Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope books in order

If you're a fan of ITV's award-winning TV series Vera, you'll love the Vera Stanhope books series by Ann Cleeves on which the drama is based.

Beginning with The Crow Trap, the Vera Stanhope series is the bestselling and critically-acclaimed collection of crime novels set in Northumberland, written by award-winning author Ann Cleeves. The series has been made into a hit detective drama on ITV1, starring Brenda Blethyn as Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope of the Northumbria Police Force, which is currently filming its fourteenth and final season.

Whether you're ready to start with the first novel in the series or you're looking for the new Vera book, here are all Anne Cleeves's Vera Stanhope books in order. 

What is the next book in the Vera Stanhope series?

Coming out on the 29 August 2024, The Dark Wives is the next book in the Vera Stanhope series and is available to pre-order now. 

The Dark Wives

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Dark Wives

A man’s body is found by a local dog walker on the common outside Rosebank, a care home for trouble teens. The victim is Josh, a staff member. DI Vera Stanhope is called out to investigate the death. Her only clue is the disappearance of one of the home’s residents, fourteen-year-old Chloe Spence. Vera can’t bring herself to believe that a teenager is responsible for the murder, but even she can’t dismiss the possibility. Vera, Joe and new team member Rosie Bell are soon embroiled in the case, and when a second body is found near the Three Dark Wives landmark, superstition and folklore begin to collide with fact.

The Vera Stanhope books in order

The Crow Trap

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Crow Trap

The first book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

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 is the first to arrive at the cottage, where she discovers the body of her friend, Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide – a verdict Rachael refuses to accept. When another death occurs, a fourth woman enters the picture – the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope . . .

Telling Tales

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for Telling Tales

The second book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

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. 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?

Hidden Depths

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for Hidden Depths

The third book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

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.

Silent Voices

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for Silent Voices

The fourth book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

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.

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The Glass Room

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Glass Room

The fifth book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her hippy 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 where aspiring authors work on their stories. Things get complicated when a body is discovered and Vera's neighbour is found with a knife in her hand.

Harbour Street

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for Harbour Street

The sixth book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

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. 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 –  and she's sure the local residents know more than they are letting on. 

The Moth Catcher

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Moth Catcher

The seventh book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

Life seems perfect in Valley Farm. 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. DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, with her detectives Holly and Joe. When they look round the attic of the big house, she finds the body of a second man. All the two victims have in common is a fascination with moths and catching these beautiful, rare creatures.

The Seagull

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Seagull

The eighth book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her that Marshall is dead, his body buried close to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay. However, when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two . . . 

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The Darkest Evening

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Darkest Evening

The ninth book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

When she comes across a car slewed off the road while driving home during a terrible blizzard Vera is shocked to find the driver's seat empty but a toddler strapped in the back seat. Vera takes the child to the first house she comes to, a stately home where her own father grew up. Inside a Christmas party is in full swing, but outside a woman – possibly the child's mother – lies dead . . .

The Rising Tide

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Rising Tide

The tenth book in Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series

Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island. They still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember a friend they once lost to the rising waters of the causeway. Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now . . .

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Raven Black

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for Raven Black

Raven Black is the first novel in Ann Cleeves’ crime fiction series Shetland, which is now a hit TV series on BBC One starring Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez. In the first instalment in the series, the strangled body of a teenage girl is discovered by a neighbour on a bitterly cold January morning. The community are quick to suspect loner Magnus Tait, and suspicion and fear soon engulf the small island. Led by Detective Inspector Perez, the police must search out the killer before they strike again.

The Long Call

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Long Call

The Long Call is the first novel in Ann Cleeve’s latest crime fiction series. Detective Matthew Venn has returned to North Devon where he grew up in, and ultimately turned his back on, a strict evangelical community, losing his family in the process. He’s returned, not only because he is mourning the death of his father, but because he is taking on his first case in the Two Rivers region. A man has been found stabbed to death on the beach, and Venn’s investigation will take him straight to the heart of the community he left behind. 

The Sleeping and the Dead

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Sleeping and the Dead

In this standalone crime thriller from Ann Cleeves, Detective Peter Porteous is called to Cranwell Lake where the body of a teenager has been discovered. After trawling through the missing persons files, he comes to the conclusion that the corpse is Michael Grey, an enigmatic and secretive young man who was reported missing by his foster parents in 1972. The news report that a body has been found leaves prison officer Hannah Morton in shock. Michael had been her boyfriend, and she had been with him the night he disappeared. And now the discovery is bringing back dreaded and long buried memories from her past . . .

Ann explains how she started writing the Vera Stanhope series and shares what it's like to see your books adapted into a television programme: