'Why are you frightened?' he asks.
'Why do you think?' shouts Ruth. 'I'm stuck here on a boat with a madman. A madman with a knife.'
... 'I'm not mad,' he says. 'I've got a first in classics from Cambridge.'
From what Ruth has seen of Oxbridge graduates, the two are not mutually exclusive. (The Janus Stone)
Ruth Galloway is the likeable, modern heroine of these books: approaching forty, single, a bit overweight, lover of food and wine, cat-owner - and forensic archaeologist specialising in bones. Ruth's investigations seem always to bring her into contact with the tetchy but fascinating DCI Harry Nelson. This is forensics handled very lightly, with plenty of characters and history to get your teeth into. The settings are really well done - Norfolk marshes and broads and a Roman dig in Sussex. This series has a lot of life in it: the second was even better than the first and I'm looking forward to further developments and more archaeological adventures. BTW, Elly Griffiths is the pen-name of Domenica de Rosa.
Another BTW, BTW: the books are in the present tense (as you can see from the quotation above). I think it works in this genre, adding a sense of immediacy to the action, but it is noticeable and I wonder if that means that it doesn't really work? Hmmm.
If you liked this... Ellis Peters (of Cadfael fame) does a nice line in archaeology, mystery and fine character development. How about City of Gold and Shadows with the very likeable DCI George Felse (the mysteries featuring his son Dominic are also well worth reading - my favourite is Mourning Raga).