‘Harbour Street’ is the sixth book in the Vera Stanhope detective mystery series by Ann Cleeves. Readers who follow the series won’t be disappointed with this book. The same contradictory, unkempt detective with the razor sharp mind and a heart of gold hidden under a carapace of irascibility deftly shuffles her way through this mystery. The sense of place is so well drawn by Ann Cleeves, providing a vivid background for the story. The reader is drawn into the community and characters of Mardle where the drama plays out.
The mystery begins with the seemingly random murder of an elegant, elderly lady in a train. Vera’s favoured detective, Joe Ashworth, and his daughter, just happen to be on that train. Some days later another woman is found murdered. Events of the past converge on the present as carefully constructed lies and lives begin to unravel. The resolution of the mystery is a surprise.
Anyone who loves to get lost in a mystery story that keeps one guessing to the end, has well-drawn characters, and . I always have room for another Vera Stanhope mystery – Vera doesn’t have it all together, she likes a drink or two, is friendless, comfort eats, but there is just something about her. The book can be read without having read all the preceding title.
The most recent book in the series, and the seventh Vera Stanhope mystery, is ‘The Moth Catcher’.
The books have been dramatized for television in the series ‘Vera’ starring Brenda Blethyn who plays Vera so brilliantly and believably.