cover image The Glass Room: A Vera Stanhope Mystery

The Glass Room: A Vera Stanhope Mystery

Ann Cleeves. Minotaur, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-10736-7

The fatal stabbing of mercurial book critic Tony Ferdinand at the Writers’ House on the Northumbrian coast, where a group of crime writers has gathered, propels Cleeves’s fascinating fifth mystery featuring Det. Insp. Vera Stanhope (after Silent Voices). One suspect is Vera’s neighbor Joanna Tobin, who’s found at the Writers’ House with a knife in her hand, but it’s not the murder weapon. The crime writers didn’t much like the victim, and a few seem to harbor secrets, such as Nina Backworth, who proves to be a distraction to Vera’s married sergeant, and retreat owner Miranda Barton, who had a history with Ferdinand. Frequently underestimated because of her offhand manner and slovenly appearance, Vera slyly delves deep into the gossip running rampant among the writers, hoping to flush out a killer. Cleeves crafts a subtle, complex mystery, and the curmudgeonly Vera and her distinctive view of the world make this series stand out in a crowded genre. Agent: Sarah Menguc, Sarah Menguc Literary Agent (U.K.). (Apr.)