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Vera's Christmas treat

Team Vera on the beach on Lindisfarne

ITV has now revealed its schedule for the festive period - and it includes a special Boxing Day episode of Vera!

The story, a thrilling feature-length mystery titled The Rising Tide, is based on the lated Vera Stanhope novel by bestselling author Ann Cleeves. It takes DCI Vera Stanhope on a chilling investigation as she finds herself drawn to the enchanting tidal island of Lindisfarne, where a group of lifelong friends reunites every five years. But As the tide rises, long-concealed secrets begin to surface ...

It will be a landmark episode for Team Vera, as Kenny Doughty, who has played DS Aidan Healey since 2015, and Ibinabo Jack, (DC Jacqueline 'Jac' Williams) have both announced their departure from the drama. But series 13 - filming in summer 2023 - does welcome back an old friend: David Leon returns as Vera's sidekick Joe Ashworth.

While we are waiting, VERA series 1 - 12 is available on ITVX.

The Rising Tide - UK edition

In The Rising Tide, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island: that was fifty years ago, but it forged a bond that has lasted a lifetime. 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 . . .

ITV's DCI Vera Stanhope, played by the one and only Brenda Blethyn (pictured above) heads to Lkndisfarne to solve the mystery in in a feature-length adaptation of The Rising Tide, which will be broadcast ;ater this year. It will be a lanfmark rposode for Twam Vera, as Kenny Doughty, who has played DS Aidan Healey since 2015, and Ibinabo Jack, (DC Jacqueline 'Jac' Williams) have both announced their departure from the drama. But series 13 - filming in summer 2023 - does welcome back an old friend: David Leon returns as Vera's sidekick Joe Ashworth.

Meanwhile, VERA series 1 - 12 is available on ITVX.

Read all about The Rising Tide here. Or read more about all things Vera - in print and on TV - here.

Shetland concludes

Series 8 of Shetland, the gripping tv crime drama which grew out of Ann Cleeves' award-winning detective novels, has come to its thrilling conclusion. This is Shetland with a difference, Shetland without Jimmy Perez, in which Tosh (Alison O'Donnell) forms an uneasy alliance with DI Ruth Calder (played by Ashley Jensen), a native Shetlander who returned reluctantly to the isles after a 20-year stint in London to retrieve a witness to a gangland murder:

But now it soon becomes apparent that the story had its dark beginnings not in London but in the islands. No spoilers, but if you missed anything, the full series is available on the BBC iPlayer, as are all the previous series.

Better still, all the original mysteries featuring Jimmy Perez are still there in Ann Cleeves' eight Shetland novels, two whole quartets to read whenever you want to!

More about Shetland - the books, the television series and the islands!

The Raging Storm

The Raging Storm

The Raging Storm is the new mystery novel by award-winning author Ann Cleeves, out now in the both the UK and the US. Matthew Venn must unravel a third case, set in a remote fishing village in the area of North Devon where he - and Ann - grew up.

When Jem Rosco - sailor, adventurer and local legend - blows into town in the middle of an autumn gale, the residents of Greystone, Devon, are delighted to have a celebrity in their midst. The residents think nothing of it when Rosco disappears again; that's the sort of man he is.

Until the lifeboat is launched to a hoax call-out during a raging storm and his body is found in a dinghy, anchored off Scully Cove, a place with legends of its own....

*"Cleeves crafts a devilishly intricate mystery that will surprise even seasoned genre fans, and Venn remains an appealing lead every bit as memorable as the author's Vera Stanhope or Jimmy Perez. Cleeves's fans and newcomers alike will be hungry for the next entry."

Publishers' Weekly

"A surprising denouement moves this character-based mystery to the top tier."

Kirkus Reviews

*"an atmospheric police procedural that builds on the other books while introducing fascinating suspects."

Library Journal

Read more about The Raging Storm.

Reading for Wellbeing header

Reading for Wellbeing - news!

Ann (pictured above at a celebration event at The Word, South Shields, in February 2023) announces that "Our Reading for Wellbeing website has gone live. Of interest if you work in libraries, public health or social prescribing. Check it out for info & a video of participants explaining its impact."

See the Reading for Wellbeing website here.

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...?

A Bird in the Hand

Some of Ann's classic crime novels will be easier to find in the future, with a series of new editions from Pan Macmillan. 2023 started with two stunning standalone mysteries, The Sleeping and the Dead and Burial of Ghosts: now readers have the chance to discover Ann's very first detective series, featuring George Palmer-Jones, an elderly birdwatcher - helped by his wife, Molly.

Start with A Bird in the Hand: Young Tom French is found dead, lying in a marsh on the Norfolk coast, with his head bashed in and his binoculars still around his neck. One of the best birders in England, Tom had put the village of Rushy on the birdwatching map. Everyone liked him. Or did they? ...

And then watch out for new additions to the cataligue of Ann Cleeves Classic Crime, as they appear. More details of Ann Cleeves's stand-alone mysteries, and other books here.

"I do love Vera!"

Val McDermid

In true Agatha Christie style, Cleeves once again pulls the wool over our eyes with cunning and conviction

Colin Dexter

A most satisfying mystery set in an isolated and intriguing location

Peter Robinson

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Last update: 7th December 2023.