The latest mystery novel by award-winning author Ann Cleeves takes her much-loved detective Vera Stanhope to the beautiful tidal island of Lindisfarne. Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.
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 . . .
But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible . . .
The Rising Tide is now available in paperback, and Ann has an invitation to all her readers: she celebrated publication of the hardback in September at Viva Vera, a live event with actors Brenda Blethyn and Jon Morrison, chaired by the wonderful Steph McGovern. There was such a demand for tickets that many people missed out, so Team Vera are making the recording of the evening available to anyone who buys a copy of the paperback from an independent book shop or from bookshop.org. Ann says: "Watch us talk about Vera, the joys of filming in a heatwave or downpour, and support your local book shop at the same time."
Ann Cleeves invites you to Shetland
If you love crime fiction, and you love Ann Cleeves's Shetland mysteries, here's the perfect event for you! Tickets for Shetland Noir are now on sale, and the star-studded guest list has been announced. Ann has curated an exciting festival: guests include author, producer and television presenter Richard Osman, and Queen of Crime, Val McDermid. She says: "I'm thrilled that Shetland Noir has attracted such an amazing line-up for the festival. Of course there are the starry headliners, but the festival will showcase a host of other authors too from established bestsellers to exciting newcomers."
As well as its strong literature base with panel sessions and workshops, Shetland Noir will include elements of music, live performances, Shetland-themed events and outings, as well as other 'noir' related content. The festival takes place from 15th - 18th June, at the height of da simmer sim (summer twilight), the perfect time to explore the best of noir in the impressive backdrop of Shetland with its expansive landscapes, where the long days stretch into each other, and the sun barely sets.
Online booking for Shetland Noir.
To get into the mood for Shetland at midsummer, why not (re-)read White Nights, Ann's second Shetland novel featuring Jimmy Perez? Or read more about Shetland: the books, the TV series (includes news of series 8!), and the islands!
VERA's Golden 50th
Series 12 of VERA, the mystery drama series featuring Ann Cleeves' much-loved detective Vera Stanhope, ended on a high note, with the transmission on Sunday, 19th February, of Episode 4, The Darkest Evening. Appropriately, this very special fiftieth case for TV's DCI Vera Stanhope, played by the fabulous Brenda Blathyn, is based on one of Ann's best-selling novels. On the night of a storm, DCI Stanhope comes across an abandoned car with a baby inside. With no mobile signal and blocked roads at every turn, she is forced to seek refuge somewhere she'd rather not be at Brockburn House, the Stanhopes' ancestral residence. Things take a sinister turn when a body is found on the track leading to the house...
Brenda Blethyn said "I feel rather proud of having reached the landmark of 50 episodes, now having filmed 51 in total. I think it's wonderful. A great achievement for everyone involved. Ten of those 51 films are based on the books by Ann Cleeves. She has created such well defined characters, allowing the other story writers to bring them to life on screen as well."
If you missed it, The Darkest Evening, like all of Vera's past cases, is available to stream on itvX. For those who like to own their box sets on DVD, the full six episodes of series 11 will be released on February 27th and are available for pre-order now. And you can always go back to the source and read the book!
There's more VERA to look forward to further in the future: in an interview with journalist Ian Wylie, Brenda Blethyn revealed that the team had been in Northumberland in the autumn of 2022 filming The Rising Tide, based on Ann's latest Vera Stanfope mystery novel.
The Rising Tide takes Vera to the beautiful tidal island of Lindisfarne. Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.
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. But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible .../p>
The paperback edition of The Rising Tide will be published on 16th March 2023 in the UK and on July 25th in the US. Read all about The Rising Tide here.
Read more about all things Vera - in print and on TV - here.
Warch out for a Summer Storm
Coming in autumn 2023, The Raging Storm is the third case for Matthew Venn: it takes him to a remote fishing village where he must confront both the elements and his own past to solve the death of a local legend....
Meanwhile, the latest case for detective Matthew Venn and his colleague Jen Rafferty, is The Heron's Cry. This follows their first appearance in The Long Call - as seen on TV, where they were played by Ben Aldridge and Pearl Mackie.
North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder - Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter's broken vases.
"This character-driven exploration of people's darkest flaws is a sterling example of Cleeves' formidable talents."
The Heron's Cry is published in the UK by Pan MacMillan; also available as an audiobook read by Jack Holden. It is published in the US by Minotaur Books.
And if you haven't yet watched the dramatisation of The Long Call, it isn't too late! All four episodes were broadcast in the UK in October 2021, and the whole series is available on demand on ITVX. In the US it is streamed on Britbox.
There's more information here, about the show, and about the books.
Ann Cleeves Classic Crime
Book Break guides you through the books of Ann Cleeves: you may know Vera Stanhope, but did you know about Ann's first series set in Vera's county of Northumberland, featuring Inspector Stephen Ramsay? Or maybe you've read all of the Shetland books, but didn't know about Ann's standalone titles. Or maybe you'd like to read some short stories next...?
Some of Ann's classic crime novels will be easier to find in the future, with a series of new editions from Pan Macmillan. Start the year with a vivid psychological suspense novel, The Sleeping and the Dead, published on 5th January 2023.
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 ...
Read more about Ann Cleeves's stand-alone mysteries, and other books which will be appearing later in the year.
"I do love Vera!"
In true Agatha Christie style, Cleeves once again pulls the wool over our eyes with cunning and conviction
A most satisfying mystery set in an isolated and intriguing location