The VERA books in order:
The Crow Trap
More about Silent Voices
The Glass Room
The Moth Catcher
The Darkest Evening More about
The Rising Tide
The latest Vera Stanhope mystery by award-winning author Ann Cleeves is The Rising Tide, now available in paperback in the UK and US. It takes her much-loved detective Vera Stanhope to the beautiful tidal island of Lindisfarne. ITV's Vera, played by the one and only Brenda Blethyn (pictured above) heads to Lkndisfarne to solve the mystery in a feature-length adaptation of The Rising Tide, which will be broadcast later 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.
While we are waiting for it to air, VERA series 1 - 12 is available on ITVX.
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 . . .
And if you are wondering why Vera is so familiar with the tidal island that provides her latest case with its spectacular setting, you can download a FREE Kindle single story The Woman on the Island, about Vera's previous visits to Lindisfarne (includes a taster of the first chapters of The Rising Tide!)
Success for VERA
There were awards for VERA at the North East Royal Television Society Awards, presented at a star-studded event at the Hilton Newcastle-Gateshead in February 2022. The programme, starring Brenda Blethyn as the tenacious Detective Vera Stanhope, won the prestigious Best Drama award and the actress won for Best Drama Performance. Accepting the awards, Brenda Blethyn thanked the Royal Television Society, and said: "I am absolutely thrilled to bits. This year sees us embarking on season 12 of Vera, so that means we'll have made 50 feature length Vera films."
There was a special award for the production team, too, which may be some comfort for the many fans who've been left hungry for more of Ann Cleeves' much-loved detective. Series 11 of VERA made its first appearance in August 2021 with two episodes, reappeared to brighten our New Year with another two episodes in January 2021, and has now left us in suspense waiting for the remaining two stories in the season. Now it has won a Drama Pandemic Innovation Award, recognising the ingenuity of Team Vera in continuing to produce the series during lockdowns with significant restrictions in place.
"I do love Vera!"
"If you like the TV series, you're in for a treat - because the atmospheric but realistic books are even better."
"... one of the most appealing fictional detectives to emerge since Andy Dalziel got into his stride..."
Martin Edwards, Spinetingler Magazine
"... although she is lonely, obsessed with her job and over fond of a beer, Vera is one of the few fictional detectives who seems not only like a real person, but one capable of conducting a murder enquiry. Ann Cleeves brings the same skill to all her characterisations in this highly impressive story."
Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
A Taste of Vera
Just can't get enough of Vera? If you've read all the novels, and watched all the TV dramas, have you read the short stories?
Ann's contribution to The Starlings and Other Stories (which she has also edited), is the title story, The Starlings, featuring DI Vera Stanhope. For this collection of twelve short stories, Ann invited each of her fellow members of Murder Squad writers' group to join her, with an accomplice, in writing a short story inspired by the dramatic photography of Pembrokeshire-based author David Wilson. The Starlings and Other Stories is published by Graffeg.
Ann has previously used short stories as an opportunity to explore Vera's past: The Habit of Silence, one of Ann's contributions to Best Eaten Cold, the second anthology of stories from Ann and her colleagues in the Murder Squad, reveals something more about Vera Stanhope, the woman she is now and the past that made her. The Woman on the Island, now available as a Kindle single, was originally published as Hector's Other Woman in Guilty Consciences, the new anthology from the prestigious Crime Writers' Association, and is now reissued in Ann's short story collection, Offshore.
Read more about these and all Ann Cleeves's short stories.
VERA's case files
All eleven previous series of TV's crime drama VERA are now available to fans in both the UK and the US. They have been widely broadcast; VERA was nominated for an Edgar Award, for Dark Road, the first episode of series 6 (an original screenplay by Martha Hillier). VERA was ranked sixth best TV series of all time in a recent poll. In February 2019 it won the Judges' Award at the Royal Television Society NE Awards in Gateshead.
Use the links to order your choice of DVD from Amazon, using the links below; look out for them in the shops - and in the UK all episodes of VERA are now available to stream on itvX. Elsewhere, you can sign up for Britbox, and watch the whole story, from the beginning.
- Order series 1 on DVD from Amazon UK (region 2 format) or from Amazon.com (Region 1).
- Order series 2 from Amazon UK (region 2 format); or from Amazon.com (Region 1).
- Order Series 3 from Amazon.UK (region 2 format) or from Amazon.com (Region 1).
- Order Series 4 from Amazon.UK (region 2 format) or from Amazon.com (Region 1).
- Order Series 5 from Amazon UK (region 2 format) or from from Amazon.com (Region 1).
- Order Series 6 from Amazon UK - or from Amazon.com (Region 1).
- Order series 7 from Amazon.UK (Region 2 only) or from Amazon.com in US format.
- Series 8 is available on DVD in the UK (region 2), and in the US and Canada (region 1). Also available in the US on BritBox or via Amazon.com.
- Series 9 is available on DVD in the UK, and on BritBox or via Amazon.com in the US.
- and series 10 is available on DVD in the UK and on DVD in the US or available to stream.
VERA is filmed at locations from across Northumberland and Tyneside: if the scenery gives you an urge to visit Northumberland, you can read what Ann has to say about the county here. The Guardian also published Ann's short guide to Vera's Northumberland.