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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

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, Vera. 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. Then Vera spots ligature marks around the victim's throat - death is never that simple . . . Vera revels being back in charge of an investigation again, working with Sergeant Joe Ashworth to find a motive. While Joe struggles to reconcile his home life with the demands of the case, death has never made Vera feel so alive. The duo investigates the victim's past and discovers a shocking case, involving a young child. Probing the secretive community, they try to stop a killer in the present who can't seem to let go of the past . . . Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, The Glass Room, Harbour Street, The Moth Catcher, and The Seagull.

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, Vera. 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 Inspector Vera Stanhope intrigued. But 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, and The Seagull.

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, Vera. Ten years after Jeanie Long was charged with the murder of fifteen-year-old Abigail Mantel, disturbing new evidence proving her innocence emerges in the East Yorkshire village of Elvet. Abigail's killer is still at large. For Emma Bennett, the revelation brings back haunting memories of her vibrant best friend - and of the fearful winter's day when she had discovered her body lying cold in a ditch. Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope makes fresh inquiries, and the villagers are hauled back to a time they would rather forget. Tensions begin to mount, but are people afraid of the killer, or of their own guilty pasts? Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices, The Glass Room, Harbour Street, The Moth Catcher, and The Seagull.

The Darkest Evening

The Darkest Evening

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2020

DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in Sunday Times bestseller Ann Cleeves' enduringly popular series. Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly. But the snow is so heavy, she becomes disoriented and loses her way. Ploughing on, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but when she inspects the car she is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat. Afraid they will freeze, Vera takes the child and drives on, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home she immediately recognizes as the house her father Hector grew up in. Inside Brockburn a party is in full swing, with music and laughter to herald the coming Christmas. But outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead and Vera knows immediately she has a new case. Could this woman be the child's mother, and if so, what happened to her? A classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, Ann Cleeves returns with a brilliant Vera novel to savour.

The Darkest Evening

The Darkest Evening

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 03/09/2020

DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in Sunday Times bestseller Ann Cleeves' enduringly popular series. Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly. But the snow is so heavy, she becomes disoriented and loses her way. Ploughing on, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but when she inspects the car she is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat. Afraid they will freeze, Vera takes the child and drives on, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home she immediately recognizes as the house her father Hector grew up in. Inside Brockburn a party is in full swing, with music and laughter to herald the coming Christmas. But outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead and Vera knows immediately she has a new case. Could this woman be the child's mother, and if so, what happened to her? A classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, Ann Cleeves returns with a brilliant Vera novel to savour.

The Darkest Evening

The Darkest Evening

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/09/2020

DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in Sunday Times bestseller Ann Cleeves' enduringly popular series. Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly. But the snow is so heavy, she becomes disoriented and loses her way. Ploughing on, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but when she inspects the car she is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat. Afraid they will freeze, Vera takes the child and drives on, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home she immediately recognizes as the house her father Hector grew up in. Inside Brockburn a party is in full swing, with music and laughter to herald the coming Christmas. But outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead and Vera knows immediately she has a new case. Could this woman be the child's mother, and if so, what happened to her? A classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, Ann Cleeves returns with a brilliant Vera novel to savour.

The Long Call

The Long Call

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 05/09/2019

The Long Call is the captivating first novel in the Two Rivers series from Sunday Times bestseller and creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves. In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father's funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too. Now he's back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose. A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew's new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. Finding the killer is Venn's only focus, and his team's investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

The Long Call

The Long Call

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

The Long Call is the captivating first novel in the Two Rivers series from Sunday Times bestseller and creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves. In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father's funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too. Now he's back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose. A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew's new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. Finding the killer is Venn's only focus, and his team's investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

The Long Call

The Long Call

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/08/2019

The Long Call is the captivating first novel in the Two Rivers series from Sunday Times bestseller and creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves. In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father's funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too. Now he's back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose. A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew's new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. Finding the killer is Venn's only focus, and his team's investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

Wild Fire

Wild Fire

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Wild Fire is the eighth, and final book, in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama starring Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez. Shetland: Welcoming. Wild. Remote. Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, an English family move to the area, 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, knowing that it will mean the return to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves, who will run the case. Perez is facing the most disturbing investigation of his career. Is he ready for what is to come?

Wild Fire

Wild Fire

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/07/2018

Wild Fire is the eighth, and final book, in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series - a major BBC One drama starring Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez. Shetland: Welcoming. Wild. Remote. Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, an English family move to the area, 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, knowing that it will mean the return to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves, who will run the case. Perez is facing the most disturbing investigation of his career. Is he ready for what is to come?

A Bird in the Hand

A Bird in the Hand

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/06/2018

A Bird in the Hand is the first novel featuring George and Molly Palmer-Jones by Ann Cleeves, author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope crime series. In England's birdwatching paradise, a new breed has been sighted - a murderer . . . Young Tom French was found dead, lying in a marsh on the Norfolk coast, with his head bashed in and his binoculars still around his neck. One of the best birders in England, Tom had put the village of Rushy on the birdwatching map. Everyone liked him. Or did they? George Palmer-Jones, an elderly birdwatcher who decided quietly to look into the brutal crime, discovered mixed feelings aplenty. Still, he remained baffled by a deed that could have been motivated by thwarted love, pure envy, or something else altogether. But as he and his fellow twitchers flocked from Norfolk to Scotland to the Scilly Isles, in response to rumours of rare sightings, George - with help from his lovely wife, Molly - gradually discerned the true markings of a killer. All he had to do was prove it . . . before the murderer strikes again.

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/06/2018

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy is the third novel in the Inspector Ramsay series by Ann Cleeves, author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope crime series. For Dorothea Cassidy Thursdays were special. Every week she would look forward to the one day she could call her own, and would plan to visit people she wanted to see as a welcome respite from the routine duties that being a vicar's wife entailed. But one Thursday in June was to be more special than any other. It was the day that Dorothea Cassidy was strangled. As the small town of Otterbridge prepares for its summer carnival, Inspector Stephen Ramsay begins a painstaking reconstruction of Dorothea's last hours. He soon discovers that she had taken on a number of deserving cases - a sick and lonely old woman, a disturbed adolescent, a compulsive gambler, a single mother with a violent boyfriend and a child in care - and even her close family have their secrets to hide. All these people are haunted, in one way or another, by Dorothea's goodness. But which of them could have possibly wanted her dead? It is not until a second body is discovered that Ramsay starts to understand how Dorothea lived - and why she died. With the carnival festivities in full swing and dusk falling in Otterbridge, Ramsay's murder investigation reaches its chilling climax . . .

The Seagull

The Seagull

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/01/2018

The Seagull is Ann Cleeves' searing eighth novel in the bestselling Vera Stanhope series, about corruption deep in the heart of a community, and about fragile, and fracturing, family relationships. Shrewd. Smart. Challenging. Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is on the case. When prison inmate and former police officer John Brace says he's willing to give up information about a long-dead wheeler dealer 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? The Vera Stanhope series has been adapted as the smash-hit TV series, Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn. Enjoy more of Vera Stanhope's investigations with The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices, The Glass Room, Harbour Street, and The Moth Catcher.

Die Tote im roten Kleid

Die Tote im roten Kleid

Author: Ann Cleeves Format: eBook Release Date: 24/01/2018

Eine Lawine aus Schlamm und DreckEs ist dunkel und kalt in Shetland. Seit Monaten regnet es. Auf dem Weg ins Tal reit das Wasser gewaltige Erdmassen mit sich, die Teile des kleinen rtchens Ravenswick unter sich begraben. Bei den Aufrumarbeiten findet man in den Trmmern eines Hauses die Leiche einer unbekannten Frau in blutrotem Seidenkleid. Kommissar Jimmy Perez will wissen, wer sie ist - doch stt er bei den Inselbewohnern auf eine Mauer des Schweigens. Als sich herausstellt, dass die Frau ermordet wurde, ruft Perez seine alte Kollegin Willow Reeves aus Inverness zu Hilfe. Die ist noch nicht vor Ort, da gibt es bereits das zweite Opfer ...