Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope may not be the first person you’d think of for a heroine: she’s overweight, a bit rough around the edges, and her staff knows when to stay out of her way. Vera’s crime-solving skills, however, are more than a match for the darkly fascinating cases that cross her path. Ann Cleeves’s flawed detective won over fans of police procedurals in both the U.S. and U.K. in Harbour Street and Silent Voices. The bestselling and critically acclaimed Vera Stanhope series has been made into the hit series Vera, starring Brenda Blethlyn.
Ann Cleeves was working as a cook in the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle when she met her husband Tim, a visiting ornithologist. Soon after they married, Tim was appointed as warden of Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary. She began writing her first series of crime novels here featuring the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones. She went on to set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project, became Cheltenham Literature Festival's first reader-in-residence and works as associate trainer with the reader development organization, Opening the Book. She is reader-in-residence for Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, and her reading passion is crime in translation. Her short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. Ann has twice before been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award - once for her short story "The Plater," and again for the Dagger in the Library award. In 2016, she won the CWA Diamond Dagger Award, the highest honor in British crime writing.