The Locked Room

by Elly Griffiths

Monday, February 26, 2024

Featured image for The Locked Room

The main point of this write up should be that I raced through the book in less than a day and enjoyed it. I’m also pleased Elly Griffiths didn’t decide to break with setting her books in real world time and skip past 2020 as if nothing happened. There are some series that are just set in generic contemporary times whose authors can get away with that but this series of books have always had actual dates in them and the characters have proper birth dates and age appropriately. All of which is stuff that I appreciate.

So I’m pleased to be back in 2020 (kind of? very much in a “fictional reliving only!” sense) where we’re seeing the first wave of Covid and lockdowns through Ruth’s eyes. I had issues with how much the characters disregarded the restrictions that were in place in the UK at the time though. Most of it had purpose in the plot, and the criminal bits seem completely reasonable. There was just a bit too much “exceptional” stuff going on for my liking, and I thought some of it was out of character.

By way of other nitpicking I thought using the “Locked Room” in the title and not really having much of a Christie-esque locked room mystery was a bit of a missed opportunity. But I’ve said before that I don’t come to these mysteries for the plots as much as to be back with a familiar cast of characters. I don’t watch soap operas but I enjoy long running book series and the personal developments in this one were interesting although they threw up some strange coincidences that I’d like to have seen resolved as well.

So basically I could sit here all day and pull holes in the book, but I really enjoyed reading it. It ends, as this series often do, on a bit of a cliffhanger and I’ll no doubt get on with the reading the next in the series soon even though I know my opinion is very likely to be much the same as it is for this one.