This case was different from anything Vera had ever worked before. Two bodies, connected but not lying together. And nothing made her feel as alive as murder.
Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, to look after the place while they're away. But Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane into the valley - a beautiful, lonely place to die.
DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, with her detectives Holly and Joe. When they look round the attic of the big house - where Patrick has a flat - she finds the body of a second man. All the two victims have in common is a fascination with moths - catching these beautiful, rare creatures.
The three couples who live in the Valley Farm development have secrets too: Annie and Sam's daughter is due to be released from prison any day; Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be deadly secrets trapped here.
"The Moth Catcher is a splendid, solidly plotted modern take on a golden-age "closed circle" mystery, and Vera, as always, is a delight."
Laura Wilson, The Guardian
"Nobody does eerie like Ann Cleeves... It's a delight to watch [Vera] exceed people's expectations and to watch as the tiny details she notices add up to the big revelation."
"Characteristically well plotted, with plenty of complex characters to enjoy."
"... the best of a superb series... One of Cleeves's finest."
The Moth Catcher was adapted as episode three of the sixth series of ITV's VERA, first broadcast in the UK on 14th February 2016.
In the US
The US edition of The Moth Catcher was published on October 4th 2016 by St Martins Minotaur:
In the UK
The Moth Catcher was first published by Pan MacMillan in hardback on 10th September 2015.
- Order the hardback edition from Amazon, or from any bookshop or library, quoting the ISBN: 978-1-4472-7828-3.
- Order the paperback edition (reissued in January 2021, ISBN: 978-1-5290-5016-5)
- The Moth Catcher is also available in a Kindle edition
- and as an audio download, read by Janine Birkett.
- Or order the audio edition from the Reading House, in a choice of formats.
"The Moth Catcher, the seventh book in the Vera Stanhope series, is set in the picturesque part of Vera's bailiwick. The great strengths of Cleeves' writing are the beautiful and convincing characterisation and the storming story line."
"Cleeves expertly draws Vera's complex relations with her fellow detectives as well as the hidden springs of tension in the circle affected by the crime, touching on class relations, the ennui of middle age, and the deceits, frailties, and tenderness of long marriage. Though the book's deliberate pace may lose pure thrill seekers, patient readers will be rewarded as dread builds and old secrets surface."