Ann Cleeves

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For the wife of Henry VIII, see Anne of Cleves.
Ann Cleeves
Born 1954
Nationality  United Kingdom
Genre Crime
Notable awards Duncan Lawrie Dagger 2006

Ann Cleeves (born 1954) is a British crime-writer. In 2006 she won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the richest crime-writing prize in the world, for her novel Raven Black.[1] Cleeves studied English at Sussex University but dropped out. She then took up various jobs including cook, auxiliary coastguard, probation officer, library outreach worker and child care officer.[2] She lives in Whitley Bay.[3]

The Vera Stanhope novels have been dramatized as the TV detective series Vera and the Jimmy Perez novels as the series Shetland.

In 2014 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Sunderland.[4]

In 2015, Ann is the Programming Chair for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival & the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

In 2015 Ann was shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library UK Crime Writers' Association award for an author's body of work in British libraries (UK)[5]


George & Molly novels[edit]

  • A Bird in the Hand (1986)
  • Come Death and High Water (1987)
  • Murder in Paradise (1988)
  • A Prey to Murder (1989)
  • Another Man's Poison (1992)
  • Sea Fever (1993)
  • The Mill on the Shore (1994)
  • High Island Blues (1996)

Inspector Ramsay[edit]

  • A Lesson in Dying (1990)
  • Murder in My Backyard (1991)
  • A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy (1992)
  • Killjoy (1993)
  • The Healers (1995)
  • The Baby Snatcher (1997)

Vera Stanhope[edit]

These novels, except for The Glass Room, have been dramatized in the television series Vera on ITV, which stars Brenda Blethyn in the title role. The programme premiered in May 2011.

  • The Crow Trap (1999)
  • Telling Tales (2005)
  • Hidden Depths (2007)
  • Silent Voices (2011)
  • The Glass Room (2012)
  • Harbour Street (2014)
  • The Moth Catcher (2015); publication date 10 September 2015 in the UK and US.

Shetland Island series[edit]

In 2013, Red Bones was dramatised by David Kane for BBC television as the first episode of the series Shetland, which stars Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez. Episodes broadcast in 2014 were based on Raven Black, Dead Water, and Blue Lightning.[6]

  • Raven Black (2006); Gold Dagger Award
  • White Nights (2008)
  • Red Bones (2009)
  • Blue Lightning (2010)
  • Dead Water (2013)
  • Thin Air (2014)
  • Too Good To Be True (2016, novella)

Other novels[edit]

  • The Sleeping and the Dead (2001)
  • Burial of Ghosts (2003)

Ghost Stories[edit]

In addition to her crime novels, Ann has written a number of ghost stories to be read at Newcastle Upon Tynes Literary and Philosophical Society. One of these was issued as part of the anthology 'Phantoms at the Phil. - The Second Proceedings' (together with a live of the author performing it) in a numbered limited edition of 300 copies by Side Real Press.

  • The Midwife's Assistant (2006)


  1. ^ Lobb, Adrian (2013-03-19). "Ann Cleeves interview for Shetland". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  2. ^ "Island secrets inspire Shetland author Ann Cleeves". Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Ann Cleeves interview for Shetland". 9 March 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Joanne Butcher (8 July 2014). "Vera writer Ann Cleeves gains honour from University of Sunderland - The Journal". journallive. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "Dagger in the Library". Dead Good Books. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "'Shetland' gets full six-part series on BBC One". Digital Spy. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 

External links[edit]