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Ann Cleeves Books In Order

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Publication Order of Palmer-Jones Books

A Bird in the Hand (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Come Death And High Water (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder In Paradise (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Prey To Murder (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Another Man's Poison (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sea Fever (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mill On The Shore (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
High Island Blues (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Inspector Ramsay Books

A Lesson In Dying (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder In My Backyard (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killjoy (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Healers (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Baby Snatcher (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Vera Stanhope Books

The Crow Trap (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Telling Tales (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hidden Depths (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silent Voices (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Glass Room (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Harbour Street (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moth Catcher (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seagull (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Frozen (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Darkest Evening (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Woman on the Island (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rising Tide (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Wives (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Shetland Island Books

Publication Order of Shetland Island Non-Fiction Books

Publication Order of Two Rivers Books

The Long Call (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Heron's Cry (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girls on the Shore (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Raging Storm (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Sleeping and the Dead (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burial of Ghosts (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Dreaming of Rain and Peter Lovesey (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Publication Order of Anthologies

Best Eaten Cold and Other Stories: A Murder Squad Anthology(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Library Book(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10.(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deadly Pleasures(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Starlings & Other Stories(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crime Writers: A Decade of Crime(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ten Year Stretch(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bloody Scotland(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Many Deadly Returns(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Unnecessary Assassin(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killin’ Time in San Diego: Bouchercon Anthology 2023(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ann Cleeves is a British author who is best known for her work with Crime Fiction. She was born in 1954 in England and grew up in the English countryside. She spent her childhood living in Herefordshire until her family moved her to North Devon. Cleeves comes from fairly working class background, as her father was a teacher in a local school. She had a happy and simple childhood.

Her adult life is interesting, as she did not graduate from college immediately as you may expect from a published and acclaimed writer. Her adult life began in quite the opposite way actually as Ann dropped out of University after only a short time. She went on to work in a variety of different jobs, most of which she considered temporary and uninteresting. She was everything from a child-care officer to a women’s refuge leader and she was even the cook in a bird observatory.

However, it was not until she eventually decided to go back to college to become a probation officer that she felt she had found her true calling. Despite the fact that her previous occupations had almost no impact on her current writing work, she did find something very important in one of her random jobs. It was while working in the bird observatory that she met her now husband, Tim.

Cleeves has joked previously that it was not Tim’s looks that attracted her to him, but simply the bottle of whisky that was peeking out of his backpack. This got her attention immediately. From then on Ann and Time were inseparable and they were married soon after. They had not known each other long before they married, but despite this, their marriage is still strong. Meeting Tim changed Ann’s life. Soon after they were married, Tim was appointed as a Warden on the small island of Hilbre.

This is a tiny island nature reserve. This island was so small that they were the only inhabitants and access to the mainland was extremely difficult. The island is a bird lover’s dream and therefore the move was perfect for her husband, but this was never Ann’s interest. Therefore, it was on this remote Island, away from civilization that Ann Cleeves began writing.

This move may have been the most important move of Cleeves life, as it was where her love and talent for writing started. By 1987, the Cleeves family, which now included two young daughters, moved to Northumberland. This is why so many of her novels use the Northumberland as their main setting.

The saying goes, “you write what you know” and at this point in her life, Ann knew the area very well. However, it was always Ann and her husbands dream to eventually settle in the Northeast and in 2006, they finally did. Both her daughters are now happily married to men from Newcastle, England.

Books by Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves has written many novels in her time that focus on crime fiction. She has a way of keeping her readers interested and intrigued enough to ensure they are always asking for more. From her first book, A Bird in the Hand, which was published back in 1986 to some of her most recent work such as award winning novel, Black Raven, Ann’s writing has proven her undeniable talent, time and time again.

One of the most successful book series that Ann Cleeves has written are the Inspector Ramsey books. This six part series was released throughout the 1990s and is now become so successful that copies of the books have become collector’s items. This series is a perfect example of how Ann’s surroundings affected her work as they are set mainly in her then home, Northumberland.

The protagonist, Inspector Ramsey made his debut appearance in the 1990 novel, A Lesson in Dying. This novel takes place in a small, uninteresting town. However this changes very dramatically when the Head Master of the local school is murdered. Throughout the novel, there are a lot of plot twists that make Inspector Ramsey’s mission to get to the truth even more exciting.

There is a vulnerability to Ramsey’s character that Cleeves successfully portrays through the lack of faith that the town’s people seem to have in his ability to find out the truth. The false leads that the school’s caretaker and his daughter bring to the plot continuously surprise the reader. This novel is an example of very early work from Ann Cleeves, however the moving yet endearing plot ensures that it has stood the test of time as an important work of crime fiction.

Another novel from this series is The Baby Snatcher. This was published in 1997 and is the last book in the Inspector Ramsey series. As any writer, Ann’s work continues to grow meaning that The Baby Snatcher is just as thrilling, if not more than the earlier work in the series. This book is about Inspector Ramsey’s interactions with a young girl named Marilyn Howe. When she appears on his doorstep acting distressed and claiming that her mother has gone missing, he kindly invites her in.

However, after returning young Marilyn to her home in Headland, it is clear that her mother is safe and well. The real plot begins a few months later, when Inspector Ramsey has forgotten all about the incident, when Marilyn’s mother goes missing for real. It is then that he is forced to investigate the strange goings on in the coastal town of Headland. Cleeves uses her unique style of writing once again to bring the readers into this twisted yet charming novel.


The character of DI Vera Stanhope, is not only one of Anne Cleeves most remarkable and moving characters, but thanks to the television series Vera, she is also one the most successful. The character of Vera appears in six novels and this sassy detective has proven entertaining for even those who have not read the novels. Vera is now on its fourth television series and airs on the British television channel known as ITV. The very successful actress Brenda Blethyn portrays Vera, which has undoubtedly added to the success of the show. Anne Cleeves is very proud of this and is delighted by the overwhelming success of the series.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ann Cleeves

17 Responses to “Ann Cleeves”

  1. Brenda Schrampfer: 3 months ago

    I adore “VERA”, irascible, old softie. Read all of her’s. All of Shetland, Watched all the series, even veared off to watch Brenda Blythen in other dramas. What can I say but smitten.

  2. H D Taunton: 4 months ago

    My wife & I subscribe to Britbox..We first were introduced to DI Vera Stanhope then came Jimmy Perez…..We have been entrolled by the work & mysterious way that these series go…
    The characters are excellent portrayed in each series.. Much like Agatha Christie,s works, Ann Cleeves. Make each character have their own problems,own personality, & very unique “quirks”
    We will not miss any of them..

  3. Jo Hobbs-Brown: 12 months ago

    Why is Matthew Venn not mentioned anywhere? I think there are three books but…..

    • Graeme: 12 months ago

      They are listed above, under the Two Rivers series.

  4. Vanessa Lewis: 1 year ago

    I love every one of your series! My sister and I live for the next book! The shows Shetland and Vera are so well done I have watched them several times over. I will listen to your books on audio as I go about my day and I enjoy them over and over.

  5. Rebecca Robinson: 1 year ago

    I enjoyed watching Vera and Shetland, but think that they should also be available as Audio books too? Thanks,Rebecca Robinson

  6. Bex: 1 year ago

    I’m in love with your characters and how you are able
    To weave their lives together. Vera is one of my favorites. Her wit and impatience is amusing and yet you’re able to show her softness and vulnerability. Your Shetland series holds a special place in my heart as does the character of Jimmy. May you keep on writing, Ms. Cleeves.

  7. Sheila Doan: 1 year ago

    I have read almost all of your books.
    I met you when you came to Oakville on. Canada.
    I enjoyed your talk on Shetland. My father was from the Orkney Isles.I have visited there. Wild and beautiful at the same time.
    Thank you Ann for all of the enjoyment you have given me.

  8. Blair Hull: 1 year ago

    I am in love with your writing. Books, audio books and what a great job has been done with Vera and Shetland on TV…I will see you in June at Shetland Noir…can’t wait.

  9. MS WENDY DAVIES: 1 year ago


  10. Linda Johnson: 2 years ago

    I decided to write you, Mrs. Cleaves, to say, “THANK YOU, for your writing! I live in America and have seen your name on various of my favorite series- Vera & Shetland’s chief, Perez!
    On a bad day, when absolutely everything has been a downer, nothing with the exception of a prayer session, can be depended upon to bring me back to the joyful state but your writing!

    I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, God Bless You for using your divinely-ordained gift. I pray your writing has given you half as much pleasure as reading your writing has given me! Cheers! ✔️💯🙂✝️💟

  11. Laraine M Pecsek: 2 years ago

    Will there be any more books on the Two Rivers Series. I just Love Matthew and Jonathan.

  12. Trina Olson: 2 years ago

    Just got Britt Box & discovered Shetland, Ann Cleeves characters. I may even like these better than Vera.

  13. Laurel J Libby: 2 years ago

    I love the television series “Vera”. That is what prompted me to start reading Ann Cleeves books.

  14. Deb Hough: 2 years ago

    Absolutely love the Vera and Shetland series!!!! Highly recommend Thank you Ann Cleeves; appreciate ya!

  15. Louisa Alice Clark: 2 years ago

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Vera, Ramsay and Jimmy can’t wait for a new adventure with one or all of the above.

  16. Mrs. Outi Carson: 3 years ago

    “Vera” is how in its eleventh television series. Found out today that it’s based on books. Loving the tv series, only in second series, and will certainly read the books after I finish watching.


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