“Currently on my bedside table is ‘A Dying Fall,’ by Elly Griffiths. I have a huge appetite for crime fiction, and like them best with a female protagonist, supported by a cast of (mostly) likeable misfits. Griffith’s refreshingly disheveled Ruth Galloway — a smart, single, archeology professor in North Norfolk — is an original character who has a knack for finding bones…and trouble. ‘A Dying Fall’ is the fifth book in the Ruth Galloway series, and centers around the mysterious death of Ruth’s friend from her university days, Dan Golding. Just before he was killed in a fire, Dan made a potentially myth-shattering archeological discovery (fans of 6th-century British legend will rejoice!), and Ruth travels north to investigate.

“Along for the ride, as with the four previous novels, are Ruth’s friends and colleagues: Cathbad, a modern druid; DCI Harry Nelson, an evolving misogynist; Shona, Ruth’s (sort-of) best friend; and Flint, a cat. Also, as present and corporeal as any character in her books (which is to say, as corporeal as a fictional character can be), is Griffith’s provocative and tangible sense of place. Her depiction of the North Norfolk coast is both nostalgic and terrifying. In one moment, the shore is warm and welcoming; in the next it is a howling, jagged-toothed monster, protector of secrets dark enough to give you nightmares.

“I am looking forward to working my way through the rest of the series this summer, and if the waitlist for Griffith’s books on the Portland Public Library website is any indication, so are many others.” — KATE SHAFFER, co-owner/founder, Ragged Coast Chocolates, Westbrook

Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. We want to hear what you are reading and why. Send your selection to [email protected], and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.

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