The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths is the second in a series of whodunit novels featuring Ruth Galloway and, like the best of crime stories, it appears that you don't need to have read Ruth's debut in The Crossing Places to appreciate the cozy nasties of The Janus Stone.
Here's the publisher's blurb:
When a child’s body is found buried under a Victorian mansion, forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate. The police, led by Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson, discover that the house used to be a Catholic children’s home. Nelson finds out that, forty years ago, two children went missing from the home. Is the body one of the missing children or does it go back to the days when the building housed an eccentric but very influential family?
Meanwhile, Ruth is involved with the excavation of a Roman villa in the Norfolk countryside. There the archaeologists find a child’s bones buried under a doorway. They think the child may have been a ‘foundation sacrifice’, an offering to Janus, the two-faced Roman God of doorways. The God of endings and beginnings.
Ruth finds herself getting close to another archaeologist on the dig but her relationship with Nelson is also becoming increasingly tense. Then strange things start happening – headless animals are found on the site and Ruth’s name appears, written in blood. Finally, an even more gruesome discovery makes Ruth realise that someone still believes in the old, savage Gods. Someone who is prepared to kill....
If you'd like the chance to win a copy of The Janus Stone, you don't have to sacrifice any animals by the light of a full moon. All you have to do is answer this question:
According to this character page at Griffiths' website, what archaeological excavation "changed Ruth's life forever"?Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until the contest closes at midnight on Feb. 3--at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the lucky reader on Feb. 4.