Elly Griffiths’ THE JANUS STONE (RUTH GALLOWAY #2), narrated by Jane McDowell

Ruth is thrilled. Now forty years old she is finally pregnant. However, to the shock of her born-again Christian parents, she is not married. And when asked who the father is, Ruth replies: “I’d rather not say.”

Against this backdrop, Ruth finds the skeleton of a child buried under a doorway. Could the skeleton be Roman? After all, the Romans used to sacrifice children to the God Janus, the god of doorways, the deity of Beginnings and Endings.

Ruth and her new friend Max Grey, an archaeologist with an expertise in all things Roman, investigate. Along the way, it becomes clear that someone is trying to scare Ruth. Her cat is murdered, its dead body deposited on her doorstep. And someone leaves a plastic figure of a dead baby. Poor Ruth, who is finding her pregnancy rather difficult, is unnerved and scared. Who could be playing such cruel tricks on her? Five stars.