Clare Cassidy is a literature teacher who specializes in Victorian writer R.M. Holland, teaching a yearly class at the school that was formally Holland’s home. Clare’s life is turned upside down when a good friend and colleague is murdered and a line from Holland’s most infamous of stories, “The Stranger,” is left by the body. This was so good: a modern gothic standalone thriller from one of my favorite mystery writers.
— From Mara
"This lively whodunit keeps you guessing until the end." —People
“Utterly bewitching…As unforgettable as it is original.” —A.J. Finn
“Goose-bump spooky, smart, and haunting…I loved this book!” —Louise Penny
Death lies between the lines when the events of a dark story start coming true in this haunting modern gothic mystery, perfect for fans of Magpie Murders and The Lake House.
Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favorite literature.
To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn't hers, left on the page of an old diary:
Hallo Clare. You don’t know me.
Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?
About the Author
ELLY GRIFFITHS is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series. She is the recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her work has been praised as “gripping” (Louise Penny), “captivating,” (Wall Street Journal) and “must-reads for fans of crime fiction” (Associated Press). She lives in Brighton, England.
Praise for The Stranger Diaries
Named Best Crime Book of the Year by the Times
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book of 2019
An iBooks Most Anticipated Book of 2019
A Crime by the Book Most Anticipated Book 2019
A Bustle Spring 2019 March Read
"This lively whodunit keeps you guessing until the end."
"The Stranger Diaries is an utterly mesmerizing thriller. If you like chilling thrillers, this is what you should be reading next."
—Washington Book Review
"An entertaining collision of spooks and modern manners...firmly among the finest of modern gothic."
"Griffiths’ exceptional standalone THE STRANGER DIARIES is a spring 2019 must-read...Griffiths masterfully blends Gothic influence with modern-day suspense sensibility, and the result is effortless, spine-tingling, page-turning fun...accessible and seriously entertaining, while remaining rich in atmosphere as well...I loved this book."
—Crime by the Book
"Packs its punches with the creepy factor."
—The Genre Minx
“The perfect Gothic suspense novel to snuggle with under the covers and with a cup of tea.”
“Utterly bewitching. This atmospheric, intricate thriller, a pitch-perfect modern Gothic, chilled my blood and warmed my heart. As unforgettable as it is original.”
—A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
“My heart is still pounding after finishing Elly Griffiths’ The Stranger Diaries. As with her other books, this is fiercely intelligent, warm, human and at times, funny. But unlike her others, this is a stand-alone. Her first and I hope not her last. The Stranger Diaries picks up where the great Gothic thrillers of the past leave off. At once a homage to that great literary form, and a re-imagining. It is goose-bump spooky, smart, and haunting, in every sense. I loved this book! And you will too.”
—Louise Penny, #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series
"A multi-layered and splendidly creepy gothic tale...Cliffhangers and gothic tropes abound as the narrative baton is passed between Clare, her daughter Georgia and the former Talgarth pupil DS Harbinder Kaur, with Griffiths expertly ratcheting up the tension."
"Griffiths has gifted readers with a gripping homage to the gothic novel...An entrancing literary tour de force in which Shakespeare’s line, 'Hell is empty,' from The Tempest, cleverly connects past and present. Georgette Heyer fans will relish this, as will readers who enjoyed Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale and Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders."
—Booklist, STARRED review
“The Stranger Diaries can be described in one word: delicious! Who could resist the gothic tale from the past, the spooky old school (so like those we all attended in England) all beautifully blended with very real and compelling characters in the present. Top marks to Miss Griffiths!”
—Rhys Bowen,New York Times-bestselling author of The Tuscan Child, In Farleigh Field and the Royal Spyness novels
“The Stranger Diaries is a gripping gothic thriller, with a wry, modern tone all its own. Griffiths writes here with the same sharp, compassionate understanding of how people work that has made her Ruth Galloway books so memorable. I couldn't put it down.”
—Flynn Berry, Edgar Award-winning author of Under the Harrow and A Double Life
“Reading The Stranger Diaries on the heels of Ruth Ware's The Death of Mrs. Westaway has made me a lover of a skilled Gothic mystery! With just the right mix of atmosphere, murder, and sleuthing The Stranger Diaries is a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging page-turner. I loved all three of the smart protagonists, each of whom added intrigue and nuance to this finely layered story.”
—Zoje Stage, author of Baby Teeth
"A perfectly paced and compellingly page-turning mystery. Griffiths' use of shifting viewpoints and her pitch perfect recreation of a Victorian gothic short story woven through the narrative serve to heighten the tension in this thrilling, and often spooky, tale. The Stranger Diaries will keeping you reading late into the night. You won't want to put it down . . . or turn out the light!"
—Charlie Lovett, New York Times-bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale and The Lost Book of the Grail
“Elly Griffiths’s haunting tribute to gothic literature is a riveting, humane whodunnit that explores the impact of even our smallest deeds. Urgently paced and sprinkled with literary gems, The Stranger Diaries will have you turning pages until well past the witching hour!”
—Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
"An English teacher with an expansive knowledge of gothic literature finds herself tangled in a web of murder and mystery that begins more and more to be a kind of twisted work of gothic storytelling in this impressive new mystery. Griffiths writes at the perfect intersection of procedural and psychological thriller, with her latest adding a strong dose of dark atmospherics to spin a truly unnerving story."
"This meticulously structured novel features some indelible characters, a vividly-depicted setting, and a strong fair-play mystery...a delightful reading experience and one that many readers will cherish for years to come."
—BOLO Book Reviews
"A modern gothic that updates and plays with genre conventions to great effect. Highly recommended for fans of British mysteries and classic whodunit."
—Library Journal, STARRED review
"Gripping...eerie atmosphere...aficionados of such gothic classics as Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, which the killer may have read, will find this a satisfying novel for a rainy night."
"Sounds like Griffiths is out to show why she’s a CWA Dagger in the Library Award winner."
—Library Journal, pre-pub alert
"Griffiths hits a sweet spot for readers who love British mysteries and who are looking for something to satisfy an itch once Broadchurch has been binged and Wilkie Collins reread...has written her first stand-alone novel with immensely pleasurable results."
"It is clear from the start of Elly Griffiths's The Stranger Diaries that we are in for a treat...Griffiths has a lot of fun setting up the scares...Armed with an enjoyably sharp detective...Griffiths overlaps perspectives, timelines and narrators, producing a darkly funny, enjoyable mystery."
"Spooky...This is written with Griffiths’s usual warmth and lightness of touch but has a genuine creepiness that gets under your skin."