I have finished the 97th book for the book challenge. It was The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) by Elly Griffiths.
In this book, Ruth Galloway finds herself pregnant with Harry Nelson’s baby after the previous mystery. She has decided to keep the baby and after much consideration, she also tells Harry the truth. He is a bit shocked, but is concerned about Ruth. What he is more concerned about is the fact that Michelle wants to help Ruth with the baby. Of course Michelle doesn’t know that the baby is Harry’s.
A mystery appears at Woolmarket Street House where excavations are ongoing. A baby’s body has been found under a doorway. There is no head. It seems to be an offering to the god Janus, the god of doorways, of beginnings and endings. But where is the head. Then the body of a cat is found under a wall, also without a head. The body of the baby is found to be from the 1950 or 1960s. Could it be the body of a child of the Spens family who died? Or is it the body of a child from the orphanage who disappeared?
Max Grey is also excavating at a Roman site nearby and discovers a Janus stone. Ruth is interested in this stone and she becomes friendly with Max.
Nelson becomes friendly with Father Hennessey who was the director of the orphanage. He tells about the two children who disappeared from the orphanage and were never seen again. Judy Johnson also tracks down Sister Immaculata from the orphanage who tells her about the two children, but also tells her about her life before she was a nun, as a nanny at the Spens family home on Woolmarket Street.
More excavations lead to the well on Woolmarket Street. There they find the heads of the baby and the cat. They conduct DNA tests on the body of the baby and find that it is related to Sir Roderick Spens. It is not Annabel Spens, his sister. They can tell from dental records. But from Sister Immaculata they learn that it is actually Sir Roderick’s baby that he murdered as a sacrifice.
Sir Roderick overhears Nelson talking to Ruth about the baby and takes Ruth captive after tormenting her with exhibits from the museum. He holds her captive on his boat and threatens to her baby if Nelson does not call off the investigation. Nelson and Cathbad and Max go looking for Ruth and begin a heart-stopping race down the river to save Ruth.
This is a thrilling book. Ruth is a very likeable character, as is Harry Nelson. The mysteries are solved in a remarkable manner. I really enjoy this series.