Vera Stanhope's first appearance was in The Crow Trap; it was adapted by Stephen Brady as the third episode of the TV series Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn.
At the isolated Baikie's Cottage on the North Pennines, three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal...
For team leader Rachael Lambert the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double-betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide...
When Rachael arrives at the cottage, however, she is horrified to discover the body of her friend Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide - a verdict Rachael finds impossible to accept.
Only when the next death occurs does a fourth woman enter the picture - the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women's tangled lives...
"Cleeves thoroughly explores the passions and motivations of each, while exposing the human greed and sorrow beneath the bucolic landscape. The Columbo-esque Vera, who hides a fierce intelligence and razor sharp instincts under garish clothing, uses every tool at her disposal to solve the crime."
"This first installment in Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series ... offers abundant evidence why the police-detective heroine, physically unattractive but extremely clever, and her meticulously plotted adventures ... have made such a splash in bookstores and in the TV series Vera."
"Trauma, obsession and murder entwine in a suspense-packed crime story that puts Ms Cleeves in the Rendell class"
Peterborough Evening Telegraph
Explore the landscapes of The Crow Trap with the Book Trail.
In the UK
- The new paperback edition is now available (November 2020) from Amazon UK or from any bookshop (ISBN: 978-1-5290-4989-3).
- It is available for download in a Kindle edition
- The Charnwood large print edition was published in 2001 (ISBN: 978-0-7089-9228-9)
- The audio edition, read by Janine Birkett, is available as an Audible audio cownload, or from the Reading House on MP3 or audio CD.
- The original hardback edition of The Crow Trap is out of print; second-hand copies are still available via Amazon and elsewhere (it is ISBN: 978-0-333-76627-9)
In the US
The US edition of The Crow Trap was published on February 21st 2017 by St Martins Minotaur:
- Order the hardback from Amazon.com or from your local bookstore, (ISBN: 978-1-2501-2273-5)
- Order the paperback edition from Amazon.com or from your local bookstore (ISBN: 978-1-2501-2274-2).
- Order The Crow Trap from Barnes & Noble
- Download the Kindle edition,
- or download from iTunes
- Buy the Audio CD, read by Anne Dover, or download as an Audible audiobook.