Elly Griffith’s returns with her eleventh Dr Ruth Galloway mystery, The Stone Circle. For readers waiting anxiously for plot threads from the two previous books, some questions will be answered, but many interesting things raised in this knockout addition to the series that Val McDermid calls “One of my favourite current series.”

Readers return to the Saltmarsh that started the series off, when Ruth uncovers the bones of a young girl in a henge, or stone circle, not far from the original one in The Crossing Places. At the same time, DCI Nelson, her daughter’s father, receives an anonymous letter that highly resembles those he received during that first case.

But the writer of those first letters is dead. So who is writing this new set, and how are they connected to a decades-old cold case of a missing girl presumed dead?

When a new death occurs, all possible suspects will be scrutinized, and as things heat up in the case for Nelson, he makes a difficult personal decision, while Ruth, for the first time, considers making changes in her daily life.

Griffith’s has always had Ruth’s engaging voice contain the wry humor of someone we wish we could be friends with–a pragmatist who eschews much of the romanticism others covet, yet she yearns for something else in her life. Kate, the daughter she shares with Nelson, provides a continuing link besides their cases, and gives a counterpoint to the cases they investigate.

This series is one many writers list among their favorites, with good reason. Readers anxiously await the next installment of each book for the tight plots as much as the network of characters they have come to love and follow. With her strong sense of setting as the backdrop, the riveting plot and original characters make this an easy one to call “highly recommended.”