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The VERA books in order:

The Crow Trap
More about
The Crow Trap
Telling Tales
More about
Telling Tales
Hidden Depths
More about
Hidden Depths
Silent Voices
More about Silent Voices
The Glass Room
More about
The Glass Room
Harbour Street
More about
Harbour Street
The Moth Catcher
More about
The Moth Catcher
The Seagull
More about
The Seagull
The Darkest Evening
More about
The Darkest Evening
The Rising Tide More about
The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide paperback, and text reading 'Event: Ann Cleeves, Brenda Blethy, Jon Morrison

The latest mystery novel by award-winning author Ann Cleeves takes her much-loved detective Vera Stanhope to the beautiful tidal island of Lindisfarne. Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.

When one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now . . .

But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible . . .

The Woman on the Island, a Vera Stanhope short story

The Rising Tide is now available in paperback, and Ann has an invitation to all her readers: she celebrated publication of the hardback in September at Viva Vera, a live event with actors Brenda Blethyn and Jon Morrison, chaired by the wonderful Steph McGovern. There was such a demand for tickets that many people missed out, so Team Vera are making the recording of the evening available to anyone who buys a copy of the paperback from an independent book shop or from Ann says: "Watch us talk about Vera, the joys of filming in a heatwave or downpour, and support your local book shop at the same time."

Read all about The Rising Tide here. And if you are wondering why Vera is so familiar with the island that provides its spectacular setting, you can download a FREE Kindle single story The Woman on the Island, about Vera's previous visits to Lindisfarne (includes a taster of the first chapters of The Rising Tide!)

Visit Lindisfarne, and the setting for The Rising Tide, with The Book Trail.

VERA's Golden 50th

Brenda Blethyn as Vera Stanhope

Series 12 of VERA, the mystery drama series featuring detective Vera Stanhope, ended on a high note, with the transmission on Sunday, 19th February, of Episode 4, The Darkest Evening. Appropriately, this very special fiftieth case for TV's DCI Vera Stanhope, played by the fabulous Brenda Blathyn, is based on one of Ann's best-selling novels. On the night of a storm, DCI Stanhope comes across an abandoned car with a baby inside. With no mobile signal and blocked roads at every turn, she is forced to seek refuge somewhere she'd rather not be at Brockburn House, the Stanhopes' ancestral residence. Things take a sinister turn when a body is found on the track leading to the house...

Brenda Blethyn said "I feel rather proud of having reached the landmark of 50 episodes, now having filmed 51 in total. I think it's wonderful. A great achievement for everyone involved. Ten of those 51 films are based on the books by Ann Cleeves. She has created such well defined characters, allowing the other story writers to bring them to life on screen as well."

If you missed it, The Darkest Evening, like all of Vera's past cases, is available to stream on itvX. For those who like to own their box sets on DVD, the full six episodes of series 11 will be released on February 27th and are available for pre-order now. And you can always go back to the source and read the book!

Also available from itvX, the whole of series 11 - and all past series, too. For those who like to own their box sets on DVD, the full six episodes of series 11 will be released on February 27th and are available for pre-order now.

Brenda Blethyn as Vera Stanhope, with Kenny Doughty as Aiden Healy

Success for VERA

There were awards for VERA at the North East Royal Television Society Awards, presented at a star-studded event at the Hilton Newcastle-Gateshead in February 2022. The programme, starring Brenda Blethyn as the tenacious Detective Vera Stanhope, won the prestigious Best Drama award and the actress won for Best Drama Performance. Accepting the awards, Brenda Blethyn thanked the Royal Television Society, and said: "I am absolutely thrilled to bits. This year sees us embarking on season 12 of Vera, so that means we'll have made 50 feature length Vera films."

There was a special award for the production team, too, which may be some comfort for the many fans who've been left hungry for more of Ann Cleeves' much-loved detective. Series 11 of VERA made its first appearance in August 2021 with two episodes, reappeared to brighten our New Year with another two episodes in January 2021, and has now left us in suspense waiting for the remaining two stories in the season. Now it has won a Drama Pandemic Innovation Award, recognising the ingenuity of Team Vera in continuing to produce the series during lockdowns with significant restrictions in place.

"I do love Vera!"

Val McDermid

"If you like the TV series, you're in for a treat - because the atmospheric but realistic books are even better."

Leicester Mercury

"... one of the most appealing fictional detectives to emerge since Andy Dalziel got into his stride..."

Martin Edwards, Spinetingler Magazine

"... although she is lonely, obsessed with her job and over fond of a beer, Vera is one of the few fictional detectives who seems not only like a real person, but one capable of conducting a murder enquiry. Ann Cleeves brings the same skill to all her characterisations in this highly impressive story."

Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph

The Starlings and Other Stories

A Taste of Vera

Just can't get enough of Vera? If you've read all the novels, and watched all the TV dramas, have you read the short stories?

Ann's contribution to The Starlings and Other Stories (which she has also edited), is the title story, The Starlings, featuring DI Vera Stanhope. For this collection of twelve short stories, Ann invited each of her fellow members of Murder Squad writers' group to join her, with an accomplice, in writing a short story inspired by the dramatic photography of Pembrokeshire-based author David Wilson. The Starlings and Other Stories is published by Graffeg.

Ann has previously used short stories as an opportunity to explore Vera's past: The Habit of Silence, one of Ann's contributions to Best Eaten Cold, the second anthology of stories from Ann and her colleagues in the Murder Squad, reveals something more about Vera Stanhope, the woman she is now and the past that made her. The Woman on the Island, now available as a Kindle single, was originally published as Hector's Other Woman in Guilty Consciences, the new anthology from the prestigious Crime Writers' Association, and is now reissued in Ann's short story collection, Offshore.

Read more about these and all Ann Cleeves's short stories.

VERA's case files

All eleven previous series of TV's crime drama VERA are now available to fans in both the UK and the US. They have been widely broadcast; VERA was nominated for an Edgar Award, for Dark Road, the first episode of series 6 (an original screenplay by Martha Hillier). VERA was ranked sixth best TV series of all time in a recent poll. In February 2019 it won the Judges' Award at the Royal Television Society NE Awards in Gateshead.

Use the links to order your choice of DVD from Amazon, using the links below; look out for them in the shops - and in the UK all episodes of VERA are now available to stream on itvX. Elsewhere, you can sign up for Britbox, and watch the whole story, from the beginning.

Series 10, the DVD

VERA is filmed at locations from across Northumberland and Tyneside: if the scenery gives you an urge to visit Northumberland, you can read what Ann has to say about the county here. The Guardian also published Ann's short guide to Vera's Northumberland.

Vera's Facebook pageYou can also keep up with the show through its page on Facebook!