Monday, 23 December 2013

Driving Home for Xmas

Ruth's First Christmas Tree

A Ruth Galloway Short Story by Elly Griffiths

Published 2012





23rd December: ...Surely she must be near the Hunstanton turn-off by now? There is something mesmeric about the swirling snow; she imagines herself driving along this road forever, Norfolk’s answer to the Flying Dutchman, endlessly circling her destination, never again to reach the comfort of home. 

Only yesterday she bought one of those snow globes for Kate and had enjoyed seeing the child’s face light up when the globe was agitated and the little plastic scene disappeared under the ensuing blizzard. Now it’s as if she herself is trapped inside the glass toy, invisible behind the snowstorm. Her nose is almost touching the windscreen now. She’s sure that she’s missed the turning. No. Thank God. There it is, mercifully illuminated. Ruth takes the turning wide and continues her painfully slow progress. How does that song go? Driving home for Christmas


observations: The new Ruth Galloway book - the sixth in this excellent crime series -  isn’t out till February (tip: you can get it on Kindle a week earlier) so for anyone who is waiting impatiently for it, here is a sweet Christmas-y short story that Elly Griffiths wrote last year - and it’s free for a Kindle. It’s slight and charming, there’s no real jeopardy or major crime in it, but all our favourite characters are there in their full glory, and it is, of course, funny. Griffiths is very good at describing a Christmas party, and a hostess who insists you must come early, then is busy with all her other friends, then says ‘so this is where you’ve been hiding’. You wouldn’t get an idea of the intricate crime plots in the novels, but a very good idea of the wonderful characters in the books - including the thinking woman’s favourite policeman, the deeply un-PC Harry Nelson; and Ruth herself, the forensic archaeologist who makes the series so enthralling.

We can only hope Elly Griffiths goes on writing them forever. The 5th one, Dying Fall, featured on the blog in February. 

For more Xmas entries click on the label below. The picture is from Wikimedia Commons.

10 comments:

  1. I've not been drawn by this author, though mention of Hunstanton interests me. We spent a few family holidays there. Is it a setting for any of the series?

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    1. Well I guess it's that area, she is near to home in the extract above! I don't pay enough attention to the geography. But, it is most definitely one of my top series of the moment, wonderful books. OK, not obviously your thing, but if you ever get the chance take a look - I'm sure you'd like the humour and character.

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  2. Moira - Oh, I'm so glad you shared this. I'm a real fan of this series, and this is a great little story. And what is it about snow globes? They do draw one in, don't they? Now, if February would just get here! ;-)

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    1. I know! I had to re-read this story a) because it was Christmas-y and b) to keep myself going till the new one comes out....

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  3. Moira: Lovely photo! Reminds of the days when my sons were young children.

    This afternoon we drove 175 km. It would have been nice if the snow had been swirling. It was whipping across the road and so cold the windows on the van that the heater was no blowing on were frosting up.

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    1. It's good for me - moaning about the storms in the UK - to hear about PROPER weather in Canada. I hope all your travelling goes well...

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  4. This series one I haven't gotten to. And I hope to remedy that in 2014. My husband is a fan of the series. He has read two of them, and has the next two after that. So I just have to borrow them from him.

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    1. I really recommend this series Tracy, and if they're just lying around available then you should go for it!

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  5. This is a new author for me, but as an adopted Narridger, I have now ordered and am looking forward to The Crossing Places.

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    1. They're excellent books, I'm sure you'll love it.

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