Happy Publication Day for The Stranger Diaries to Elly Griffiths and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!
I can’t wait to read this latest stand alone by one of my very favorite authors, Elly Griffiths. Here is an extract to whet your reading appetite. . .
Monday 23rd October, 2017
Ella is dead. I didn’t believe it when Rick told me. And, as the words began to sink in, I thought: a car crash, an accident, even an overdose of some kind. But when Rick said ‘murdered’, it was as if he was talking a different language.
‘Murdered?’ I repeated the word stupidly.
‘The police said someone broke into her house last night,’ said Rick. ‘They turned up on my doorstep this morning. Daisy thought I was about to be arrested.’
I still couldn’t put the pieces together. Ella. My friend. My colleague. My ally in the English department. Murdered. Rick said that Tony already knew. He was going to write to all the parents tonight.
‘It’ll be in the papers,’ said Rick. ‘Thank God it’s half-term.’
I’d thought the same thing. Thank God it’s half-term, thank God Georgie’s with Simon. But then I felt guilty. Rick must have realized he’d got the tone wrong because he said ‘I’m sorry Clare,’ as if he meant it.
He’s sorry. Jesus.
And then I had to go back to my class and teach them about ghost stories. It wasn’t one of my best teaching sessions. But ‘<i>The Stranger</i> always does its bit, especially as it was dark by the time I finished. Una actually screamed at the end. I set them a writing task for the last hour: ‘write about receiving bad news’. I looked at their bent heads as they scribbled their masterpieces (‘The telegram arrived at half past two. . .’) and thought: If only they knew.
As soon as I got home, I rang Debra. She’d been out with the family and hadn’t heard. She cried, said she didn’t believe it, etc, etc. To think that the three of us had only been together on Friday night. Rick said that Ella was killed some time on Sunday. I remember I’d texted her about the <i>Strictly</i> results and hadn’t had an answer. Was she already dead by then?
It wasn’t so bad when I was teaching or talking with Debra, but now I’m alone, I feel such a sense of. . . well, dread. . . that I’m almost rigid with fear. I’m sitting here with my diary on the bed and I don’t want to turn the light off. Where is Ella? Have they taken her body away? Have her parents had to identify her? Rick didn’t give me any of these details and, right now, they seem incredibly important.
I just can’t believe that I’ll never see her again.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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 favourite 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?
I hope that I have tempted your reading tastebuds with this morsel from the Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths.
Happy reading, my friends! 💕📚