The Zig Zag Girl by Elly GriffithsThe Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

The Zig Zag Girl

byElly Griffiths

Paperback | September 6, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$16.32 online 
$21.50 list price save 24%
Earn 82 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Captivating." - Wall Street Journal

"An absorbing read, the debut of another great series." - San Jose Mercury News

"A labyrinthine plot, a splendid reveal, and superb evocation of the wafer-thin veneer of glamour at the bottom end of showbusiness . . . Thoroughly enjoyable." - Guardian

Brighton, 1950. A girl is found cut in three, and Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is convinced the killer is mimicking a famous magic trick-the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, served with Edgar in a special ops troop called the Magic Men that used stage illusions to confound the enemy. Max still performs, touring with ventriloquists, sword-swallowers, and dancing girls. When Edgar asks for his help with the case, Max tells him to identify the victim quickly; it takes a special sidekick to do the Zig Zag Girl-words that haunt Max when he learns the dead girl is Ethel, one of his best assistants to date.

Another death, another magic trick, and still no killer. But when Edgar receives a letter warning of another "trick" on the way-the Wolf Trap-he knows the Magic Men are in the killer's sights.

"Enormously engaging . . . Griffiths's plot is satisfyingly serpentine." - Daily Mail

"Readers will finish looking forward to the next trick up [Griffiths's] sleeve." - Mystery Scene

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 her work has been praised as "gripping" (Louise Penny), "highly atmospheric" ( New York Times Book Review ), and "must-reads for fans of crime fiction" (Associated Press)."
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). Sh...
Title:The Zig Zag GirlFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:September 6, 2016Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544811879

ISBN - 13:9780544811874


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! This book combined a few things that I loved - mystery, magic and post-war England. It was an easy and interesting read, great for when you want to curl up with a book instead of Netflix!
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from entertaining - a glimpse into post-war England with magic tricks thrown in I read this in a couple of sittings. Really enjoyable - carefully researched background into the show biz world of 1950s England, with an interesting side of military intrigue. Griffiths' writing is restrained and concise, which I also enjoy.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from BEST IN THE SERIES SO FAR Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is surprised to receive a letter from a university friend that she has not seen in 20 years; especially since she found out the day before that he had died in a house fire. The letter asks whether Ruth would be interested in helping on an exciting archaeological discovery he had recently made. Ominously, the letter also states that he “… is afraid. That’s it, just afraid”. Despite her misgivings her curiosity is peeked and she heads off to Lancashire. Coincidentally enough, DCI Harry Nelson (the married father of her daughter) is vacationing in the same place. Avoiding each other is not an option as strange things about the dig and the university come to light and both Ruth and Harry are drawn into the investigation. Elly Griffiths has given readers another great entry in this series. The usual cast was included in the story and to my delight we learned a little more about Cathbad, one of my favorite of Ruth’s friends. In my personal opinion this is the best book in the series so far.
Date published: 2013-05-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just an excellent series I was hooked on this series by Elly Griffiths from the very first book. A Dying Fall is the fifth (and latest) entry in her Ruth Galloway Mystery series. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and settle in for a great read with characters I truly enjoy. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist at the University in North Norfolk, England. An expert in bones, she is often called in to assist police, museums and on other digs. Ruth receives a letter from Dan - an old friend from her university days. They haven't really kept in touch, but the letter piques her curiosity. Dan is also an archaeologist, attached to a university in Lancashire. His letter says he has discovered the bones of 'The Raven King.' Ruth tries to contact him, without result. Until that university calls asking if Ruth could come up and look at some bones for them - their archaeologist Dan Golding has been killed in a tragic accident. Or was it? Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson, on vacation with his wife becomes involved as well. Why do I love this series so much? The characters. Griffiths has created a wonderful protagonist in Ruth. I just really like her. She's decidedly unique and different. She is a single mother at forty plus, overweight, messy, introverted, but highly intelligent and curious. Griffiths has not endowed her with super sleuth abilities, rather she comes off as an actual person - unabashedly and happily herself. Her only worry is raising her daughter Kate. Kate's father is the married Harry Nelson. The evolution of his and Ruth's relationship has kept me quite enthralled from the beginning. With Harry's acknowledgment of Kate as his daughter, things have become even more entangled. The supporting cast of characters is just as intriguing. Cathbad, the self proclaimed Druid takes a leading role in A Dying Fall. I enjoy his enigmatic ways and his pagan beliefs. His personal storyline is just as complicated as Ruth's - involving a sergeant from Nelson's staff. I have to say, he rivals Ruth for my favourite character. Little Kate's personality is being drawn as well - it's enjoyable to see her growing and talking. And this wonderful cast of characters carries along a clever, inventive plot involving Arthurian legends, neo-Nazi's and more I had my suspicions as to the culprit, but Griffiths surprised me at the end this time. I always learn something in Griffiths' books - the historical facts and mythical legends woven into the narrative often send me searching the Internet to read more. Griffiths has done it again - hooked me with a great read that I finished too quickly and left me waiting for the next in this engaging series. Definitely recommended.
Date published: 2013-03-20

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR THE MAGIC MEN MYSTERIES: Absorbing? Another great series." - San Jose Mercury News "Thoroughly enjoyable." - The Guardian "Clever, immensely likeable." - The Wall Street Journal "Enormously engaging." - The Daily Mail "Original, lively, and gripping." - The Independent "A wild ride full of mayhem, magic and murder." - The Absolute "Excellent? Evoking both the St. Mary Mead of Agatha Christie and the theater world Ngaio Marsh." - Booklist "Suspenseful." - Publishers Weekly "