So, why not pass the hours with some story-telling? The perfect thing for a late October evening?
Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths is an ode to the long ago written gothic horror novels. Maybe it’s the numerous book titles woven into the story, or the many references to characters that emit this vibe as you make your way through, that you’re reading a very subtle, spooky murder mystery. At one point I thought I was reading a ghost story, but in the fashion of many gothic writers before her, Elly Griffiths ‘ghosts’ have an explanation.
In Stranger Diaries, our heroine Clare, is a high school teacher English at Talgarth High. The building which houses the school was once the home to writer of a very popular Victorian ghost story, The Stranger, author RM Holland. Within the first few chapters of the book, a co-worker of Clare’s is found murdered in her home. This kicks off the story really. As the police begin their investigation, Clare flips through her journals to remind herself of specific events they have asked her to remember, when she notices someone else’s handwritings in them.
I think what I love so much about this book is how it captures the importance of reading and writing. I kept a list of the titles mentioned in the story and what I think Elly Griffiths did a great job of was, if she was mentioning a title, it added some kind of value to the story. I didn’t feel like she was throwing titles in there just for the hell of it. It really made sense to the way the story was flowing at the time.
Different perspectives. At first I didn’t think I’d like getting the different perspectives. Initially, I rolled my eyes because I didn’t want to relive scenes all over again. As the story progressed though, I realized the importance behind doing this. We get the perspective of Clare, her daughter Georgie and the Sargent Detective, Harbinder. Having these different perspectives, at one point was about to drive me mad! I felt like you couldn’t trust anyone.
I will admit, I thought I knew The Whodunnit and was shocked when I learned who it was, so if you’re in the mood for a haunted school a murder mystery, crossing over ghosts and the love of gothic novels..I can’t recommend this book enough!
If you decide to give it a read, please let me know what you think of it.
Happy Reading friends. we will chat again soon.