Friday, 30 December 2016

Review: Ruth's First Christmas Tree by Elly Griffiths

Ruth's First Christmas Tree is a short story from Elly Griffiths's Ruth Galloway series, and fits in neatly between A Room Full of Bones and Dying Fall. At the time of writing, it's available as a free ebook; the last third of the book is an extract from Dying Fall.

Ruth has decided this year she will have the 'perfect' Christmas. Her daughter is now old enough to appreciate Santa Claus - and presents! It's three days until Christmas and all Ruth needs now is the perfect tree.

This series often refers to Ruth's involvement in excavating a wooden henge on the beach near to where she lives. The henge was moved to a local museum for preservation and now a small piece has gone missing. The curator is in hospital with pneumonia and Ruth's druid friend, Cathbad, is convinced the man's recovery depends on the finding of this small peg.

Will Ruth ever find the perfect Christmas tree? Will she solve the mystery of the disappearing peg? Unlike the novels in this series, no one is murdered but I found the story entertaining all the same. Part of the appeal of this series for me has always been the characters (especially Cathbad!) and the subtle humour. It's like spending Christmas with old friends!

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