cats rated it it was amazing review of another edition Ellie Griffiths is known for her Ruth Galloway crime series, so The Stranger Diaries is a change of direction for her This standalone gothic, murder crime novel manages to unnerve, unsettle and keep you reading until the final outcome of the plot Clare Cassidy is an English teacher working in a school that once was the home of a famous ghost story author She herself is writing a biography about him when a close friend is murdered Clare finds herself at the heart of this dark tale A great co Ellie Griffiths is known for her Ruth Galloway crime series, so The Stranger Diaries is a change of direction for her This standalone gothic, murder crime novel manages to unnerve, unsettle and keep you reading until the final outcome of the plot Clare Cassidy is an English teacher working in a school that once was the home of a famous ghost story author She herself is writing a biography about him when a close friend is murdered Clare finds herself at the heart of this dark tale A great combination of crime and classic gothic ghost story flag 8 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed Books by Elly Griffiths More Trivia About The 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    • Best Download [Elly Griffiths] ¿ The Stranger Diaries || [Music Book] PDF ↠
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    About "Elly Griffiths"

      • Elly Griffiths

        Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly s husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece s head with the myths and legends of that area Elly has two children and lives near Brighton Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.


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    1. Elly Griffiths writes the perfect October read with this contemporary take on the Victorian Gothic novel set on the Sussex coast Attractive Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher with a 15 year old daughter, Georgia, teaching at local comprehensive school, Talgarth High, where there is a building that Roland Montgomery Holland, a reclusive Victorian writer lived, a man famous for a short story titled The Stranger Clare is writing a biography of RM Holland and is interested in the death of E [...]


    2. The Stranger Diaries has the elements of a police procedural, gothic mystery, and possibly a haunting Yes Yes Yes Clare Cassidy is a well respected English teacher Divorced, she lives with her daughter, Georgie, and her adorable pup, Herbert I love Herbert Her best friend and fellow English teacher, Ella, has been discovered murdered and covered in stab wounds A note lay beside her reading Hell is Empty A book within a book Clare teaches a class on R.M Holland s horror nov The Stranger Diaries h [...]


    3. An absorbing and unsettling contemporary thriller that mirrors a gothic tale Some elements I loved 1 There is a gothic Victorian book placed inside the main story oohbook inside a book 2 Several points of view 3 The mixture of modern and old school 4 Police procedural mixed with the creepiness of the setting 5 A quirky female detective with a sharp eye for inconsistencies She was my fave 6 The setting of a haunted school.If your craving something a little different from you An absorbing and unse [...]


    4. Heavy draperied rooms, long winding staircases, and imposing carved wooden doors lend themselves to a Victorian Gothic panoramic view Elly Griffiths sets this treasure box of a story within the walls of Talgarth Academy in Sussex There s an array of buildings that stretch across the campus including the Old Building that houses the original effects of the writer, R.M Holland Holland lived there with his wife, Alice, and an elusive daughter, Mariana According to legend, no one knows what hap Heav [...]


    5. Clare Cassidy, divorcee with 15 year old daughter Georgia, had moved from London to West Sussex, having accepted a position teaching English at Talgarth High School Clare and Georgia now reside in an isolated house near an abandoned factory Clare maintains a diary reflecting her innermost thoughts Additionally, she shares her feelings with rescue dog, Herbert After all, a dog will not judge his owner Clare is thrilled that author R.M Holland, the writer of a gothic ghost story called The Clare C [...]


    6. Although I was interested in the description of this novel, I was, initially, a little wary I had tried Elly Griffiths popular Ruth Galloway series, and stalled with it However, I am glad that I gave this a try, as I absolutely loved it and it has made me determined to go back and give Ruth Galloway another try.This is a clever, literary mystery, with an excellent cast of characters Clare Cassidy is a divorced English teacher, living with teenage daughter, Georgie and working at Talgarth High Al [...]


    7. The perfect blend of gothic horror, psychological suspense, and police procedural If you ll permit me, said the Stranger, I d like to tell you a story As much as I love spooky old houses with a dark history, and possible ghosts sightings, a thought to be haunted house turned into a secondary school had me even excited The Old Building of Talgarth High, was once home to Victorian Horror writer R.M Holland, best remembered for his horror themed, scary short story, The Str [...]


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