Elly Griffith's Dr. Ruth Galloway series is hands down one of my favourites. The Dark Angel is the 10th book in the series.
Ruth is a forensic archaeologist who often works with the police, in addition to her teaching at a local university. This time round, Ruth is invite to Italy by a former colleague who needs her expertise. Ruth decides to make a holiday of it, taking her daughter Kate as well as her friend Shona and her son. The town is small and is seeped in history, much of it involving the war resistance years. This is where the mystery comes in. I always enjoy learning from Ruth (much of the cases are fact based) and appreciate Griffith's plotting.
But I have to admit, it's the characters and the personal storylines that keeps me eagerly awaiting each new entry.
Griffiths has created a wonderful protagonist in Ruth. She comes across as an actual person, not a super sleuth. She's a single parent at 40 plus, messy, introverted but highly intelligent and curious, shunning the spotlight. She's not beautiful in a conventional sense, but has that 'something' that draws people to her. Kate's father is the married Detective Chief Inspector 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. Griffiths has added some twists to this storyline that I could not have predicted. And while things are always tied up in the end in regards to the mystery, the personal lives of everyone always gets a little more complicated. This is true for not just the lead character, but for the supporting players as well. (Cathbad, the enigmatic self proclaimed Druid, is my favourite.)
The Dark Angel was another excellent entry in this series. Read an excerpt of The Dark Angel. If you've not read this series before, I recommend starting with the first book, The Crossing Places.