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Ann Cleeves - Author

About the Author

A letter from Ann Cleeves to our readers.....

Dear Lovereading members,

I first came to Shetland when I was nineteen.  I'd dropped out of university and was offered, quite by chance, the job of assistant cook in the bird observatory on Fair Isle, the most southerly island of the archipelago.  It's thirteen hours by ferry from Aberdeen to Shetland mainland and then another three hours in a horrible little boat to Fair Isle.  I thought I'd come to the end of the world.  But I arrived in spring when the lowlands were covered in flowers and the seabirds were nesting on the cliffs and I fell in love with the place.  I've been visiting ever since.  In Shetland I learned to cook, to clip sheep and even to knit.  I met my husband on Fair Isle and some of my best friends live in the islands.  Shetland is bleak and bare, with a magic all of its own.  I hope these books give a flavour of the place and of the preoccupations of its people.  Besides telling a story that you won't want to put down...

Best wishes, Ann Cleeve

Ann Cleeves worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of 'Murder Squad', working with other northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for Best Crime Novel for Raven Black. Her Vera Stanhope series is now a major ITV drama starring Brenda Blethyn. Ann lives in North Tyneside.

In 2017 Ann Cleeves was awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger - the highest honour in British crime writing. The Dagger award recognises authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre.

Featured books by Ann Cleeves

Harbour Street (Vera Series 6)

Harbour Street (Vera Series 6)

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/07/2014

A KILLING. In Newcastle, Detective Joe Ashworth and his daughter Jessie travel home on the busy Metro. The train is stopped unexpectedly, and Jessie sees that one woman doesn't leave with the other passengers: Margaret Krukowski has been fatally stabbed. A WITNESS. No one saw the murder take place. How can this be, when the train was packed? Searching for a lead, DI Vera Stanhope heads to the quiet Northumberland town of Mardle to investigate. She can feel in her bones that the local residents know more than they are letting on: a killer is among them. A SECRET. Just days later, a second woman is murdered. Retracing the victims' final steps, Vera finds herself searching deep into the hidden past of this seemingly innocent neighbourhood, led by clues that keep revolving around one street: why are the residents of Harbour Street so reluctant to speak? DI Vera Stanhope is back. And she wants answers.

ebook of the month
Harbour Street (Vera Series 6)

Harbour Street (Vera Series 6)

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/01/2014

As the snow falls thickly on Newcastle, the shouts and laughter of Christmas revellers break the muffled silence. Detective Joe Ashworth and his daughter Jessie are swept along in the jostling crowd onto the Metro. But when the train is stopped due to the bad weather, and the other passengers fade into the swirling snow, Jessie notices that an old lady hasn't left the train: Margaret Krukowski has been fatally stabbed as she sat on the crowded train. Why would anyone want to harm this reserved, elegant lady? Arriving at the scene, DI Vera Stanhope is relieved to have an excuse to escape the holiday festivities. As she stands on the silent, snow-covered station platform, Vera feels a familiar buzz of anticipation, sensing that this will be a complex and unusual case. Soon Vera and Joe are on their way to the south Northumberland town of Mardle, where Margaret lived, to begin their inquiry. Then, just days later, a second woman is murdered. Vera knows that to find the key to this new killing she needs to understand what had been troubling Margaret so much before she died -- before another life is lost. Retracing Margaret's final steps, Vera finds herself searching deep into the hidden past of this seemingly innocent neighbourhood, led by clues that keep revolving around one street ...Why are the residents of Harbour Street so reluctant to speak?

Silent Voices

Silent Voices

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2011

When DI Vera Stanhope finds the body of a woman in the sauna room of her local gym, she wonders briefly if, for once in her life, she's uncovered a simple death from natural causes. But a closer inspection reveals ligature marks around the victim's throat death is never that simple Doing what she does best, Vera pulls her team together and sets them interviewing staff and those connected to the victim, while she and colleague, Sergeant Joe Ashworth, work to find a motive. While Joe struggles to reconcile his home life with the demands made on him by the job; Vera revels being back in charge of an investigation again. Death has never made her feel so alive And when they discover that the victim had worked in social services, and had been involved in a shocking case involving a young child, then it appears obvious that the two are somehow connected. Though things are never as they seem

ebook of the month

Other books by Ann Cleeves

Cold Earth

Cold Earth

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/05/2021

The seventh Shetland novel The darkest secrets are buried deepest . . . In the black days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main road and sweeps down to the sea. At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of peaty water and mud smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. Perez becomes obsessed with finding out her identity and what she was doing there. Then it emerges that she was already dead when the landslide hit the house and Perez finds himself with a murder investigation to solve. Cold Earth is the seventh book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama, starring Douglas Henshall.

Wild Fire

Wild Fire

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/05/2021

The eighth and final Shetland novel On a small island, rumours can be deadly . . . A new English family have moved to Shetland, eager to give their autistic son a better life. But when a young nanny's body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire. With suspicion raining down on the family, DI Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate. For him it will mean returning to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves, who will run the case. Perez is already facing the most disturbing investigation of his career when Willow drops a bomb-shell that will change his life forever. Is he ready for what is to come? Wild Fire is the eighth and final book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama, starring Douglas Henshall.

Dead Water

Dead Water

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/05/2021

The fifth Shetland novel A journalist working a story. Now his murder is a headline . . . When the body of a journalist is found in a traditional Shetland boat, Detective Inspector Willow Reeves is drafted in to head up the investigation. Jimmy Perez has been out of the loop, but his local knowledge is needed and he decides to help the inquiry. Originally a Shetlander, the journalist had left the islands years before to make a name for himself in London, leaving a scandal in his wake. He had few friends in Shetland, so why was he back? When Willow and Jimmy dig deeper, they realize that he was chasing a story that many Shetlanders didn't want to come to the surface. One that must have been significant enough to kill for . . . Dead Water is the fifth book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama, starring Douglas Henshall.

Thin Air

Thin Air

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/05/2021

The sixth Shetland novel A killer who leaves no trace . . . A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Shetland to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends to a local. But late on the night of the wedding party, one of them, Eleanor, disappears - apparently into thin air. Detectives Jimmy Perez and Willow Reeves are dispatched to investigate. Before she went missing, Eleanor claimed to have seen the ghost of a local child who drowned in the 1920s. Jimmy and Willow are convinced that there is more to Eleanor's disappearance than they first thought. Is there a secret that lies behind the myth? One so shocking that many years later someone would kill to protect it? Thin Air is the sixth book in Ann Cleeves's bestselling Shetland series - now a major BBC One drama starring Douglas Henshall.

Raven Black

Raven Black

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/2021

Introducing Inspector Jimmy Perez A remote community with a killer in their midst . . . On New Year's Day Shetland lies buried beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter's eye is drawn to a vivid splash of colour on the white ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbour. As Fran opens her mouth to scream, the ravens continue their deadly dance . . . The body is found close to the home of a lonely outcast and local suspicion falls firmly on him. But when Inspector Jimmy Perez insists on broadening the search for suspects, a veil of distrust and fear is thrown over the entire community. As the case develops Perez finds himself peering deeper into the past of the Shetland Islands than anyone wants to go. Raven Black is the first book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama, starring Douglas Henshall.

White Nights

White Nights

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/2021

The second Shetland novel When the sun never sets it brings to light deadly secrets On Shetland the launch of an exhibition at The Herring House art gallery is disturbed by a stranger who bursts into tears, then claims not to remember who he is or where he comes from. The next day Detective Jimmy Perez finds his body in a fisherman's hut. Initially it seems to be a straightforward case of suicide, yet this is no desperate act and is instead the work of a cold and calculating killer. As Perez investigates, he finds himself mired in the hidden secrets of a small community. Then another body is found. Perez knows he must find the killer before another death occurs. But it is midsummer, an unsettling time when the sun never really sets in Shetland and nothing is quite as it seems . . . White Nights is the second book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama, starring Douglas Henshall.

Blue Lightning

Blue Lightning

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/2021

The fourth Shetland novel A remote island on lockdown. A killer on the loose . . . Shetland detective Jimmy Perez knows it will be a difficult homecoming when he returns to Fair Isle to introduce his fiancee to his parents. With the autumn storms raging, the island is cut off from the rest of the world. Then a woman's body is discovered at the renowned bird observatory, with feathers threaded through her hair. Perez has no support from the mainland and must investigate the old-fashioned way. He soon realizes that this is no crime of passion - but a murder of cold and calculated intention. There's no way off the island until the storms abate - and so the killer is also trapped, just waiting for the opportunity to strike again. Blue Lightning is the fourth book in Ann Cleeves' Shetland series, filmed as the major BBC One drama starring Douglas Henshall. Ann Cleeves will be donating her royalties from the sale of this edition of BLUE LIGHTNING to support the Fair Isle Bird Observatory.

Red Bones

Red Bones

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/2021

The third Shetland novel Sometimes the dead won't stay buried . . . When a young archaeologist uncovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find - or a more contemporary mystery? Then an elderly woman is shot in what appears to be a tragic accident in the middle of the night, Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called to investigate. The sparse landscape and the emptiness of the sea have bred a fierce and secretive people. As Jimmy looks to the islanders for answers, he finds instead two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness have lasted generations. Surrounded by people he doesn't know and in unfamiliar territory, Jimmy finds himself out of his depth. As the spring weather shrouds the island in claustrophobic mists, Perez must dig up old secrets to reveal the truth . . . Red Bones is the third book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama, starring Douglas Henshall.

Harbour Street

Harbour Street

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2021

Harbour Street is the sixth book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera. A silent community. A murderer among them . . . As the snow falls in Newcastle, Detective Joe Ashworth and his daughter Jessie travel home on the busy Metro. When the train stops unexpectedly due to bad weather, Jessie notices that one woman doesn't leave and when trying to wake her they find that the passenger has been fatally stabbed. With no witnesses DI Vera Stanhope looks into the victim's past and discovers she lived for years on Harbour Street, in a rundown Northumberland fishing town. As she questions the local residents Vera begins to suspect they know more than they are letting on, and the killer is hiding in their midst. Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices, The Glass Room, The Moth Catcher, The Seagull and The Darkest Evening.

The Seagull

The Seagull

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2021

The Seagull is the eighth book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera. Obsession never dies . . . When prison inmate and former police officer John Brace says he's willing to give up information about the location of a dead body in return for protection for his family, Vera knows that she has to look into his claims. But opening up this cold case strikes much closer to home than Vera anticipates as her investigation takes her back in time to The Seagull, a once-decadent and now-derelict nightclub where her deceased father and his friends used to congregate. As Vera's past collides dangerously with the present, she will have to confront her unwanted memories and face the possibility that her father was involved in what happened. The truth is about to come out, but is Vera ready for what it will reveal? Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, The Moth Catcher and The Darkest Evening.

The Glass Room

The Glass Room

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2021

The Glass Room is the fifth book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera. Sometimes crime strikes too close to home . . . DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her neighbours keep her well-supplied in homebrew and conversation. But when one of them goes missing, her path leads her to more than a missing friend . . . Vera tracks the young woman down to the Writer's House, a country retreat for aspiring authors. Things get complicated when a body is discovered and Vera's neighbour is found with a knife in her hand. Calling in the team, Vera knows that she should hand the case over. She's too close to the main suspect. But the investigation is too tempting and she's never been one to follow the rules. Vera must find a killer who has taken murder off the page and is making it real . . . Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices, Harbour Street, The Moth Catcher, The Seagull and The Darkest Evening.

The Moth Catcher

The Moth Catcher

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2021

The Moth Catcher is the seventh book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera. As though to a flame, they were drawn to their deaths . . . Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, to look after the place while they're away. But Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane into the valley - a beautiful, lonely place to die. DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene and when searching the attic of the big house - where Patrick had a flat - she finds the body of a second man. The only thing connecting the two victims is a fascination with studying moths - and catching these beautiful, rare creatures. Those who live in the close-knit Valley Farm development have secrets too, and as Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be deadly secrets trapped there . . . Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices, The Glass Room, Harbour Street, The Moth Catcher and The Darkest Evening.

Silent Voices

Silent Voices

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

Silent Voices is the fourth book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera. No murder is ever simple . . . When DI Vera Stanhope finds the body of a woman in the sauna room of her local gym, at first, she thinks it is a death from natural causes. But then Vera spots ligature marks around the victim's throat and has another murder case on her hands. The victim is Jenny Lister, who was an experienced social worker, but her neighbours are quick to inform Vera about Jenny's involvement in a notorious case. A young child tragically died and a member of Jenny's team was subsequently fired and vilified by the media. As Vera tries to pry information from the secretive community another body is found, and Vera finds herself in a race against time to stop the killer. Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, The Glass Room, Harbour Street, The Moth Catcher, The Seagull, and The Darkest Evening.

The Crow Trap

The Crow Trap

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

Introducing Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope Everyone has something to hide . . . Three very different women come together at an isolated cottage on the North Pennines to complete an environmental survey. Three women who each know the meaning of betrayal . . . Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman, hiding plenty of her own secrets. Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, but when she gets there she is shocked to discover an apparent suicide. But then another death occurs, and a fourth woman enters the picture - the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women's tangled lives . . . The Crow Trap is the first book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn, Vera.

Telling Tales

Telling Tales

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

Telling Tales is the second book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera . They thought she was a murderer. But now she's a victim . . . Ten years ago fifteen-year-old Abigail Mantel was murdered, her cold body discovered lying in a ditch. Her father's girlfriend was found guilty of the crime. Now, evidence has emerged that proves her innocence and means that Abigail's killer still roams free. Abigail's best friend at the time of the murder has now returned to the East Yorkshire village of Elvet to raise her young family. Shocked by the new revelations, she begins to realize that she didn't know her friend as well as she thought . . . Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is tasked with uncovering the truth and, as her new inquiries stoke up past secrets the villagers will lie to protect, she must find out which lies will bring her to the killer. Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices, The Glass Room, Harbour Street, The Moth Catcher, The Seagull and The Darkest Evening.

Hidden Depths

Hidden Depths

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/11/2020

Hidden Depths is the third book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series - which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera. A killer who is making an art out of murder . . . A hot summer on the Northumberland coast and Julie Armstrong arrives home from a night out to find her son strangled, laid out in a bath of water and covered with wild flowers. This stylized murder scene has captured Inspector Vera Stanhope's attention. And then another body is discovered in a rock pool, the corpse again strewn with flowers. Vera must work quickly to find this killer who is making art out of death. As local residents are forced to share their deepest, darkest secrets, the killer watches, waits and plans to prepare another beautiful, watery grave . . . Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Silent Voices, The Glass Room, Harbour Street, The Moth Catcher, The Seagull, and The Darkest Evening.