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The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)
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The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  893 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Vera Stanhope's first appearance was in The Crow Trap, published in 1999 and now available in a new edition; it forms the third episode of the TV seies Vera, adapted by Stephen Brady.

At the isolated Baikie's Cottage on the North Pennines, three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Pan MacMillan (first published 1999)
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This, the first of the Vera Stanhope mysteries, could have benefited from a little editing. At over 500 pages, with Vera not even appearing until after the first 200 pages, it was overlong. In the book, three women come together to investigate the possible effect on wildlife a new quarry operation would have. They, as well as Vera, are from the area and the plot swirls around the various relationships of members of the community. The complicated plot sorts itself out at the end of the book in a ...more
I had read many good reviews about this author, so being a lover of British mysteries, I decided to give her book a try. Well I was not disappointed, what a great read! This is the first novel I had read by Ann Cleeves and it won't be my last. It is also the first book in the Vera Stanhope detective series. She is not even introduced until you have read 2/3 of the book but the other characters are so fascinating that you don't even notice. Before I had even finished this book, I ordered the seco ...more
Crow Trap is the 1st book in the Vera Stanhope series. I was introduced to Ann Cleeve's wonderful writing from reading her Shetland series. I enjoyed this book very much. The format of the book is different than most mystery books. We are first introduced to three females who are doing environmental studies. The study is to see what changes to the environment a proposed quarry will do the the country side in the North Pennines England. Vera makes her appearance a little over 200 pages into the b ...more
Crow Trap was both an enjoyable read and a good mystery in an atmospheric setting. The story begins with three vastly different women brought together to stay in an isolated countryside cottage to conduct an environmental study prior to a land development project. There is a murder and a female detective assigned to the case. What makes this series stand out is the detective Vera Stanhope. She's a far cry from the beautiful, sexy, stereotypical modern female detective, and that makes her an inte ...more
Definitely a different mystery writer. I enjoyed it very much. I had seen a couple of episodes of the TV series, Vera previously and Ann Cleeves had received some recommendations from my goodreads acquaintances. So I finally got the first book and took the time to read it. Quite different from the series which is, of course, Vera-centric. In the book, you don't really meet Vera Stanhope until about half way through and she is almost peripheral as we explore the other women's lives and the events ...more
A cracking debut for Vera Stanhope and an original crime novel from Ann Cleeves - even though, very unusually for me, I clocked the likely murderer fairly early on.

Vera, who cannot avoid bringing to mind Andy Dalziel (and this is a novel of Reginald Hill standards), doesn't fetch up in any major way until half way through the book, by which time we've looked at life through several different pairs of eyes.

The environmental theme had many different facets and examined with very little sentiment.
Vera burst into the literary scenes back in 1999 and both she and her creator Ann Cleeves have put the North East of England firmly on the literary map.

we've recreated the booktrial of Vera's North East England here -: Take the Vera tour here

Set mainly in the remote landscape of the North Pennines, three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey.

They are to stay at a local cottage and live together whilst their work is completed. But each of the woman comes with more
John Lee
For a debut novel or at least the first in a series, this one is a cracker.

I liked the way that the beginning of the book is divided into three parts as each of the focus characters tells things from their prospective. I wondered if this was the first of the Vera Stanhope series as it is quite late in the book before she puts in an apprearance. I have read another of the series and found I enjoyed it more if I got the UK television adaptation of the series out of my mind.
In the reading of this o
I've seen some of the ITV flims made from this series and I'd say they cast it well, except that the actress is better looking than Vera is described. Vera's approach to criminal investigation seems all over the map in that she keeps some information strictly to herself, not even telling her team (and with the exception of her sergeant, Joe Ashworth, they have no names or faces)but at other times she'll talk to anyone about details- civilians, potential suspects, and all. We learn about her back ...more
Rachel, Anne and Grace are all scientists evaluating the wildlife and the habitat of the area soon to be purchased by a quarry concern. All three women have faced difficulties in their lives but now are drawn into a web of murder, betrayal and deceit. Then enter the bag lady who turns out to be Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope. She is female Frost, except there is a great deal more characterization in Cleeve's work than Wingfield's.
Carol Jean
Nice, long, complicated, chewy mystery. The sleuth herself doesn't enter until about halfway through!
I love a good British mystery and this is a pretty good one. I loved the way Ann Cleeves used several points of view to tell the story from different angles. In the first half, the sections for each POV were long enough that you really get immersed in the character. An enjoyable read.
On page 135, wondering if Vera will make an appearance or not?!?

This book had me totally wrapped, every interruption irritated me because all I wanted to do was read on. I have had a soft spot for Vera ever since the tv series. But I wanted to see how Cleeves had portrayed her in her books, so as to familiarize myself with the 'real' Vera. And as I expected, she is even more awkward than in the series. ;)

The real protagonist in this story is the countryside: I can imagine some would find the boo
Roger Neilson
Perhaps I have a soft spot for this as its so wrapped up in stuff I am part of, but I found it a great read, and up until the last pages had no idea who was the suspect.

A long read, but worth it - great descriptive stuff and a nice range of characters.
Dec 24, 2012 Danna marked it as to-read
It's rare for me, adding a book to my must read shelf based on watching one episode of a British TV series, but "Vera" as portrayed by Brenda Blethyn is a brilliant character and made me pay more attention to the writer's credits.
Great read. Lead character different from the TV portrayal and enough changes in the plot so even if you have seen the series, the book is still interesting.
I can't believe it's taken me so long to discover Vera Stanhope! Another recommendation from Goodreads that proved right on the money.

Vera doesn't show up until late in the story, and there's a little too much padding in the first half. Cleeves covers the same ground from the perspective of different characters, which goes more to show off her own cleverness as a writer than to really develop the plot.

I am now at book #4 in the series, and from that vantage point I can recommend The Crow Trap as
Bev Taylor
a vera stanhope novel

three very different women come together to complete n environmental study. this is for a proposed quarry over moorland and of course there r those for and for against.

people stand to make or lose money. plus past secrets could be unearthed with troubling results

murder strikes snd u r thrown into a cleverly plotted psychological thriller.

vera stanhope is a hoot - she would never survive as a big city cop - not least because of her outfits. has she heard of uniform? !

Gary Van Cott
I gather that this book was originally intended to be a standalone mystery. The author must have liked Vera, who doesn't make her real entrance until almost halfway through, enough that she started a series. This book seems overlong, 535 pages in the paperback edition I read. The author also shies away from supply details at the climactic moment, something she also did in the most recent Shetland Island book (Dead Water).
#1 in the Vera Stanhope series.

Three women working on an environmental impact project find themselves entangled in the consequences of a suicide and old emotional baggage.

I enjoyed this novel and was happily unable to put all the pieces together until the end. I am glad that I started the series out of order, though, because the one I read was better than this. I may not have decided to keep going if I had judged the series by this title alone.

Vera Stanhope doesn't even show up until the book i
Shirley Schwartz
I became interested in this very unique and picturesque woman detective after watching the PBS series. When I found the first book in the series at a wonderful used book store, I had to buy it. Vera Stanhope is a wonderful fictional character. And Ann Cleeves does a fine job of drawing this character as well as the many other strong characters in this book. I loved the setting as well - Northumberland, England and Ms. Cleeves descriptions of the countryside and of the North Pennines are very rea ...more
The Crime Scene Scene
The Crow Trap is the first novel in the Vera Stanhope books by Anne Cleeves. A young woman, Bella, commits suicide the day before three members of a group are due to turn up at her farm to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment on the site where a quarry development is being proposed. Later one of the members of the group, Grace, is found killed on the site. Vera Stanhope, who has a personal and professional connection with the area, it being the location of a missing persons case she work ...more
No es una novela del estilo que me gusta, aún así quería terminarla por aquello de salir de la zona de confort. Es una historia que me recuerda demasiado a otra novela ¨rural¨que leí hace tiempo y que me pareció muy mala. Los líos familiares, los escenarios rurales, tanto que contar sobre la vida de los personajes...

Es una buena novela pero tiene su público, su targuet, pero me temo que yo no encajo en el.
Tess Makovesky
I loved every word of this. The descriptions of the wild Northumberland landscape were a dream and the characters were lovable yet flawed and will stay with me for some time after I've finished the book. The only slight downside was the ending, which felt rushed and unfinished - and the distinct lack of Vera in Vera's first book!
I really wanted to like this book better. Having seen the TV series first, I was excited to find this book in a used bookstore. I found the book too long, and I was disappointed at how much of the book progressed before meeting Vera Stanhope. I almost did not finish it, but I kept plugging along.
Enjoyable crime outing - and much better than the TV adaptation (interestingly not the case with the Shetland series) - quick read. Perfect for a sunny Sunday. Also good to have a female protagonist who isn't the usual divorced, alcoholic, dysfunctional man (Rebus, Resnick etc).
Suzy Topping
I wanted to read this after having wtach the series on ITV. It was a very good read.
I like the way Ann has divided the book up into separate parts for the main characters.
Leaving Vera to the last, to come in and put it altogether. As it was interesting how
she had Vera's past linked in with the area from the start. And by doing this we learnt
alot about Vera's early life.

This was a very enjoyable read. And shows you can have a crime fiction, without going
into all the horrible details. Ann did th
Kyla Squires
I quite enjoyed this. If you're in the mood for a very British murder mystery, you really can't go wrong. I liked the multiple point of view story-telling. It's set in the present day, but it took me over half the book before I could picture everything happening in the present. Set something in pastoral England, and it's very very difficult not to envision the story in a BBC period drama.
I've always liked Ann Cleeves' writing - the Shetland Island series was excellent - so when I saw a dramatized series on PBS (The Vera Stanhope series), I watched it with pleasure and decided to search down the books on which the television series was based.

THE CROW TRAP was the first book in the series, and it was SO MUCH BETTER than the dramatization (although props to Brenda Blethyn for being a fab Vera Stanhope). Cleeves' characters are beautifully rounded and her POV both entices the reade
I loved this. Yes, it was a little clunky and overlong in the first half, but hearing the story from different points of view was a good way to draw the reader in. Vera is a wonderful character, very well-drawn indeed. I've not seen the tv series, but I have a clear picture of Vera in my head. Can't wait to read the next in the series.
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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 (6 books)
  • Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope, #2)
  • Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope, #3)
  • Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope, #4)
  • The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope, #5)
  • Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope, #6)
Raven Black (Shetland, #1) White Nights (Shetland, #2) Red Bones (Shetland, #3) Blue Lightning (Shetland, #4) Dead Water (Shetland, #5)

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