Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves


We start this Vera Stanhope mystery in Northumbria in a small community called Valley Farm. Ann Cleeves is such an excellent author, bringing you directly into the scene and allowing you to be the proverbial fly on the wall.  This wasn't as engaging as her other Vera novels but I did enjoy following along with the investigation.  

This time we have two murders straight away, both men killed different ways and with a curious connection.  An older man found stabbed and his identity, at first, was a complete mystery. The younger man called Patrick Randle was found face up in a ditch. Patrick  was a house sitter at a large country house - the same place mystery man was found stabbed. The only connection the two men had was an interest in moths yet they did not seem to know one another. 

When Vera starts the investgation she and her team, DC Holly Clarke and DS Joe Ashworth, start interviews with the residents of Valley Farm. Nigel and Lorraine, Sam and Annie and Jan and her professor husband. All of these couples have secrets, some relative to the investigation.

There were enough clues to set me thinking I absolutely knew what the motive would be and how it would end. Nope!  I was completely surprised.

What I loved was the quick mind and investigative thought process Vera displays in all the books. What I didn't care for was the constant reminders of Vera's weight and her health issues.  If you have read this series in order you will be well acquainted with how fat Vera Stanhope is and her occassional inner thoughts about being alone.  It seemed to be hammered in with this novel.  Lighten up there, please.

I would like to see more development with Holly Clarke's character.  She was quite introspective in this book and I wondered if she would soon be written out. She sounds like she has plenty of personal secrets and it would be interesting to know more about her.

Linking up Joy's Book Blog for British Isles Friday.


  1. I've never read a book by this author, it does sound good! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Vicki, I am almost done with this series and want to get back to her Shetland series. Both were made into tv series too.

  2. This author is on my TBR and I've thought about picking this particular series up because it looks a little more gentle then her other series. I can see the weight/health issue thing getting annoying. I do hate when a character gets too much in their own head too often. Other then that this does sound like a good one and I really need to give this series a try.

    1. Katherine, I like this series best of the ones she has out but I do like the Shetland series too. I just like Vera more. It's not a cozy mystery but it isn't graphic as some can be.

  3. The moth fascination is intriguing. I like it when I get to learn about what people find interesting through a novel.


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