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Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope, #2)
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Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope #2)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  775 ratings  ·  67 reviews
10 years ago Jeanie Long was charged with the murder of 15-year old Abigail Mantel. Now new evidence has proved Jeanie's innocence. But Jeanie commits suicide in her prison cell, unable to face the people who had believed her capable of killing a child. On hearing the news, Emma Bennett is haunted once more by memories of her vibrant best friend, Abigail, and by the though ...more
Kindle Edition, 452 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Pan Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Telling Tales is the second book in the Vera Stanhope series and I loved this one as much as the first. Vera appears in this book much earlier than the first one. I still didn't guess the murderer in this one either, but had fun trying! The ending really surprised me in this book and although I loved the first book, I think I may have enjoyed this one even slightly better. Another well written, well-paced, engaging addition to the series. I'm starting to feel a little sorry for Vera, she appears ...more
I was having a bit of Jimmy Perez withdrawal after finishing the last of the Shetland Quartet, so I decided I needed to try another of Ann Cleeves' series. This book was actually the second in the Vera Stanhope series, since I couldn't get my hands on the first. It was a great book, with Cleeves' characteristic rich description of the setting and deep characterization. I feel as though I know the characters, and I am very much looking forward to getting to know Vera Stanhope better. In this book ...more
Sophie Houston
Very good, although she needs a decent editor - spelling 'surplice' as 'surplus' is just awful!
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Loving this series with Inspector Vera Stanhope. I had previously read the Shetland Quartet (one further one was added recently) and had hoped this series would be as good, and it is. This is the second of the series, so far, I think there are six published. Ten years after Jeanie Long has been convicted for the murder of 15 year old Abigail Mantel, Jeanie commits suicide after being turned down again for parole. Then, a witness comes forward and gives Jeanie an alibi supporting her claim she wa ...more
2nd in the Vera Stanhope series, and a complete surprise ending. I may be terribly dense but I never even had an inkling 'who done it.' I'm a fan of Ann Cleeves and recently purchased the whole series. Have heard that British TV has filmed a series based on these books, would love to see that!
John Lee
A most enjoyable story. The authors style of starting the story in a very character based way is very similar to her previous book, The Crow Trap, is much to my taste.
As readers of my notes will know I am someone who tries to work out 'who-dun-it' before the denoument but the web was woven and covered so well here that I didnt have anyone in the frame, right up to the last chapter.

The TV characterisation of Vera, which I tried to avoid, just didnt work for me as Brenda Blethyn, fine actress that
Laura Garner
I'm loving the depth and complexity of this series, and I absolutely love Vera. She's real, solid, pathetic yet heroic.
Richard Thompson
With this book we have run out of Vera novels. We still have a couple of Cleeves' Shetland mysteries left... we will have to check out some of her other titles.

In this one Vera has been brought in to work with the Yorkshire police to assess an old case in which a young woman was wrongly convicted of killing a teenager in a small coastal village. New evidence has come to light that proves that the accused woman couldn't have committed the crime, but by then the woman had hung herself in her priso
Carol Jean
Fascinating characters and atmosphere. It's long and complex, so set aside a winter day and curl up by the fire with endless cups of tea. You can switch to whiskey partway through in synch with Vera Stanhope. Lovely!
This is a good old fashioned crime story, primarily a character study. The format was just questioning and slowly uncovering more facts, so not exciting in the action stakes. Nonetheless the characters were really interesting, I particularly liked how Emma was drawn. The only thing I would have changed is actually the perspective from which the story was told. I liked it most when we weren't following Vera and didn't know what she was thinking. At first she seemed this mysterious and intriguing ...more
Bev Taylor
a vera stanhope novel

10 years after jeanie was charged with the murder of 15 year old abigail she commits suicide and the residents of elvet r disturbed to learn that new evidence has arisen proving her innocence. this means here killer is still at large

vera is called in to investigate and also look at how the case previously built up.

has she uncovered a can of worms! there are many people in the village with secrets - some good and some bad. it is up to her to find out which is which and disc
This was my first book by this author. Frankly, this was a total cover buy at first, but as soon as I started reading it I liked it from the first chapter.
The way the author described Emma (a young mother) in this first chapter was just so spot on, I could totally relate (it was like she was describing me). This made me connect with Emma instantly :)

The storyline:
the book is about an investigation of the murder, which happened 10 years ago. A young girl - Abigail - was killed and her father's gi
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A full cast of characters, including the inimitable Vera Stanhope, fills this novel. Set in the village of Elvet in East Yorkshire, the story begins ten years ago, when 15-year-old Abigail Mantel is found murdered. As the teen had been opposed to her father's lover, Jeanie Long, living in the same house, Long was soon charged with the murder and convicted. Now, ten years later, there is evidence that Jeanie is in
I tend to stay away from crime series that follow a particular detective along, and this book reminded me why. The character background and feelings of the detective in this one detract from the main point of the story for me. I was also a little disappointed in the way that the ending played out. The resolution itself wasn't bad, just the way it was revealed. It is no surprise to me that this series has been made into a TV show, and I think this story would work better in that format.

Things I
Rosalind Norrell
Having watched the television series first I thought I would try the books and started on the second book too. What a fantastic storyteller Cleeves is, I was engrossed from the first page. She has a wonderful way of writing in third person but getting inside the characters heads. Like any decent murder mystery she keeps you guessing right till the end. I love Vera as a character too.
Gary Van Cott
This was a difficult book to get. I finally bought a used copy through Amazon. I thought it was ok, but the author seems to be more interested in writing about the characters then in telling a good story. At least we didn't have to wait as long as we did in the first book for Vera to make her appearance.
I first became aware of DI Vera Stanhope in the TV series Vera last year. And while I enjoyed the series, the books are even better, if this is a typical exmple.
DI Stanhope is not your usual fictional female cop, she's, fat, ugly and has a unsightly dry skin condition, oh yes, she also dresses badly. However she is also very human, gven to jumping to conclusions and misjudging people, she's also prone to occasionally feeling sorry for herself.
The story concerns two murders, one ten years old and
Loved this. Vera is such a warm, sympathetic character - feels full of life. The other characters are perhaps a bit less well -drawn, but you'd expect that in a crime novel. I was disappointed with the ending, though - it came out of nowhere and left a lot of threads hanging. Almost felt as though she'd got fed up.
Vera Stanhope is one of the most interesting characters in detective fiction that I have come across in a while. She looks and dresses like a bag lady because of an unfortunate figure and a recalcitrant skin condition. She is frequently underestimated and often over looked so he has developed a personality that is warm and caring on occasion and very snarky as the British say, on others.

She is the perfect Detective Inspector to reinvestigate a case of the death of a young girl ten years prior. S
Mick Kelly
Really enjoyed this second Vera novel. The characters are so real that you are always drawn back to them to find out how they are getting on. They live on in your head after the book is finished.
This is the second book in the Vera Stanhope series, and it is also the second book that I have read by Ann Cleeves. I love Ann's writing. As with her first book in the series, she doesn't begin the story with her detective, rather she starts with the stories of all of the other fascinating characters, their relationships to each other, and to the victim(s). Vera Stanhope does not play a major role until almost half-way through the novel, but because the suspects and their tales are so interesti ...more
This second Vera book confirmed what I suspected: Ann Cleeves is a very versatile writer who manages to concoct the most wonderful characters. I was already hooked on Jimmy Perez, but Vera has conquered my heart.
I liked it, quite a bit rather than 'really'.
I'd wanted to read it ever since hearing that it was set at Spurn Head, a place of some fascination, and felt disproportionally disappointed at how fictional it was - Elvet admitted to being so at the end of the book, although by then I'd deduced that since it far from tallied with my memories.
I did not deduce who did the deeds, or why (or why, eventually, others didn't) so ten out of ten for clever and devious plotting. Vera Stanhope crashed her wa
Salonie Powar
A really smooth book, no pretentious philosophies or big words. A tad bit disappointed with the ending, but the lucid writing made it easier to bear.
My Rating: B
I'm sure I read this book but can't believe I haven't added it to goodreads. I'm sure I read it because I remember watching the tv episode and comparing it to the book.
Zoe Millward
Probably a 3.5. Very readable, it plods along unveiling characters' secrets and surprising revelations. If you are an Agatha Christie crime reader you will love it. If you are more of a Karin Slaighter/ Richard Montanari fan it will seem a little tame.
Valentine George
Great detective - one of my favourites. I think Telling Tales might be even better than The Crow Trap (but it's a close-run thing!)
Ann Cleeves is always a good read, however, this wasn't her best. I did enjoy the characters, but I sort of guessed who did it and the reflections weren't very convincing. Still, I read it on my holidays and enjoyed it.
Andy Plonka
I'm really getting attacked to Vera Stanhope. She's not your average policeperson. She's overweight, not very friendly, and drinks too much, but she has a good mind and uncovers perpetrators in unique ways. Sadly except for the most recent in the series I think I've read all the others after having just polished this one off.
This is the second in the Vera Stanhope series. I enjoyed it (and didn't guess the murderer). Vera is likeable, and the setting on the east coast around the Humber - which is not where she usually operates - is well done. Slightly irritated by a couple of the kind of small mistakes which are probably down to sloppy editing - vicars and their assistants do not wear "surpluses", and things affect children, not effect them - but then I'm a bit of a pedant (and the copy I was reading was an early im ...more
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Mysteries & C...: BOM May - Telling tales 11 30 Jun 06, 2015 07:24PM  
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Ann is the author of the books behind ITV's VERA, now in it's third series, and the BBC's SHETLAND, which will be aired in December 2012. Ann's DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann's Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands...

More about Ann Cleeves...

Other Books in the Series

Vera Stanhope (7 books)
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)
  • Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope, #3)
  • Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope, #4)
  • The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope, #5)
  • Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope, #6)
  • The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope #7)
Raven Black (Shetland, #1) White Nights (Shetland, #2) Red Bones (Shetland, #3) Blue Lightning (Shetland, #4) Dead Water (Shetland, #5)

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