Linda Ellacott

Described as “an ample woman” with red-gold hair “laced with silver” and blue-gray eyes, Linda Ellacott is known for her “gentle kindness” as well as for having many interests, which include gardening, cooking and listening to radio programs. During The Silkworm, she’s enrolled in an Open University degree in English Literature. She has four children — Stephen, Robin, Martin and Jonathan — and a husband, Michael, as well as a chocolate Labrador dog called Rowntree. (Rowntree is the name of a local company in Yorkshire that produces sweets, including chocolate. Now owned by Nestle, Rowntree created the Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties and Rolo candies.) Linda and Robin are said to resemble one another in appearance.1

Linda is apparently quite easy to get along with. Robin is very close to her mother, and both Matthew and Strike like Linda a great deal. She’s also a very perceptive woman who seems to insightfully understand Robin’s emotional life and is always on her daughter’s side. However, because of her natural parental concern, she isn’t always completely supportive of her daughter’s career choice.2

In Troubled Blood, Robin’s relationship with her mother Linda is somewhat strained with the stress of Robin’s divorce. Robin begins to dread calling home, and when she visits home for Christmas, Linda’s rants about Matthew exhaust Robin.

Despite the disconnect that appears between mother and daughter, there is still a strong bond between them. 

“Robin’s mood of mild despondency persisted until she got off the train, but when she saw her mother standing on the platform, ready to drive her back to Masham, she was overtaken by a wave of genuine warmth. She hugged Linda, and for almost ten minutes afterward, while they wended their way, chatting, toward the car, passing a café out of which jangling Christmas music was emanating, even the dour gray Yorkshire skies and the car interior, which smelled of Rowntree the Labrador, felt comforting and cheery in their familiarity.”

1: The Silkworm, Chapter 32
2: Career of Evil, Chapters 13 & 57
3: Troubled Blood, Chapters 18 & 28
4: Troubled Blood, Chapter 28