The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths - Radio 2 Book Club choice

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The next book to be featured on the Sara Cox Radio 2 Book Club will be The Stranger Diaries, the chilling new novel by bestselling author Elly Griffiths. It was released on Thursday 1 November and Elly will be on the show on Wednesday 5 December.

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We have an exclusive extract available for you to read before the show.

The Stranger Diaries

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a short course on it every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel of library staff from across the UK. Our readers loved The Stranger Diaries – here are some of their comments:

“This is gothic perfection! Living in rural England, Clare Cassidy is a literature teacher whose colleagues are being murdered. The only connection between the murders appears to be Clare’s diaries and her research into horror author RM Holland, whose home, rumoured to be haunted, now houses the school. The story is told from multiple points of view, framed by a chilling ‘RM Holland’ horror tale. Littered with paranormal elements, this mystery plays out surrounded by creepy background aspects but they enhance the ambience. Investigating the murders is DS Harbinder Kaur, whose keen intellect and wry sense of humour quickly make her a favourite character. In fact, Harbinder would make a great protagonist in a series of her own. The Stranger Diaries is a gem for fans of gothic mystery.”

“It had me gripped from the first chapter with its dark and gothic undertones and twists. This thriller keeps you turning the page and has a strong female lead (which is always appreciated). It will appeal to literature fans as the main character Clare is a literature teacher so there are many mentions of other authors and literary figures. It will also appeal to readers who enjoy a murder mystery with a hint of the paranormal (who is writing in her diary?). The gothic mood of impending danger was carefully played out, ever so slowly building until the twist at the climax. It keeps you guessing the whole time. I really enjoyed.”

About the author

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Elly Griffiths was born in London. She worked in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Her bestselling series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, are set in Norfolk. The series has won the CWA Dagger in the Library, and has been shortlisted three times for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year. Her Stephens and Mephisto series is based in 1950s Brighton. She lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist, and their two children.

Get involved

Tune in to Sara Cox’s show on Wednesday 5 December to hear a live interview with Elly.

Have you read The Stranger Diaries? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #TheStrangerDiaries, and you can also follow Elly Griffiths.

You can also see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

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