Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves

About Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is the author behind ITV’s VERA and BBC One’s SHETLAND. She has written over twenty-five novels, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print. Her books have now sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Ann 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 British northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black, the first book in her Shetland series. In 2012 she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame. Ann lives in North Tyneside.

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Latest book


Books by Ann Cleeves

  • Shetland
  • The Moth Catcher
  • Thin Air
  • Raven Black
  • White Nights
  • Red Bones
  • Blue Lightning
  • Offshore: a short story collection
  • The Mill on the Shore
  • Sea Fever
  • Another Man's Poison
  • The Baby-Snatcher
  • The Healers
  • High Island Blues
  • A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy
  • A Bird in the Hand
  • Come Death and High Water
  • Murder in Paradise
  • A Prey to Murder
  • A Lesson in Dying
  • Murder in My Backyard
  • Killjoy
  • Harbour Street
  • Dead Water
  • The Sleeping and the Dead
  • Burial of Ghosts
  • Dead Water
  • The Glass Room
  • The Glass Room
  • Silent Voices
  • Silent Voices
  • Hidden Depths
  • The Crow Trap
  • Hidden Depths
  • Blue Lightning
  • The Crow Trap
  • Telling Tales

News and events

Vera returns to ITV
Ann Cleeves' Vera returns to ITV for a fouth series from 27 April 2014. Photo (c) ITV.

Ann Cleeves on her Vera Stanhope novels

Award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves talks about the TV adaptation of her Vera Stanhope series (now the major ITV drama VERA), the inspiration behind her unlikely heroine, and her next book.

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Short Stories - Hector's Other Woman

On impulse Vera took herself off to Holy Island. She had a sudden craving for crab sandwiches and a blast of sea air. Of course she hadn’t stopped to check tide times, but arrived at Beal just in time. Hector’s Land Rover made it across the causeway as the water was blowing in and the last tourist cars splashed back to the mainland. It was a big tide of the autumn equinox and a blustery north-easterly wind carried sharp showers of rain. Arriving at the Snook there was a rainbow, and Lindisfarne castle in the distance like an illustration from a child’s picture book.

The hotel looking over the harbour had rooms free and again on impulse Vera chose the grandest. It was a little shabby but large with windows on two sides, one facing the priory and the other the Herring Houses and the castle beyond. The receptionist made no comment. The island was used to visitors of all sorts: trippers and romantics and pilgrims. Perhaps she thought Vera was a nun in mufti, a nun with expensive tastes.

Vera left her bag in her room and walked out. She hated the island when it was full of visitors, but midweek in November once the tide came in, there were only locals and the occasional mad tourist. Walking through the village she saw there was a house for sale right next to the pub. Perhaps she should retire here once they forced her out of the police service. But she knew she’d never leave the house in the hills, the house where she’d grown up, where she’d lived with Hector. Her father, deceased. The man who most haunted her dreams.

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