Ann Cleeves

I’ve just finished watching the latest series of Vera on Britbox. I LOVE Vera! I’m working through the books now. Recently started following Brenda Blethyn and Ann Cleeves on Twitter. Ann mentioned an interview on Desert Island Discs and I listened and discovered her husband was diagnosed Bi-Polar in mid-life! He had dealt with depression all his life. He was in psychiatric hospital several times before he was accurately diagnosed. I, of course, found this very interesting! She talks about laying next to a husband she felt like she didn’t even know. I can definitely relate to that! Here are a couple radio interviews with her…

Desert Island Discs     and     Australia Radio Interview   and a short article.

Bello has brought back her older series from the 1990’s, the Inspector Ramsay books! I’m looking forward to getting my hands on them! They are based in Northumberland also. There are six of them.

She is also writing the first book in a new series, Twin Rivers series featuring Matthew Venn. It’s set in Devon.

The interview on Australian radio is lengthy but so good!

White Nights

by Ann Cleeves – Shetland Series book 2

In this second thriller of the highly acclaimed Shetland Island series featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez, the launch of an exhibition at the Herring House art gallery is disturbed by a stranger who bursts into tears, then claims not to remember who he is or where he comes from. The next day he’s found dead. Set in midsummer, the book captures the unsettling nature of a landscape where the sun never quite sets and where people are not as they first seem.


Another fantastic book by Ann Cleeves! Excellent plot with an ending you will not be suspecting! I was so sure I knew ‘who did it’ and I was so wrong! You’ll be holding your breathe the last couple of pages!

I really like the unfolding of Perez’s relationship with Fran. The TV series has her already dead from the get go and we miss all that. And the descriptions of the ‘arctic’ light with the sun never setting in the summer was superb!

I checked this out at the library and will have to buy them a new book as this one took a swim in Horse Creek! We took the grandkids swimming at the waterfalls there and I thought I would sit on a rock and read, The water is ‘as-cold’, as the locals say with their accents! My 10 year old grandson loves getting to say ice cream, ice cold… with the accent  because he thinks he’s getting away with saying a naughty word! :0 Anyway I sat the book on the rock while I got myself sat down and it slid off and started floating down the stream! I yelled that’s a library book and Bossman grabbed it. It’s a little ‘puffy’ now and the pages are hard to turn. Oh well, at least its a wonderful read since I have to pay for it!

Raven Black

by Ann Cleeves   – first in the Shetland series

11266877Long a celebrated crime writer in Britain, Ann cleeves’ fame went international when she won the coveted Duncan Laurie Dagger for this amazing suspense novel. Like Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse or Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks, Cleeves’ new detective, Inspector Jimmy Perez, is a very private and perceptive man whose bailiwick is a remote hamlet in the Shetland Islands.

It is a cold January morning and Shetland lies beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter’s eye is drawn to a splash of color on the frozen ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbor, Catherine Ross.

The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man – loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when detective Jimmy Perez and his colleagues from the mainland insist on opening out the investigation, a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community. For the first time in years, Catherine’s neighbors nervously lock their doors, while a killer lives on in their midst.

MV5BZTViMGI2MjQtM2Y5Yi00OTYyLWE0OWQtNmU2NDNjYWM2MzY3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjExMjk0ODk@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,707,1000_AL_After watching the ITV series Shetland  I finally decided I needed to read the books in order. Absolutely LOVED this book! The physical description of Perez in the book is nothing like Douglas Henshall, but that’s okay. I love Douglas as Perez so it didn’t matter.

Cleeves’ characterizations are amazing. Her characters are so well drawn and convincing. Especially the troubled ones. You are immediately drawn into their lives and when your done with the book you’ll be thinking about them and wishing you weren’t finished yet because you really need to involved in their world! And the sense of place is amazing!

This one had such an unexpected conclusion! I can’t wait to get the next one in the series and I think I’m going to go to Netflix and re-watch the episode Raven Black from this book. Thankfully my library system has all these books! I’m hooked, Ann Cleeves has to be one of my favorite writers now.

A Prey to Murder

by Ann Cleeves  1989

IMG_1044Eleanor Masefield could be very difficult to handle, but murdering her seemed a bit extreme…

It was Eleanor Masefield’s own idea to sponsor an Open Day at her beautiful Gorse Hill Hotel – a celebration designed to raise funds for the protection of the local peregrine falcons that had been the obsession of her late husband.

But by teatime on Open Day Eleanor lay dead in the weathering grounds of the beautiful birds of prey that had been a major attraction of the afternoon.

Amateur detective George Palmer-Jones, who had always been a little in love with Eleanor, vowed to find her murderer.

This is the fourth book in the George and Molly Palmer-Jones series.George is an elderly birdwatcher – helped by his wife Molly. I didn’t even know Cleeves had other books besides Vera and Shetland! There are eight in this series and the first one, A Bird in Hand, was Cleeves first book published in 1986.

I really enjoyed this little book. The setting in the world of falconry, birds of prey conservationist and the illegal world of wild bird snatching for profit was quite interesting. And the lovely old home turned into a hotel was a nice touch. Interesting characters and family dynamics. I especially like the relationship between George and Molly.  Many good suspects and motives presented and I did not guess who did it! Well done, Ms. Cleeves!

I also have book six in this series. I’d like to find all of them and read them in order. They have been republished for Kindle and print on demand paperback at Amazon. I found my copies at a used book store. Have you read any of these?

A Bird in Hand
Come Death and High Water
Murder in Paradise
A Prey to Murder
Another Man’s Poison
Sea Fever
The Mill on the Shore
High Island Blues

This fulfills the “during a special event” category under “when” in the silver era Just the Facts Notebook @My Reader’s Block.


Finished watching the 4th series of Shetland last night. It made me cry. What a powerful season this was. Have you watched any of this series? If not I highly recommend those of you who live in America get Britbox and start watching! Do the 7 day free trial and watch all 6 episodes in that week if nothing else. Really, its that good!

Stephen Walters played Thomas Malone, the man who was in prison for 23 years and released when his conviction was quashed. What an amazing actor! I was so drawn into his character and so invested in him immediately. I watched 3 episodes at a time because I just couldn’t pull myself away from his story.  Thomas Malone is a very ‘unlovely’ character that breaks your heart. I’ve probably seen him in bit parts over the years. He is a DCI in the first season of Little Boy Blue which is on Britbox now also. I’m planning on watching that this week to see what he is like in a different character. Kate commented a few posts ago that with Acorn and Britbox I won’t get anything done for watching TV and I can see she is exactly right!

Series 5 is filming now! I think I’d have to say that Shetland is my favorite TV show. Looking forward to another season and reading the books. My library has them so I’m stopping in today and getting Black Raven, the first in the Shetland series. Ann Cleeves has a nice website. Check it out!