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A Lesson in Dying - Bello edition

Back in print

Ann Cleeves's six murder mysteries featuring Inspector Stephen Ramsay were published in the 1990s, and have become collectors items. Like Ann's Vera Stanhope, Inspector Ramsay is based in Northumberland, and the books show all aspects of that multi-faceted county. All six books have been brought back into print by Bello, Pan MacMillan's digital-only imprint, and are now available as eBooks or print on demand paperbacks.

The covers shown below are those of previous editions.

A Lesson in Dying

A Lesson in Dying

Inspector Ramsay made his much-praised debut in 1990, in A Lesson in Dying.

Heppleburn, once a Northumberland pit village, has always been close-knit, friendly and safe - until the murder of headmaster Harold Medburn. Suddenly, the village seems unfamiliar, uncomfortable.

The school caretaker and his daughter pursue their own route of investigation, which should have made Inspector Ramsay's job a little easier. But hampered by false leads, powerless to pre-empt the killer's next move, and overshadowed by the evil atmosphere of All Hallow's Eve, Ramsay finds his own reputation is on the line...

"A fine debut"

Susan Hill, Good Housekeeping

"A good debut for Inspector Ramsay; quiet, puzzled, very human"

The Times

"A quietly entertaining mystery"

Sunday Telegraph

"Perceptive picture of changing social pattern, cast strong"


It was reissued by Bello in August 2013 for Kindle or as a print on demand paperback (ISBN: 978-1-4472-5316-7).

The ISIS Audio edition, read by Simon Mattacks, is now also available as an Audible Audio download from or from Amazon.UK.

Murder in My Backyard - paperback edition

Murder in My Backyard

In this second Inspector Ramsay novel, our hero faces a murder investigation on his own doorstep following his impulsive decision to buy a cottage in the quiet Northumberland village of Heppleburn.

When local uproar over a proposed housing development ends in murder, the pressure is once again on Ramsay to act from within and interrogate every possible suspect. But then tragedy strikes a second time, and Ramsay must test his true measure as a detective working against the clock.

"Taut slice-of-small-town-life police procedural underpinned by the wry premise that unrelenting goodness can be as lethal as evil"

The Guardian

It was first published in 1991, and was reissued by Bello in August 2013 for Kindle or as a print on demand paperback (ISBN: 978-1-4472-5316-7).

The ISIS Audio edition, read by Simon Mattacks, is now also available as an Audible audio download.

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy - Pan Classic

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy

Dorothea Cassidy, the vicar's wife, lies dead in the park's flower bed.

The parishioners were daunted by her goodness. But one of them wanted her dead.

Who? 0ld Mrs Bowman, dying of cancer; Clive Stringer, a disturbed adolescent; Theresa Stringer, a single mother with a child in care and a violent boyfriend - or was it someone in her own family?

"...this is a damn fine book. A very high quality police procedural..."

The Puzzle Doctor

"Perceptive, convincing, quietly compelling"

Marcel Berlins, The Times

"The best detective novel I have read this year"

Harriet Waugh, The Spectator

"She is already exceptional"

B.A.Pike, Twentieth-Century Crime & Mystery Writers

A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy, first published in 1992, has been reissued for Kindle and as a Pan Heritage Classic paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5098-5624-4).



Gabriella Preston is found in the boot of a car, lying curled on her side like a child asleep. She is dead. The car belongs to Gus Lynch. Gus Lynch is the director of Hallowgate's Youth Theatre, Gabriella his female lead.

Inspector Ramsay and Sergeant Hunter are called in to assist the local police who have their hands full with an outbreak of joy-riding. Another death and an escalation of violence among the joy-riders threaten mayhem. Against a background of spiralling disorder Ramsay realises what could have provoked someone to kill - and to kill again.

"Ann Cleeves is a gifted recruit to the traditional detective novel and on her current form will continue to command attention"

B.A.Pike, Twentieth-Century Crime and Mystery Writers

Killjoy was first published in 1993, and has been reissued by Bellos for for Kindle and as a print on demand paperback (ISBN: 978-1-4472-5321-1).

The Healers

The Healers

Farmer Ernie Bowles is found lying on his kitchen floor - strangled. Not a pretty sight.
Inspector Ramsay fears the case will not be simple. It isn't.

Certainly not when there is a second strangulation. Two killings are more than a chilling coincidence. A third suspicious death provides a tenuous link between all three and leads Inspector Ramsay to the Alternative Therapy Clinic. Could one of the healers be a killer?

"The characters come live off the page and she delivers a convincing solution"

The Spectator

"Confirms her place in the premier league of British crime writers"

Hampstead and Highgate Express

"Highly enjoyable"

Harriet Waugh, The Spectator

"Watertight and exciting"

Susan Hill, Good Housekeeping

The Healers, first published in 1995, has been reissued by Bello for Kindle and as a print on demand paperback (ISBN: 978-1-4472-5025-8).

The Baby Snatcher

The Baby Snatcher

When 15-year old Marilyn Howe turns up on Inspector Ramsay's doorstep he has little choice but to invite her in, for Marilyn is convinced that her mother has disappeared. But when Ramsay returns the young girl to her home, on the isolated coastal community known as the Headland, they find Mrs Howe safe and well.

Six months later, Ramsay has more or less forgotten the strange incident, busy as he is on the trail of a local child abductor. Until he receives news that Mrs Howe has disappeared once more. Then a body is washed up on the beach, and he soon gets drawn into the strange relationships of the families living on the lonely Headland...

"Ann Cleeves's Northumberland-based Inspector Ramsay novels have a distinctive flavour of their own. ... This is a strong, dark crime novel, distinguished by its intelligent, spiky characterisation. These are people whose actions are rooted deeply and plausibly in their own psychology. Cleeves is particularly good at showing the claustrophobia of enclosed lives."

Tangled Web

The Baby Snatcher was first published in 1997. It has been reissued by Bello for Kindle and as a print on demand paperback (ISBN: 978-1-4472-5023-4).