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Vera Stanhope Books In Order

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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

The Vera Stanhope series is a novel series in the crime fiction and mystery genres. The series was written by the award winning novelist from Herefordshire, United Kingdom, Ann Cleeves. All the novels of the series were published by the Pan MacMillan publishing house. The series features Vera Stanhope as the main protagonist along with other prominent characters. Vera works as a detective police inspector in the City Police Department of northern England. The author has described her character as a witty and courageous woman with a bad temper. . The series became an instant hit all over England and was eventually adapted into a television series of the same name. Actor Brenda Blethyn was chosen to play the role of the central character, detective Vera Stanhope. A total of four television series’ have been made based on the series, each having 16 episodes.

The first novel of the series was titled ‘The Crow Trap’ and was published in the year 1999 by the Pan MacMillan publishing house. The novel depicts the first appearance of protagonist Vera Stanhope as a detective inspector in England. The novel was adapted as a television show in the third episode of the TV series of the name by Stephen Brady. The plot of the novel is set in Northumberland, England. In the opening sequence of the novel, three women are depicted as coming together for working on the project of an environmental survey in the isolated Baikie’s Cottage in North Pennines. The women had seen betrayals in their past life in some way or the other and are now well acquainted with its every form. The first woman is described as Rachael Lambert, who has been betrayed twice by her boss and lover, Peter Kemp. She is now the team leader of the environmental survey project and finds it as a great opportunity to get over the sadness of her love life. Another woman, Anne Preece also deals with similar problems in her life. She is a botanist by profession and looks at the project as a deception from her problems.

The last woman on the team is Grace Fulwell, who also has a plenty of miserable secrets to hide. She is depicted as a strange and uncommunicative woman with a distinct behavior. However, things do not go as they had expected as they begin to suffer from some more serious problems while working on the project. When Rachael reaches the cottage, she finds the dead body of one of her friends Bella Furness. The horrifying incident appears to be a suicide, however, Rachael finds it difficult to accept that Bella had committed suicide. Soon, another death occurs in a similar fashion, after which Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is handed over the job of investigating the deaths. She begins to dig into the tangled lives of the three women in order to find whether there was any link between them and the death incidents. Vera becomes successful in finding some pieces of important clues in her investigations, but faces a tough job in trying to solve the puzzles behind the clues. However, she shows a firm determination to find the murderer by leaving no stone unturned in her attempt to study the lives of Rachael, Anne and Grace.

The second installment of the Vera Stanhope series was published in the year 2000 after with the title ‘Telling Tales’. The publishing house Pan MacMillan published the novel in a Paperback edition. This novel continues to show the thrill and adventure in the life of detective Vera Stanhope. The author Ann Cleeves has set the plot of this novel in a small village in East Yorkshire, just like she did in the first novel of the series. The opening plot of the novel shows the turning up of some important evidences that prove the innocence of Jeanie Long in relation to a crime around ten years ago. Jeanie was charged with the murder of a 15-year old girl named Abigail Mantel in the past and was sentenced to serve life imprisonment as a punishment for the crime. With significant proofs of her innocence, she was about to come out of imprisonment. However, she commits suicide in her prison before facing the people who had accused her for killing a child. On hearing the news of Jeanie’s death, Abigail’s best friend Emma Bennet becomes restless once again. She begins to think about the murderer of Abigail who was still at large after learning that Jeanie was not the one who had killed her.

Detective Vera Stanhope is once again given the responsibility of investigating and important murder case. She begins to carry out fresh inquiries among the people of Elvet, a small village in East Yorkshire, where Abigail and Emma used to live as teenagers. Vera Stanhope sees many possible suspects who seem uneasy and vulnerable. Some of them even looked guilty, but she could not do anything against them because of the lack of a valid proof. Soon, another murder takes place and the investigations take a frightening turn. Now, Vera is required to investigate double murders which were becoming a difficult job for her to carry out. But, she does not stop with her investigations and shows utter determination in bringing out the truth about the deaths and bring the killer to justice. Along with the support of Emma Bennett, she keeps digging deeper into the secret lives of the prime suspects and tries to link all the pieces of clues together to catch the murderer as soon as possible. The novel was appreciated very much by the readers for its well-paced and intriguing plot. Author Ann Cleeves was also praised for her rich description of the protagonist Vera Stanhope as a fierce detective inspector. The readers found the characters and the setting to be lively and enjoyed reading it till the very end. This motivated Ann Cleeves to write more novels in the series. She continues to do so even today.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Vera Stanhope

One Response to “Vera Stanhope”

  1. Anita Swigart: 3 years ago

    I’m looking for the books that have not been part of the tv series. Can anyone help?


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