Tag Archives: archeology

“The Crossing Places”, “The House at Sea’s End” and “A Room Full of Bones” by Elly Griffiths

These books are #1, #3 and #4 in Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway novels, a mystery series set in Norfolk, England. Now I can read the rest of these books in order. The Library already has my requests.

Ruth Galloway is an interesting protagonist. A hard working, unmarried university professor, she has fallen for a married police detective. Their relationship unfolds as they work together on various criminal cases.

I just finished the fourth book in this series. Loved it! Griffiths finds ways to move into and out of different world views, including, for example Indigenous Australians and modern-day Druids. In contemporary England, she likes academics (mostly) and has reservations about the rich and/or titled.

I think these books would make wonderful movies or TV series.

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“The Janus Stone” by Elly Griffiths – A Ruth Galloway Mystery

The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway Series Book 2)

How often does anyone write fiction about an academic forensic archaeologist? And female, no less? Griffiths’ protagonist, Dr. Ruth Galloway, kind of spooked me at first. I mean, she’s got the same first name as my sister, and her last name is my hometown! But the setting is in England, so I soon forgot about those two coincidences.

Dr. Galloway is an expert on bones who lives in a part of England littered with archeological sites. The timing is contemporary. Two locations are involved – one out in the country, the other in a small city where a developer needs archeological clearance to tear down an old mansion and erect luxury apartments. (Griffiths is not a fan of developers.)

Griffiths offers us a fairly convincing lunatic, plus other outside-the-box characters. There’s plenty of action, references to mythical figures (like Janus, the two faced god), and some romance. A winning combination!

Griffiths has written two mystery series (totaling 19 titles) and a handful of books under her REAL name, Domenica De Rosa. Looks like she can keep me entertained for a long time!

Penn Museum and Penn Cultural Heritage Center

My son invited me to celebrate Mother’s Day in “the city”, which in our case means Philadelphia. This is where we went:

Penn Museum

Hello India

I highly recommend both the Penn Museum and this special exhibit! First, the Museum. What a beautiful place! If you need peace and quiet and beauty, here it is. I think you can dine in the cafe without even entering the exhibit area.

Our first stop was the special exhibit “Cultures in the Crossfire”. One of the heartbreaking aspects of war is the destruction of artifacts, buildings and neighborhoods – all the things that make up a way of life. People are displaced. Language and identify become blurred. This is what the Cultural Heritage Center has to say about itself: “…(our) mission is to activate conversations about why the past is important…” The stories from Iraq and Syria conveyed in this exhibition are very sad.

We moved on to one of the classic permanent exhibits. Who can resist mummies?

Finally, we visited an additional special exhibit, “Native American Voices: The People – Here and Now”. I especially admired the contemporary silver jewelry.

We decided to continue the multicultural theme of our day by dining at an Indian restaurant with a great buffet, the “New Delhi” at 4004 Chestnut Street. Highly recommended! Let’s not forget that culture includes food.