Book Order by Series

Vera Stanhope Books in Order

Vera Stanhope Books in Order

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Vera Stanhope is the main character in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series.  Cleeves is best known for winning the inaugural Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the highest crime writing award. Ann Cleeves studied English at Sussex University.  She dropped out before graduating and worked as a cook, an officer, and a childcare officer.

Vera Stanhope’s books can be considered character-driven. Vera Stanhope works as a Detective Inspector in Northumberland. And you won’t find her playing politics behind the desk, as she enjoys doing the dirty work. Vera had a lonely childhood. Her father was a hunter who would often take Vera with him. It wasn’t a great experience, but the skills she learned made her a capable police officer. She has an introspective personality and can understand criminal intentions. She is significantly older than most of her colleagues and subordinates, but she’s a fantastic detective.  And when women who have dealt with betrayal start dying, Vera Stanhope proves to be the right person to find the killer.

Vera Stanhope Books in order 

Vera Stanhope

  1. The Crow Trap (1999)
  2. Telling Tales (2005)
  3. Hidden Depths (2007)
  4. Silent Voices (2010)
  5. The Glass Room (2012)
  6. Harbour Street (2014)
  7. The Moth Catcher (2015)
  8. The Seagull (2017)
  9. Frozen (2020)
  10. The Darkest Evening (2020)

Similar authors

  • Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache follows the village life in Three Pines. The inspector finds long-buried secrets and faces his ghosts.
  • Elly Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway follows Ruth Galloway as she investigates a case involving child’s bones found on a beach, thought to be of a girl who went missing ten years prior. See also: Elly Griffiths Books in Order.

See also: Ian Rutledge Books in Order.

 Most recommended books

  1. The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9) (4.30 Goodreads score)
  2. The Seagull (Vera Stanhope #8) (4.22 Goodreads score)
  3. Wild Fire (Shetland Island, #8) (4.21 Goodreads score)
  4. Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope, #6) (4.14 Goodreads score)
  5. Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope, #4) (4.11 Goodreads score)

Movies based on the series

Vera, a British crime drama series based on the Vera Stanhope books, premiered on ITV in 2011, starring  Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope.

Upcoming releases

The Rising Tide, the next book in Ann Cleeves’ The Vera Stanhope Series, will be released on September 1st, 2022.


Book summaries

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The Crow Trap (1999)

 

Three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey on the Northumberland countryside. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal….For team leader Rachael Lambert the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double-betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide…When Rachael arrives at the cottage, however, she is horrified to discover the body of her friend Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide–a verdict Rachael finds impossible to accept. Only when the next death occurs does a fourth woman enter the picture–the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women’s tangled lives in The Crow Trap.


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Telling Tales (2005)

It has been ten years since Jeanie Long was charged with the murder of fifteen-year-old Abigail Mantel. Now residents of the East Yorkshire village of Elvet are disturbed to hear of new evidence proving Jeanie’s innocence. Abigail’s killer is still at large. For one young woman, Emma Bennett, the revelation brings back haunting memories of her vibrant best friend–and of that fearful winter’s day when she had discovered her body lying cold in a ditch. As Inspector Vera Stanhope makes fresh inquiries on the peninsula and villagers are hauled back to a time they hoped to forget, tensions begin to mount. But are people afraid of the killer or of their own guilty pasts? With each person’s story revisited, the Inspector begins to suspect that some deadly secrets are threatening to unfurl…


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Hidden Depths (2007)

On a hot summer on the Northumberland coast, Julie Armstrong arrives home from a night out to find her son murdered. Luke has been strangled, laid out in a bath of water, and covered with wildflowers. This stylized murder scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team intrigued. But now, Vera must work quickly to find this killer who is making art out of death. As local residents are forced to share their private lives, sinister secrets are slowly unearthed. And all the while the killer remains in their midst, waiting for an opportunity to prepare another beautiful, watery grave…


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Silent Voices (2010)

When Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope finds the body of a woman in the steam room of her local gym, she wonders briefly if, for once, it’s a death from natural causes. But closer inspection reveals bruises around the victim’s throat…As she leads her team, Vera relishes the thrill she gets from running an investigation. Death has never made her feel so alive. But soon, the victim’s past reveals a shocking secret at the heart of Vera’s community, as she tries to stop a killer who wants deadly secrets kept silent. Singular, complex, and fiercely loyal, Vera has quickly become an iconic British detective loved by millions both on the page and on-screen, and Silent Voices showcases Ann Cleeves as a writer at the peak of her powers.


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The Glass Room (2012)

DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her hippy neighbors keep her well-supplied in homebrew and conversation, and somehow bonds have formed. When one of them goes missing, 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 neighbor is found with a knife in her hand. Calling in the team, Vera knows that she should hand the case over. She’s too close to the main suspect. But the investigation is too tempting, and she’s never been one to follow the rules. Somewhere there is a killer who has taken murder off the page and is making it real . . .


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Harbour Street (2014)

As the snow falls thickly on Newcastle, the shouts and laughter of Christmas revelers break the muffled silence. Detective Joe Ashworth and his daughter Jessie are swept along in the jostling crowd onto the Metro. But when the train is stopped due to the bad weather, and the other passengers fade into the swirling snow, Jessie notices that one lady hasn’t left the train: Margaret Krukowski has been fatally stabbed. Arriving at the scene, DI Vera Stanhope is relieved to have an excuse to escape the holiday festivities. As she stands on the silent, snow-covered station platform, Vera feels a familiar buzz of anticipation, sensing that this will be a complex and unusual case. Then, just days later, a second woman is murdered. Vera knows that to find the key to this new killing she needs to understand what had been troubling Margaret so deeply before she died – before another life is lost. She can feel in her bones that there’s a link. Retracing Margaret’s final steps, Vera finds herself searching deep into the hidden past of this seemingly innocent neighborhood, led by clues that keep revolving around one street…Harbour Street.


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The Moth Catcher (2015)

Life seems perfect in the quiet community of Valley Farm. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist, to look after the place while they’re away. But his dead body is found by the side of the lane—a lonely place to die. When DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, she finds the body of a second man. What the two victims seem to have in common is a fascination with studying moths—and with catching these beautiful, intriguing creatures. The others who live in Valley Farm have secrets too: Lorraine’s calm demeanor belies a more complex personality; Annie and Sam’s daughter, Lizzie, are due to be released from prison; and Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be many deadly secrets trapped there . . .


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The Seagull (2017)

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 was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper – and Vera played a key part in his downfall. Now, Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer who disappeared in the mid-nineties, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her that Marshall is dead and that his body is buried close to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay. However, when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two. This cold case takes Vera back in time, and very close to home, as Brace and Marshall, along with a mysterious stranger known only as ‘the Prof’, were close friends of Hector, her father. Together, they were the ‘Gang of Four’, regulars at a glamorous nightclub called The Seagull. Hector had been one of the last people to see Marshall alive. As the past begins to collide dangerously with the present, Vera confronts her prejudices and unwanted memories to dig out the truth . . .


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Frozen (2020)

For once, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is managing to have a good day off. Strolling around town, she ducks into a new bookshop in a renovated chapel. But just as she does, a skeleton is discovered in the old baptismal font. Soon, a decade-old mystery is revived, and Vera must uncover secrets long buried before this case once again goes cold.


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The Darkest Evening (2020)

On the first snowy night of winter, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope sets off for her home in the hills. Though the road is familiar, she misses a turning and soon becomes lost and disorientated. A car has skidded off the narrow road in front of her, its door left open, and she stops to help. There is no driver to be seen, so Vera assumes that the owner has gone to find help. But a cry calls her back: a toddler is strapped in the back seat. Vera takes the child and, driving on, arrives at a place she knows well. Blackburn is a large, grand house in the wilds of Northumberland, now a little shabby and run down. It’s also where her father, Hector, grew up. Inside, there’s a party in full swing: music, Christmas lights, and laughter. Outside, unbeknownst to the revelers, a woman lies dead in the snow. As the blizzard traps the group deep in the freezing Northumberland countryside, Brockburn begins to give up its secrets, and as Vera digs deeper into her investigation, she also begins to uncover her family’s complicated past.

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