Ann Cleeves

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Ann Cleeves
Born1954 (age 68–69)
Herefordshire, England
Notable awardsDuncan Lawrie Dagger 2006

Ann Cleeves OBE (born 1954) is a British mystery crime writer. She wrote the Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez, and Matthew Venn series, all three of which have been adapted into TV shows. In 2006 she won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for her novel Raven Black,[1] the first novel in the Jimmy Perez series.

Early life and career[edit]

Cleeves was born in Herefordshire and brought up in north Devon where she attended Barnstaple Grammar School;[2] she studied English at the University of Sussex but dropped out and then took up various jobs including cook at the Fair Isle bird observatory, auxiliary coastguard, probation officer, library outreach worker and child care officer.[3]

Personal life[edit]

She lives in Whitley Bay,[1] and is widowed with two daughters.[4]

Honours, awards, and media appearances[edit]

In 2006 she won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for her novel Raven Black.[1] In 2014 Cleeves was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Sunderland.[5] In 2015, Cleeves was the Programming Chair for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival & the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library UK Crime Writers' Association award for an author's body of work in British libraries (UK).[6]

Cleeves was chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers' Association for "sustained excellence" in crime fiction.[7] In February 2019 Ann Cleeves appeared on Desert Island Discs.[8] Cleeves was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to reading and libraries.[9][10]

In July 2022, Cleeves was awarded an honorary D.Litt. from Newcastle University for services to reading and libraries.[11]



  • A Bird in the Hand (1986), ISBN 978-0-712-69476-6
  • Come Death and High Water (1987), ISBN 978-0-712-61670-6
  • Murder in Paradise (1988), ISBN 978-0-712-61965-3
  • A Prey to Murder (1989), ISBN 978-0-712-62557-9
  • Another Man's Poison (1992), ISBN 978-0-333-58258-9
  • Sea fever (1993), ISBN 978-0-333-60494-6
  • The Mill on the Shore (1994), ISBN 978-0-333-61345-0
  • High Island Blues (1996), ISBN 978-0-333-66011-9

Inspector Ramsay[edit]

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.

Shetland Island[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.[12]

The Four Seasons Quartet
The Four Elements Quartet

A Shetland Island series travel tie-in preceding the below released Too Good To Be True.

A Shetland Island series novella following the above non-fiction Shetland and preceding Cold Earth.

Two Rivers[edit]

The first book is the adaptive basis for The Long Call ITV series starring Ben Aldridge as DI Matthew Venn.

Standalone novels[edit]

TV series adaptations[edit]

The Vera Stanhope novels have been dramatised as the TV detective series Vera; the Jimmy Perez novels as the TV series Shetland; and the Matthew Venn novel The Long Call (from Cleeves' Two Rivers book series) as the TV series The Long Call (premiered autumn 2021).


  1. ^ a b c Lobb, Adrian (19 March 2013). "Ann Cleeves interview for Shetland". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Anns Diary:On growing up and going back". 13 July 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Island secrets inspire Shetland author Ann Cleeves". Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Ann Cleeves".
  5. ^ Joanne Butcher (8 July 2014). "Vera writer Ann Cleeves gains honour from University of Sunderland - The Journal". journallive. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Dagger in the Library". Dead Good Books. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  7. ^ Eyre, Charlotte (24 January 2017). "Ann Cleeves to receive CWA Diamond Dagger". The Bookseller. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  8. ^ Desert Island Discs, 17 February 2019
  9. ^ "No. 63571". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 2022. p. N11.
  10. ^ "Ann Cleeves and Matt Baker awarded Queen's honours". BBC News. 31 December 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Leading lights in sport and literature given honorary degrees". 13 July 2022.
  12. ^ "'Shetland' gets full six-part series on BBC One". Digital Spy. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2016.

External links[edit]