The Stranger Diaries

By Elly Griffiths,

Book cover of The Stranger Diaries

Book description

THE TIMES CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR. THE RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK.

'Utterly bewitching ... a pitch-perfect modern Gothic' AJ FINN, author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time?

This is what the…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Stranger Diaries as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I did not seek this book out. It found me by way of a random box of paperbacks my father had read and mailed to me. I consider The Stranger Diaries my gateway book into Griffiths’ writing.

Since reading itI have read Griffiths’ books exclusively, one after the other, for the last several months. My local librarian must think I am obsessed. All of this to say, this book really sucked me in.

Harbinder Kaur is a closeted lesbian and a damn fine police investigator. Without giving too much away, I will say that I enjoyed all the…

What I admire about this gothic mystery is how it alternates between three narrators—a high school English teacher, her teenage daughter, and a detective—without losing tension and suspense.

The plot is beautifully interwoven. The English teacher, who’s writing a biography of an author of gothic tales, learns that her best friend is murdered, and that a line from the gothic writer’s story is found near the murder victim. Her diary becomes an outlet for her fears and suspicions, until someone writes in it. 

From Gail's list on modern gothic mystery.

Realizing there’s a stranger in the house is scary, discovering there’s a stranger writing in your diary is downright creepy. But that’s what gothic lit professor Clare Cassidy finds, hard on the heels of one of her colleagues being murdered. For added fun, Clare teaches in the building attached to the old mansion left to the university by the author she teaches an entire course on. There’s a long history of students who’ve seen the ghost of the author’s dead wife roaming the halls—including the detective assigned to the murder. This one has it all—gothic setting, murder mystery, ghost story…

The Stranger Diaries is closer to one of my other favorite genres, gothic romance, but it, too, is a witty, literate puzzle. English teacher Clare Cassidy is an expert on the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, so when one of her colleagues is found murdered with a line from Holland’s most famous story beside their body, Clare turns to her diary to make sense of their death. Her grief rapidly turns to fear when she finds the message, “Hallo, Clare, you don’t know me,” written in her diary by someone else. The message is, of course, frightening in The Stranger Diaries…

From Erica's list on golden age mysteries for the 2020s.

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