Ann Cleeves

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Ann Cleeves
Notable awardsDuncan Lawrie Dagger 2006

Ann Cleeves (born 1954) is an English 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 was born in Herefordshire and brought up in north Devon; 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.[2] She lives in Whitley Bay,[1] and is widowed with two daughters.[3]

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

In 2014 Cleeves was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Sunderland.[4] 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)[5] In February 2019 Ann Cleeves appeared on Desert Island Discs. [6]



  • A Bird in the Hand (1986)
  • Come Death and High Water (1987)
  • Murder in Paradise (1988)
  • A Prey to Murder (1989)
  • Sea Fever (1991)
  • Another Man's Poison (1992)
  • 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)
  • The Seagull (2017)

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.[7]

  • 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)
  • Cold Earth (2016)
  • Wild Fire (2018)

Other novels[edit]

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

Ghost stories[edit]

In addition to her crime novels, Cleeves has written a number of ghost stories to be read at Newcastle upon Tyne's 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 recording of the author performing it) in a numbered limited edition of 300 copies by Side Real Press.

  • The Midwife's Assistant (2006)


  1. ^ a b Lobb, Adrian (19 March 2013). "Ann Cleeves interview for Shetland". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Island secrets inspire Shetland author Ann Cleeves". Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Ann Cleeves".
  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. ^ Desert Island Discs, 17 February 2019
  7. ^ "'Shetland' gets full six-part series on BBC One". Digital Spy. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2016.

External links[edit]