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Virtually Together

Ann is delighted to be part of Virtually Together with Pan Mac, a chance for authors and readers to come together and support our beloved high-street bookshops during a time when they need us most. COVID-19 sees booksellers face unprecedented challenges with physical bookshops closed and many stores unable to trade at all. Bookshops are such an important part of our communities and Ann's publisher, Pan Macmillan, wanted to give their authors a chance to share how much their favourite bookshops mean to them.

The tour is taking place virtually, between the 19th and 28th of May and involves authors across Bluebird, Pan, Picador and Macmillan Children's Books, taking readers on a tour of the UK & Ireland, with a different bookshop being highlighted each day.

Ann, with the support of Forum Books, Corbrisge, will be taking part in a Viretual Crime Panel, at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 26th May. The other panelists are Lin Anderson and Fiona Cummins, and Adam Handy will be asking the questions and keeping order. You can watch the discussion live at Crowdcast, or at Pan MacMillan's FaceBook page.

All events are completely free to attend but each bookshop will be letting us know the best way that we can support them at the moment, whether it's buying a book, a gift voucher for when they're able to reopen or just to raise awareness of the important work they do in their communities. Keep an eye on Pan Macmillan's website for all the latest updates.

Awards for The Long Call

The latest book from award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves is a fresh departure: it's the first mystery in her new Two Rivers series, featuring a new detective - and it is proving very popular with readers, critics, and awards committees. The Long Call is set in North Devon, where Ann grew up, and introduces the reserved and complex Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, estranged from the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, and from his own family, but drawn back by murder into the community he thought he had left behind.

The Long Call - US edition The Long Call - UK edition

It has already won the Agatha Award in the Best Contemporary Novel category. Malice Domestic, the US crime convention at which Ann Cleeves is a frequent guest, was one of the events cancelled as a result of the pandemic; the Agatha Awards, which are normally voted on by those attending the convention, were conducted electronically! Ann says "Of course I'm delighted and I'd like to thank the whole Malice community."

Now you have a chance to vote for The Long Call for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year award. It joins 17 other titles on the longlist: "An amazing list," says Ann, "but the next round is partly chosen by public vote," so why not follow this link to see all the books in contention, and cast your vote!

"I ... was riveted."

Sara Paretsky

"Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite mystery writers."

Louise Penny

Read the first chapter of The Long Call on the website of publisher, Pan MacMillan; or find out more about the book here.

On the eve of publication, there was more good news for Ann (and her many fans): even before The Long Call reached the shops, Silverprint Pictures announced that it has optioned the screen rights. The Long Call makes Ann's third collaboration with Silverprint Pictures, the partnership that has produced Shetland (BBC) and Vera (ITV), two of television's most popular dramas. Ann says "I'm delighted that the team at Silverprint has optioned The Long Call. The adaptations of Vera and Shetland have captured the essence of my books, while making TV dramas that are hugely successful in their own right."

Meanwhile, Ann joins her publisher, PanMacMillan, in reminding us of the importance of independent bookshops: they sit at the core of our communities and as we all prepare to stay home for a while they need our support to survive more than ever. PanMac have some great suggestions for how you can help - and some authors (including Ann) recommending their local favourites!

Ann talks to Everything Zoomer magazine about sense of place, character development and success after 50; and there is a half-hour podcast with the Book Nook on WYSO to download and listen to.

Vera in the autumn

The Darkest Evening

Ann's next book takes Vera Stanhope back to a snowy Northumberland - and to the scenes of her own past. The Darkest Evening will be published in September 2020, and here, tp be going on with, is a preview of the cover - and some clues about the story...

If you haven't already met the original Vera, eight books are already available, so what are you waiting for?

Read all about Vera - in print and on TV - here.

Wild Fire

In addition, The BBC has already announced two more series of the hit crime drama Shetland inspired by - but very different to - the Shetland mysteries by best-selling crime writer Ann Cleeves. Douglas Henshall reprises his role as DI Jimmy Perez alongside series regulars Alison O'Donnell and Steven Robertson. The series is made by Silverprint Pictures for BBC One. "Well, this is very lovely news," says Ann.

Shetland takes as its point of departure the characters and settings of Ann's award-winning novels, but over five series has developed its own stories. Series six and seven will film in 2020 and 2021 in locations in the Shetland Isles and around Scotland, and will again feature six hour-long episodes each. Both series will be written and created by David Kane, who scripted the first series of Shetland and has written on every series since.

Meanwhile, Ann has completed her second Shetland Quartet, the Four Elements following the original Four Seasons, with Wild Fire: an English family, drawn in by the beauty of the islands, move to the area, eager to give their autistic son a better life. But when a young nanny's body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire. DI Jimmy Perez, called in to investigate, knows that it will mean the return to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves...

Read more about Wild Fire - or read more about Shetland: the books, the TV series, and the islands!

Ann Cleeves: "the worthiest of winners"

Ann Cleeves presented with the Diamond Dagger by Martin Edwards

Ann Cleeves presented with the Diamond Dagger by CWA Chairman Martin Edwards
photo courtesy of the Crime Writers' Association; used with permission

On 26 October 2017, Ann Cleeves was presented with the Diamond Dagger of the Crime Writers' Association, the highest honour in British crime writing, at the CWA's Dagger Awards ceremony in London.

Presenting Ann with her award, Martin Edwards, Chair of the CWA, said: "It's a lifetime achievement award, and above all it recognises excellence in writing. But it also recognises a significant contribution to the crime writing world. And nobody can deny that Ann Cleeves' contribution has been magnificent."

He went on to say that "You all know about the wonderful books, and you all know about the fantastically successful TV series. So, given that the recurring theme of this evening is friendship, I just want to say a few words about Ann the person," and praised Ann for her kindness and generosity to others, and as a passionate advocate of the library service.

In 2006 Ann was the first winner of the Duncan Lawrie Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of the year, for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland series. In addition, she has been short listed for CWA Dagger Awards, once for the short story dagger, and twice for the Dagger in the Library award which is awarded not for an individual book but for an author's entire body of work.

Ann says: "It's a huge honour to be recognized by my peers, the crime-writers whose books, friendship and support I've enjoyed for more than thirty years. I am privileged to have had such a happy career and I will always be grateful for the support of booksellers and forever indebted to the passion and expertise of librarians, without whom I wouldn't still be writing today."

Watch a video of the presentation.

Other Books

The Starlings and Other Stories A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy - Pan Classic Burial of Ghosts The Sleeping and the Dead

Ann Cleeves says "Good short stories have a force and a clarity which it's almost impossible to achieve in a novel. That's why I enjoy reading them. I know that each word has been chosen with care.

"I don't send post cards when I travel; I write stories instead. The three pieces in the CWA anthologies bring back vivid memories of Tanzania, Finland and Alaska. Raven Black was originally conceived as another of those holiday snap stories."

In The Starlings and Other Stories, Ann has edited a collection of twelve short stories which are literally, if not snapshots, at least inspired by photographs. She has invited each of her fellow members of Murder Squad to bring in an accomplice, and write a short story inspired by the dramatic photography of Pembrokeshire-based author David Wilson. Ann's own contribution is the title story, The Starlings, featuring DI Vera Stanhope.

Read more about The Starlings and other short stories by Ann Cleeves.

Two standalone novels are back in the bookshops in new paperback editions: The Sleeping and the Dead is a vivid psychological suspense novel the discovery of a body in the lake forces prison officer Hannah Morton to confront her past self; in Burial of Ghosts a holiday romance changes Lizzie's life forever.

Pan MacMillan's Bello imprint hunts down lost classics, and uses modern digital technology to make them available to readers as eBooks or print-on-demand paperbacks: now they are reissuing a selection of these as Pan Heritage Classic paperbacks. A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy is one of Ann Cleeves' 'Inspector Ramsay' series, featuring a police officer who is like Ann's (and TV's) Vera Stanhope in being based in England's northernmost county, Northumberland - though unlike her in many other ways. Looking even further back, to the work of a very young writer, you can also now read the George & Molly books, the adventures of amateur sleuth George Palmer-Jones, an elderly birdwatcher - and his wife, Molly. (Or you might want to read what Ann would like to say to that younger self).

"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: 22nd May 2020.