C could be for Celtic given the decoration above, but C is for Cleeves. Ann Cleeves writes mystery books. She’s got a few series on the go, but I’ve only read books that feature Vera Stanhope. Let me tell you how I encountered our hero, Vera.
Last year I was in a used bookshop (oh the shock, I know you think it out of character, I never visit used bookshops), and the owner recommended Cleeves as an excellent mystery writer. She made me a like it or trade it guarantee on the book. I thought hey, can’t lose with that offer. So I bought Hidden Depths. I really liked the detective, Vera Stanhope. The woman who ran the bookshop thought that I might. She was right. If you like your detectives thoughtful, quirky, and moody, this one is for you. This series is a UK police procedural, my favoured sort of mystery book. Since reading Hidden Depths I’ve kept an eye out for more Vera Stanhope, and have found a couple of others. They are quite good reads.
I like finding books through recommendations from slightly unexpected places. I’d not been in this particular bookshop for some time — it used to be a regular haunt of mine when I lived in North York. Now it is just a little bit too far out of the way for me to visit it very often. It is a small shop, tightly packed with good stuff. It has a good used bookshop vibe, not a junky used bookshop vibe. It isn’t too trendy or incense filled or hip or anything. It isn’t over messy or over neat. It is just right. I wish it were closer to my house, or on my way to somewhere else, but it isn’t. So sad.
Any mysteries you’d recommend to relative strangers?