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Raven Black: Book One of the Shetland Island Mysteries (Shetland Island Mysteries, 1) Paperback – June 24, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 9,150 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A riveting read.” ―Val McDermid

“Chilling...enough to freeze the blood.” ―
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Chilling...enough to freeze the blood.” ―
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Deserves the top crime writer's prize in the United States this year. Don't miss this standout.” ―
Rocky Mountain News

From the Back Cover

Outstanding Praise for "Raven Black"
" "
"A fine and sinister psychological novel in the Barbara Vine style. Cleeves is part of a new generation of superior British writers."
---"The Globe and Mail" (Canada)
"A riveting read."
---Val McDermid, author of "A Place"" of Execution" "Beautifully constructed . . . brings alive the tensions in a place where everyone knows everyone else and nothing can be forgotten. Raven Black is lively and surprising."
---"Times Literary Supplement" (UK)
"Ann's characterization is worthy of the best writers in the field. . . . Rarely has the sense of place been so evocatively conveyed in a crime novel."
---"Daily Express" (UK)
"With a cast of well-drawn and convincing characters and an unexpected conclusion, "Raven Black" is the perfect novel to while away the long winter evenings by the fire."
---"The Tribune" (UK)
""Raven Black" shows what a fine writer [Cleeves] is . . . accomplished and thoughtful."
---"The Sunday Telegraph" (UK)
"Cleeves is a very good writer---strong on atmosphere, plot andpeople."
"---The Times" (UK)
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Minotaur Books; 1st edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0312359675
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0312359676
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.45 x 1.2 x 8.15 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 9,150 ratings

About the author

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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...

Ann grew up in the country, first in Herefordshire, then in North Devon. Her father was a village school teacher. After dropping out of university she took a number of temporary jobs - child care officer, women's refuge leader, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard - before going back to college and training to be a probation officer.

While she was cooking in the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle, she met her husband Tim, a visiting ornithologist. She was attracted less by the ornithology than the bottle of malt whisky she saw in his rucksack when she showed him his room. Soon after they married, Tim was appointed as warden of Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary. They were the only residents, there was no mains electricity or water and access to the mainland was at low tide across the shore. If a person's not heavily into birds - and Ann isn't - there's not much to do on Hilbre and that was when she started writing. Her first series of crime novels features the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones. A couple of these books are seriously dreadful.

In 1987 Tim, Ann and their two daughters moved to Northumberland and the north east provides the inspiration for many of her subsequent titles. The girls have both taken up with Geordie lads. In the autumn of 2006, Ann and Tim finally achieved their ambition of moving back to the North East.

For the National Year of Reading, Ann was made reader-in-residence for three library authorities. It came as a revelation that it was possible to get paid for talking to readers about books! She went on to set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project, became Cheltenham Literature Festival's first reader-in-residence and still enjoys working with libraries.

Ann Cleeves on stage at the Duncan Lawrie Dagger awards ceremony

Ann's short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. She has twice been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award - once for her short story The Plater, and the following year for the Dagger in the Library award.

In 2006 Ann Cleeves was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award of the Crime Writers' Association for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet. The Duncan Lawrie Dagger replaces the CWA's Gold Dagger award, and the winner receives £20,000, making it the world's largest award for crime fiction.

Ann's success was announced at the 2006 Dagger Awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton, in London's Aldwych, on Thursday 29 June 2006. She said: "I have never won anything before in my life, so it was a complete shock - but lovely of course.. The evening was relatively relaxing because I'd lost my voice and knew that even if the unexpected happened there was physically no way I could utter a word. So I wouldn't have to give a speech. My editor was deputed to do it!"

The judging panel consisted of Geoff Bradley (non-voting Chair), Lyn Brown MP (a committee member on the London Libraries service), Frances Gray (an academic who writes about and teaches courses on modern crime fiction), Heather O'Donoghue (academic, linguist, crime fiction reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement, and keen reader of all crime fiction) and Barry Forshaw (reviewer and editor of Crime Time magazine).

Ann's books have been translated into sixteen languages. She's a bestseller in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime novel in Sweden in 200.

Bio and photo from Goodreads.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
9,150 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Raven Black
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 11, 2016
20 people found this helpful
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Read and Reviewed
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant introduction to the Shetland series, atmospheric and insightful as readers see the workings of a remote village.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 23, 2016
34 people found this helpful
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Lizanne Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent gripping murder story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 8, 2018
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Og
1.0 out of 5 stars The infinite monkey theorem
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 30, 2021
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Alan in Durham
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a television version of Perez
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 10, 2019
3 people found this helpful
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