The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves

The Glass Room
Ann Cleeves


Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope has another crime to solve when her neighbor, Joanna Tobin, goes missing and an influential professor is murdered. Could Joanna, who is off her meds, be responsible for the professor’s death?

In the fifth of the Vera Stanhope series, which is also a popular show on Netflix, the stocky, gruff and brilliant detective investigates Tony Ferdinand’s murder. With Sergeant Joe Ashworth at her side and Detective Constable Holly Clarke close behind, Vera steps into the unfamiliar realm of writers and publishers, all trying to either get in the game, or stay in it, at Miranda Barton’s Writers’ House.

Ferdinand has been found stabbed and crouching on the balcony off the glass room and Vera is first to question the set-up. “Did he sit on the balcony and wait to be stabbed to death? Or was he moved afterwards? I mean, this all seems madness to me.”

As Vera digs, it seems everyone has something to hide, including Joanna, who is at the house on scholarship. Is what she has written the source of the crime? Why is Miranda’s son Alex defensive about his knives? And what is tutor Nina Backworth’s alibi? She hated Ferdinand and so did Miranda! Others at the weeklong course include a successful crime novelist, a former truck driver with a fresh new voice, and a former police inspector.

True to Vera’s character, the sharp-eyed detective has equally acerbic communications skills, pitting Joe against Holly and irritating many. She may be an imperfect and lonely human being, but no one can match her intuition.

Set in fictional Northumberland, England, I thoroughly enjoyed the coastline setting and clever story, in which the author offers clues, but saves the crucial details for the finish. Vera may be gruff, but Cleeves shows the detective’s soft sides as well. This is the second Stanhope mystery I’ve read. (Check out my review of The Moth Catcher here.) and, while Vera and her crew are regulars, readers will have no problem jumping in wherever they please. I see this as a great way for readers to enjoy books from a series without having to commit to reading a long line of books and I recommend The Glass Room to readers who enjoy entertaining and intelligent mysteries.

Have you read any of the Vera Stanhope books? Have you watched the show? I checked out the first DVD at the library and will be watching it soon!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

22 thoughts on “The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves

    1. Oh, nice! I did that when I read The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May. His books take place in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Now I want to go on a walking tour there! Thanks for visiting Teresa. Hope you’re doing well!

    1. Hi Jill. I’m usually out of the loop, but we read this for our mystery book club at work, so I usually spend more time researching. The series is very popular. I’m going to watch an episode tonight, if I have the pep! Thanks for reading and commenting, Jill. Hope you’re having a great week 🙂

  1. I love the series – both the books (though I’ve not read them all) and the tv series (in the UK). Part of the reason for loving the series is I’m from the area that Vera is set in!

    1. Oh, that’s so interesting. I like reading books set in New Jersey here in the U.S. because that’s where I grew up. It’s fun to read about the places that are familiar to us. Thanks for the visit!

  2. I haven’t read any of these books but perhaps I should – I particularly like the idea of a book set in Northumberland and seeing how that plays into the story.
    Lynn 😀

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