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Dead to Me Hardcover – January 14, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (January 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250038545
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250038548
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A young woman is murdered in Manchester, England, and the Murder Investigation Team, headed by the formidable Gill Murray, gets the case. Gill is good friends with one of her detectives, Janet Scott, a 25-year veteran who loves her job. Rachel Bailey, another team member, is a smart, ambitious young cop who has escaped a tough childhood. Murray teams Bailey with Scott and puts them on the case. Scott is not happy with the arrogant and overzealous Bailey, and Bailey thinks there is something wrong with Scott because she has never tried for a promotion. They uncover a rape that may be related, find a roving drug dealer who may have been the last person to see the young woman alive, and investigate an unsavory boyfriend who the mother is convinced is the murderer. Scott is a rules-oriented, methodical detective, while Bailey is headstrong and thinks and acts outside the box. Working together is a nightmare for both of them, but gradually they learn to respect each other. This is much more than just a murder mystery; these characters are well developed, idiosyncratic, and likable, and that extends to their families and coworkers as well. Most reminiscent of televisions Cagney & Lacy series, the novel—a prequel to a popular British television programs, Scott & Bailey—should appeal to readers who enjoy female buddy books like Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Iles series and Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & Associates legal thrillers. --Stacy Alesi


Praise for Cath Staincliffe and Dead to Me


“This is more than just a murder mystery; these characters are well developed, idiosyncratic, and likeable, and that extends to their families and coworkers as well.  Most reminiscient of television’s Cagney and Lacy series, the novel… should appeal to readers who enjoy female buddy books like Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series and Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & Associates legal thrillers.” –Booklist, starred review

"Staincliffe writes with energy and a flair for dialog, propelling what is essentially a police procedural into a rumination on social issues, the inherent pressures of a murder investigation, and the place of women in modern police work, traditionally dominated by men… This author not only captures the momentum of an active murder investigation, including the detours of misinformation and lying suspects, but also the complex social issues that accompany such crimes, the delicacy of working with survivors, suspects and the public, the intricate balance required until a case is solved. By including the private lives of the female detectives in a male-dominant career, she separates myth from fact. Beyond this, Staincliffe is just fun to read: fresh, intuitive and real, each of her detectives interesting in her own right. While focusing primarily on Finn’s murder with a peripheral case that becomes poignantly relevant, the murder receives due diligence and the reader gets to know three unusual characters—detectives I am looking forward to meeting again and again." --Curled up with a Good Book

“A solid ingenious plotter with a sharp eye for domestic detail… Real people, real problems, sometimes with solutions still to come. Staincliffe writes brilliantly and compassionately about things that matter.” -- Literary Review

"It's always exciting to see a writer get better and better, and Cath Staincliffe is doing just that." --Val McDermid


 “A superb book, well crafted, well written.” – Books Monthly (UK), Editor’s Choice

“An excellent read.” --The Book Jotter

“One of the best crime books I have read this year.’ --Mystery People

“No frills or gimmicks, just solid characters, well thought out plot and intelligent writing.” --CrimeSquad

“Part of the appeal of these characters is their empathy with the victim and their determination, almost desperation, to catch the perpetrator.” --Eurocime

“This is a well-written book with characters that draw you in, and a murder plot that keeps you reading.” –Shots magazine

“The characters are incredibly well crafted and robust, the difficulties balancing a functional home life with the emotional demands of the job are very well portrayed.” -- Bookgeeks (UK)

More About the Author

Cath Staincliffe is an established novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV's hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Cath's books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award and for the Dagger in the Library and selected as Le Masque de l'Année. In 2012 Cath won the CWA Short Story Dagger for Laptop, sharing the prize with Margaret Murphy with her story The Message. Both stories featured in Best Eaten Cold, a Murder Squad anthology. Cath was shortlisted again with Night Nurse in 2014. Cath's Sal Kilkenny private eye series features a single-parent sleuth working the mean streets of Manchester. Trio, a stand-alone novel moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s, inspired by Cath's own experience. Cath's latest stand alone book, Letters To My Daughter's Killer, exposes the aftermath of violent crime for an ordinary family and explores fundamental questions of crime and punishment and whether it is possible to forgive. Letters To My Daughter's Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and will be featured on ITV3s Crime Thriller Club. Ruthless is Cath's third novel based on the popular Scott & Bailey UK TV series. Cath is one of the founding members of Murder Squad - a group of Northern crime writers who give readings, talks and signings around the country. Cath was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK and now lives in Manchester, Lancashire with her family. You can follow her on Twitter, @CathStaincliffe, which she does when she should be busy writing!

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Good character development.
P. Marg Watson
It is a very well-written , interesting book , the only negative may be the weakness of male characters in this story.
Lady S
If you like the book, try to check out the series it is based on.
Peter E. McGinn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Dead To Me by Cath Staincliffe is the first book in the Scott and Bailey series published as a paperback on April 12th 2012 by Corgi, and it is not an entirely new book. The hardcover edition to be published by Minotaur books is slated for January 14, 2014 release. However, the publication of a paperback edition almost two years ago should not be a deterrent to loving the book as it is a gratifying read. And it must be remembered that the book is a prequel to the hugely popular television series Scott & Bailey.

In Dead To Me, the reader is introduced to three formidable but very different women. Rachel Bailey is the new recruit as a police officer. She is strong-minded and determined. Then there is the experienced police officer, Janet Scott. DCI Gill Murray bands them up as a team. Janet's initial misgivings about Rachel soon turn into awe and admiration. And soon they make a formidable team.

As book one in a projected series, Cath Staincliffe meticulously developed the characters to enable readers to relate to them. DCI Gill Murray is separated from her cheating husband and a parent to a young boy. Rachel comes from a dysfunctional family and is unwilling to reveal her true background to her lawyer boyfriend. Janet is mother to two young girls, but her marriage is starting to crumble.

Cleverly interspersing into the story is the murder of a teenage girl, Lisa Finn. Scott and Bailey are called in to investigate. The victim's mother wants justice, and she is convinced it is the boyfriend, Sean. But is there something to it more than what it appears to be? Did Sean really kill Lisa? You have to find it out in this well-written book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anissa Annalise on April 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of the show Scott & Bailey so I devoured this prequel novel to the show. First in a series, I thought it was a good introduction to the main women we follow (Janet, Rachel & Gill) & there was great expansion on background of these ladies that is only mentioned in passing on the show (season 1) or alluded to. It was all fantastic & just fit so well with what is already known on screen. I laughed & rolled my eyes & enjoyed watching Rachel getting her bearings with the team. Janet is steady as always but that whole thing with Andy was good to get the low down on. I learnt the most about Gill & that was really cool because on the show, so much of her past hadn't been mentioned. The main case the MIT worked on was pretty interesting & it never got boring following the procedural stuff. I was pretty sure I'd figured out the killer's identity but there were still twists & turns that I hadn't seen coming along the way. The tension was built & held taut & true throughout. The supporting characters were well drawn & not just stock or flat. I was so eager to read this that I bought my paperback copy on Amazon's UK site (it's not available on Kindle in the US) & likely will very soon buy the next in the series as well. Love this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter E. McGinn on January 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I read the brand new hardcover version - apparently it was previously published in paperback in England. I picked it up because of the cover, but when I scanned the inside front cover I realized it involves the characters from Scott and Bailey, a British police show I have enjoyed since it began a few years ago. It seems to be a prequel, though a couple of the lesser events felt familiar to me.

I started watched the show it is based on because I like police procedurals more than I do mysteries, and because I had seen one of the main actors in something else. But I grew to like several of the characters, and also the way the cases developed. It seemed more realistic than some police shows, with some of their leads developed through long and hard work and some through lucky breaks. This book follows that same realistic pattern.

If I had read the book first, perhaps I would have liked the Rachel character less, but this is a prequel, so all I can say if you have your doubts about her is - let her grow on you.

I feel like I am reviewing the show as much as the book, so let me hasten to say that the writing is very good. It is omniscient, which means you get to see, hear and feel what a few of the characters experience rather than just through one person's eyes. I write books myself, and omniscient is the hardest type to write, I think. I usually stick to one person's viewpoint. But this author handles it well. There was never any lurch when moving between character viewpoints. And the way the main characters think is different, which means the writing has to show that difference - and it does. I think if the names were removed, I would still have usually known which character the story was following.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Larson VINE VOICE on December 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
What I'm reviewing is not a large print edition, or the Kindle, or anything that hasn't been released yet (it's Dec. 21 today). It's a regular paperback, Corgi Books 2012--an English printing, which I ordered just a couple of weeks ago on Amazon, but of the 5 editions presently listed on Amazon, this isn't one of them. Don't know where it went. Can't believe I got the last one.
So, anyway, I'm reviewing the book, not any particular edition.

I didn't really expect this to be any good; I like the TV series Scott and Bailey, and I ordered the whole thing, all three series, on DVD (Region 2), and ordered this book while I was at it. I just thought it would be interesting to read the prequel, learn the characters' back stories; which is true, it's worth it for that, if you like the series. (Worth it for a cheap paperback, anyway).
But I didn't expect it to be particularly well-written.

It is in fact very well-written, well enough to stand on its own. The book was commissioned after the TV series was already on the air, but it's almost good enough that the series could have been based on the book instead of the other way around. It's not earth-shaking or anything, but very readable, and what I like about it is one of the same things I like about the series: the Manchesterese it's written in. Not only do the characters speak it, as on the show, but the omniscient narrator speaks it too, slang, swear words and all, which is kind of a novelty for me. I thought I was reasonably familiar with British English, but there are a lot of expressions in here that I can't even figure out. It doesn't pose any problems, though; I get the drift.

Like the series, it's much more about the characters than the police procedure or the mystery.
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