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The Moth Catcher

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This case was different from anything Vera had ever worked before. Two bodies, connected but not lying together. And nothing made her feel as alive as murder. Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, This case was different from anything Vera had ever worked before. Two bodies, connected but not lying together. And nothing made her feel as alive as murder. Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, to look after the place while they're away. But Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane into the valley - a beautiful, lonely place to die. DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, with her detectives Holly and Joe. When they look round the attic of the big house - where Patrick has a flat - she finds the body of a second man. All the two victims have in common is a fascination with moths - catching these beautiful, rare creatures. The three couples who live in the Valley Farm development have secrets too: Annie and Sam's daughter is due to be released from prison any day; Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be deadly secrets trapped here . . .

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This case was different from anything Vera had ever worked before. Two bodies, connected but not lying together. And nothing made her feel as alive as murder. Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, This case was different from anything Vera had ever worked before. Two bodies, connected but not lying together. And nothing made her feel as alive as murder. Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, to look after the place while they're away. But Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane into the valley - a beautiful, lonely place to die. DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, with her detectives Holly and Joe. When they look round the attic of the big house - where Patrick has a flat - she finds the body of a second man. All the two victims have in common is a fascination with moths - catching these beautiful, rare creatures. The three couples who live in the Valley Farm development have secrets too: Annie and Sam's daughter is due to be released from prison any day; Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be deadly secrets trapped here . . .

30 review for The Moth Catcher

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    As good as anything Cleeves' ever written, although I find the mystery and the whodunnit a bit far-fetched. And once again, I understand that Vera is a fat, ugly old woman. It's been a known fact throughout the series. There's really no need to remind us that she's fat and ungainly every other chapter. Still, the writing is brilliant and Cleeves remains one of my favorite mystery authors. She's never written a bad book that I've read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 My very first Vera Stanhope, though I absolutely love this author's Shetland series. Two bodies, in life connected by their love for moths, Vera and her team are on the job. A group of indulgent retirees, sounded fun to me, I would love to be an indulgent retiree. A good mix of characters, and Vera herself is a true leader, albeit a bit of a control freak at times, though she is trying hard to change that, giving Holly and Joe more credit for the work they do. Had no clue who done it, but it 3.5 My very first Vera Stanhope, though I absolutely love this author's Shetland series. Two bodies, in life connected by their love for moths, Vera and her team are on the job. A group of indulgent retirees, sounded fun to me, I would love to be an indulgent retiree. A good mix of characters, and Vera herself is a true leader, albeit a bit of a control freak at times, though she is trying hard to change that, giving Holly and Joe more credit for the work they do. Had no clue who done it, but it was fun watching it all unfold, masterfully I thought. Very tightly controlled plot, all comes together in the end. My only complaint is the constant mention of Vera being large, ugly etc. After the first two times, I got it, didn't need the reinforcement of further mentions. A new series for me and one I will now be reading, not that I needed a new series, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. Cleeves is just a good storyteller. ARC from Netgalley.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Deirdre Clancy

    The deaths P.D. James and Ruth Rendell have left a slight void in my need for an occasional crime fiction fix (of the non-hard-boiled type), which is being filled to an extent for me by Ann Cleeves. The Moth Catcher is the latest in her Vera Stanhope series, the only series I have sampled so far, and it is quite a complex plot, with many well-drawn characters from different strata of society. It is difficult to review a crime writer's work in any detail without inserting spoilers. Suffice to say The deaths P.D. James and Ruth Rendell have left a slight void in my need for an occasional crime fiction fix (of the non-hard-boiled type), which is being filled to an extent for me by Ann Cleeves. The Moth Catcher is the latest in her Vera Stanhope series, the only series I have sampled so far, and it is quite a complex plot, with many well-drawn characters from different strata of society. It is difficult to review a crime writer's work in any detail without inserting spoilers. Suffice to say that The Moth Catcher will satisfy those who like their murder mysteries to be more than jigsaw puzzles. Acute social commentary and observations on human nature are a part and parcel of Ann Cleeves' work, and she is an extremely skilled writer. In this novel, some critical observations about the criminal justice system in the UK are included, which we can assume are based on the author's previous experiences working as a probation officer. If you are bereft at the loss of P.D. James and Ruth Rendell, you could do a lot worse than to check out this writer. I have just bought a couple of books from her Shetland series (there are three series on the go), and am looking forward to sampling her other detectives (fond and all as I am of Vera Stanhope, I sometimes wish she would find a life beyond her job and memories of her dead taxidermist father).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Book Club Mom

    Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team have little to go on when a house sitter with a PhD and a former teacher are murdered near the English Northumberland village of Gilswick. Are the murders connected and how? Vera is a shrewd investigator, but the case is a puzzle. Why would Patrick Randle, fresh out of university, defer a research position and sign on as a house sitter? Who was Martin Benton and what happened when the two met? Detectives Joe Ashworth and Holly Clarke are at Vera’s co Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team have little to go on when a house sitter with a PhD and a former teacher are murdered near the English Northumberland village of Gilswick. Are the murders connected and how? Vera is a shrewd investigator, but the case is a puzzle. Why would Patrick Randle, fresh out of university, defer a research position and sign on as a house sitter? Who was Martin Benton and what happened when the two met? Detectives Joe Ashworth and Holly Clarke are at Vera’s command and they soon discover a possible connection: moth catching. This strange interest, shared by both men, may be the link. There is much to understand, however, including the relationships between three retired couples who live down the lane. They call themselves the “retired hedonists” and seem to be good friends, but Vera senses an undercurrent. Other characters with shady or unknown histories make the mystery a challenge for readers who like to crack a case before the last page. This is my first Ann Cleeves mystery, but fans will know the Vera Stanhope character well and may have watched Vera, the British television series, starring Brenda Blethyn. Cleeves has created a unique personality—Vera is middle-aged, overweight, controlling, a little obsessed, with a few regrets and buried insecurities. But she’s a genius detective who knows how to dig. She is often bossy with Joe and Holly, who have their own talents and a little personal baggage. Both Joe and Holly silently crave Vera’s respect and confidence, and hope for one of Vera’s rare nuggets of praise. I enjoyed this work dynamic and think it’s one of the book’s strongest elements. I also enjoyed the author’s descriptions of homes, their interiors, and a sort of running commentary on what the gardens were like and whether or not they were weeded. Food and caffeine sources also get frequent mention, keeping the reader amused. Cleeves’ characters struggle with many issues. For Vera, Joe and Holly, they question their career choices. The hedonists secretly wonder if retiring out in the country has given them enough to do with their days. Other themes include family, money, relationships and women’s roles. Although Cleeves includes many interesting personalities and scenery, I was disappointed by the plot. I’m a “go along for the ride” mystery reader, so it didn’t bother me that the finish was difficult to predict, but the moth catching angle fell flat, especially the author’s reference to global warming. Moths became a small and irrelevant connection and I felt misled by the title. Despite this gripe, I enjoyed The Moth Catcher and would recommend it to mystery readers who like strong personalities and entertaining commentary.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and St. Martin's Press Minotaur Books. The only good thing about me waiting so long to experience my first immersive indulgence in this Ann Cleeves novel is that I know there are others I can read now that I'm thoroughly hooked. I certainly can't say this series has never been brought to my attention, but I finally made time and read one. What a satisfying time I spent getting to know Vera Stanhope and her investigative team. Outside Gilswick vil I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and St. Martin's Press Minotaur Books. The only good thing about me waiting so long to experience my first immersive indulgence in this Ann Cleeves novel is that I know there are others I can read now that I'm thoroughly hooked. I certainly can't say this series has never been brought to my attention, but I finally made time and read one. What a satisfying time I spent getting to know Vera Stanhope and her investigative team. Outside Gilswick village, secluded in a valley not far from the Hall live three couples who have built their homes in their personal paradise. That might have been true at one time, but the first dead body leads to a second and the seemingly unconnected threads of two murder investigations begin to circle around coincidences involving either the residents of the valley themselves or someone they are close to. The hobby of moth catching and identification seems to be the only thing the two victims had in common. Vera Stanhope is not what these people would think of if they imagined a police Inspector, but Vera is exactly who they've got to deal with. And Vera doesn't trust in coincidence. Each of these characters are so well portrayed they feel as if they are real. Vera was a treat for me to meet in the pages of this story and she is the reason I will go looking for previous novels in the series and waiting for book #8 to be released. This is one of my favorite types of police procedural mystery novels; there are separate investigations by the team members, there are sessions where they all gather to compile the information they've dug up, but there are also private thoughts and actions by team members which show them to be more than automaton rule followers. This was a highly engaging novel and I contemplate reading more with delight.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kerrie

    I wondered whether I would have "seen" this story in the Vera series on TV. I am a great fan of the series but I am glad to report that this particular story has evaded capture, so far. I hope we continue to get some book-only Vera Stanhope stories. For me the television series has given a vision of what Vera and the various members of her team might look like, and I must admit to their faces sitting there in my mind's-eye as I read, except that the "book" Vera is larger than the actress. But what I wondered whether I would have "seen" this story in the Vera series on TV. I am a great fan of the series but I am glad to report that this particular story has evaded capture, so far. I hope we continue to get some book-only Vera Stanhope stories. For me the television series has given a vision of what Vera and the various members of her team might look like, and I must admit to their faces sitting there in my mind's-eye as I read, except that the "book" Vera is larger than the actress. But what I love about the books is their language and the author's description of the other characters in the story. The words just slip down like good wine. The story flows and Ann Cleeves gives the reader just enough for the little grey cells to work on. There are little puzzles to solve and little bits of humor to enjoy. I also like the way Vera manages her team, and gets them to utilize their very divergent talents, by playing them off against each other. She is very sparing with her praise which just makes them work harder. Six retirees, three couples, who decide to get away from it all, to make the most of the time that remains to them, and then find they haven't gone far enough. Three deaths, murders connected by place, but other connections very elusive. Cleeves makes the reader work hard to the very end. A very satisfying read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tanja Berg

    I had such high hopes for this Vera Stanhope mystery! A killing of two men, who seem to have nothing else in common than catching moths - it sounded so promising. I was so disappointed. There was no real character development among the old faithfuls and the murder mystery never interested me much.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    After reading several short stories by Ann Cleeves I was drawn to my first full length novel in The Moth Catcher, which is the seventh outing in the DI Vera Stanhope series. I am a fan of the TV adaptations featuring Brenda Blethyn as the redoubtable Vera of Northumbria Police who I think epitomises the character perfectly. Cleeves has the ability to take a handful of people in what appears to be a settled environment and conjure up an intriguing tale, and The Moth Catcher is a fine example of t After reading several short stories by Ann Cleeves I was drawn to my first full length novel in The Moth Catcher, which is the seventh outing in the DI Vera Stanhope series. I am a fan of the TV adaptations featuring Brenda Blethyn as the redoubtable Vera of Northumbria Police who I think epitomises the character perfectly. Cleeves has the ability to take a handful of people in what appears to be a settled environment and conjure up an intriguing tale, and The Moth Catcher is a fine example of this as she tackles a double murder in a small community and weaves a fascinating tale of the residents and their hidden secrets. If there is gossip to be had, Vera has a knack of digging it out as she prods and pokes her way into community life, all made possible by her blunt approach and failure to embarrass. Rather like Columbo, underestimate DI Vera Stanhope at your peril! Spring in the remote community of Valley Farm near Gilswick and the last place you expect to stumble across a double murder with a bizarre thread linking both corpses, especially when the area only has a handful of residents. Presiding over the valley is the big country house belonging to Major Carswell and his wife which seems to dominate the landscape and stand relatively aloof from the development below which comprises a farmhouse and two barn conversions, all occupied by recent arrivals to the area. When Percy Douglas is caught short on his way home from the pub he gets more than he bargained for when he ventures into the woods to relieve himself and comes across the body of a young man, half-hidden in a ditch. Swiftly identified as the house-sitter at the big house his identity is established as Patrick Randle, aged twenty-five and taking time out after completing his PhD. Vera suspects the positioning of his body is intended to suggest a hit and run accident rather than what is actually confirmed as bludgeoning to death. Vera and DS Joe Ashworth decide to visit Randle's temporary residence and come across a second body in Patrick's living quarters this time with multiple knife wounds. Middle-aged, clad in a grey hair, suit and spectacles, identifying this man is a harder task but eventually it is discovered that the victim is one Martin Benton. Two very different men but connected by an unlikely fascination with moths. Two bodies, clearly with a connection and bizarrely in two separate locations with different causes of death, an ideal case for an inspector with an innate sense of nosiness as the team dig deeper to discover how this shared enthusiasm has caused both men to be murdered. It is the three houses nestled in close proximity and combining the development that seem to be unsettled most by Vera digging her nose in and a disquieting tension permeates the atmosphere, although they are all very keen to create the illusion of a carefree friendship and a life of decadence. Vera knows the unlikelihood of two men connected by an esoteric fascination for moths ending up dead in the area is more than a coincidence, and when a third follows she is sure the answers lie buried within this quiet community. Vera can sense the anxieties that exist as the three couples try to portray themselves as 'retired hedonists' when in fact they are the most affected bunch of couples you could encounter! Annie and Sam Redhead have sold their restaurant in Kimmerston and they await the return of their daughter, Lizzie, from Sittingwell open prison. The move to Valley Farm is an effort to put some distance between themselves and the town that was the cause of Lizzie's downfall and the local hard man that she crossed, Jason Crow. Nigel Lucas has sold his own building company and now clearly has too much time on his hands as he watches at his window with binoculars at the ready and obsesses about wife Lorraine. Self-satisfied to the point of conceitedness, Nigel is always keep to get the party started. The third couple is Professor John O'Kane and his devoted wife, Janet, who seems to leave her husband free to write his planned book and keep herself occupied. Vera is a joy to watch as she probes; her lack of care for her appearance and her failure to "stand on ceremony" often causing people to underestimate just how shrewd she is. As she hurtles onwards, Cleeves delivers a continuous dialogue, with both her spoken and unspoken thoughts and perceptive insights. This works wonderfully well as readers see Vera sizing up and taking the measure of community interactions, and delivering an internal commentary on what she finds. Likewise, with her team, DS Joe Ashworth and DC Holly Clarke, Vera delivers a warts and all view of their strengths, weaknesses and life outside of work. Her mind never seems to stop churning, chivvying up and chasing, often making her subordinates feel like naughty school children. Her exertion and drive means that the plot continually moves forward as the team fumbles to grasp what they have come across and work out just what has brought all three victims to the secluded community of Valley Farm. It is fascinating and highly amusing to see the reactions Vera provokes as she enters the comfort zones of the 'retired hedonists' and ruffles feathers. "An investigation couldn't be a route march. More a meander,...." Although the third person narrative predominantly focuses on Vera and her internal monologue, I really appreciated the sections where the focus switched to DS Joe Ashworth and DC Holly Clarke to hear things from their perspective, in regard to their own feelings and how they view each other and Vera! DS Ashworth is a local lad whom Vera feels she knows where she stands with, certainly more so than with Holly. Joe has a young family and according to Vera he is a 'soft touch' who combines a family life with his work and a young toddler disturbing his sleep and sending him in bleary eyed to Vera, much to her chagrin! DC Holly Clarke is younger and more uptight with reservations as to whether her personality suits the work of a detective and whether she is cut out for the job. She is often judgemental and a little reserved when she engages with Vera , and there is an impression that she does not feel worthy of her place on the team. Between Holly and Joe a begrudging acceptance that they both vie for Vera's praise is barely concealed and they both make valuable contributions to the team and work well alongside a commanding DI Stanhope! Vera seems to come to life when there is murder in the air, as she hurtles along like a juggernaut, barely pausing to draw breath and firing questions off at a rate of knots. Her conversational style of interview and open ending questioning often draws unexpected details from witnesses and suspects alike. Ann Cleeves' prose is all consuming and creeps up on her readers so they suddenly find themselves preoccupied with the lives of the villagers and the undercurrents at play. As I have learnt, a DI Vera Stanhope novel is a bloody good opportunity to be nosey, and whilst we might not want someone prying into our secrets, who can resist being a fly on the wall?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather Anderson

    A decent enough murder mystery but a bit flat and boring. This book is a good example of where the blurb sounds super amazing but the actual story doesn’t quite match up. The blurb places a lot of emphasis on the shared interest of the murder victims (moth catching), but this plays such a small part in the actual story. I would even argue that it’s totally unnecessary, which is a shame as this was the reason I bought the book in the first place (I thought it would add an interesting storyline / A decent enough murder mystery but a bit flat and boring. This book is a good example of where the blurb sounds super amazing but the actual story doesn’t quite match up. The blurb places a lot of emphasis on the shared interest of the murder victims (moth catching), but this plays such a small part in the actual story. I would even argue that it’s totally unnecessary, which is a shame as this was the reason I bought the book in the first place (I thought it would add an interesting storyline / theme / layer to the story). I can’t even remember what happened at the end, which shows how much of a non-event the ending of this book was. In fairness, the book was written well, had an intriguing setting and some interesting characters, it just lacks that extra edge.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Couldn't put it down! I think Ann Cleeves is one of the best writers around at present. Her characters are real. Her plots are credible. I was pleased that she gave Holly more of a role in this novel, though time will tell if we see more of her!! Vera was masterful, as ever. I have to admit, reluctantly, that I was completely on the wrong track, I didn't work it out at all.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike Sumner

    I consider myself an enthusiastic fan of Ann Cleeves and have read all books in her Shetland series, all excellent books. The Moth Catcher is number 7 in the DI Vera Stanhope series; perhaps an odd place to start as I have read none of the others but enjoyed the series on television and am therefore familiar with her team of DS Joe Ashworth and DC Holly Lawson (for some reason ITV promoted Vera to a DCI). As I should have expected, The Moth Catcher is a fine read. Vera and her team have to be on I consider myself an enthusiastic fan of Ann Cleeves and have read all books in her Shetland series, all excellent books. The Moth Catcher is number 7 in the DI Vera Stanhope series; perhaps an odd place to start as I have read none of the others but enjoyed the series on television and am therefore familiar with her team of DS Joe Ashworth and DC Holly Lawson (for some reason ITV promoted Vera to a DCI). As I should have expected, The Moth Catcher is a fine read. Vera and her team have to be on top form to figure out what is behind the murders of two apparently unconnected men in a secluded Northumbrian valley. This is a slow burner with meticulous attention to plot detail and characterisation. The details of the victims, the lives they led and their character are painstakingly built up by information gathering and questioning by Vera and her team. It is brilliantly done. The only link appears to be a shared interest in entomology and, in particular, the study of moths. The investigation really holds your imagination as the team close in and yet, for all the information it is not clear who is in the frame. Well, it certainly wasn’t to me! Vera is a real character, a single-minded DI, who finds herself only really alive and motivated by a murder case. Vera is rather large, she is unfit, and she is middle aged and ought to be spending time behind a desk and thinking of retirement. But, instead she prefers to get results by being out in the field and still gets a buzz from the detail of investigation. Joe the DS, is a family man with young children trying to juggle family with the commitment required of him by his boss and Holly the DC, is a bright young woman wondering if the police force is really what she wants from life. The Moth Catcher is a masterclass in how to write a police procedural and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Another wonderful Vera tale from Ann Cleeves. The setting with the group of "retired hedonists", the secrets everyone was harbouring, the ongoing mystery, Vera's usual character traits and the build-up of tension towards the end made this a book I couldn't put down.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Not a bad book, but seemed to be a bit lacking compared to the other Vera Stanhope novels I've read. Might be time to give Ann Cleeves a rest and read something else for a while.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Gonsalves

    The weakest of the Anne Cleeves books I have read. Not a satisfying ending.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David Highton

    Another pair of murders for Vera to solve, in a remote Northumbrian valley. The way she manages her team, and her intuitive and individualistic approach to detective work continue to make these novels a great read. With Vera nd Shetland under her belt, Ann Cleeves seems to get better and better.

  16. 4 out of 5

    April Andruszko

    A great whodunnit. Didn't guess the outcome but when the denouement was unveiled it felt fitting not bolted on . Good characterisation and scene setting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Renée Mee

    Good book as usual but wondering if author is fat phobic. From her photos she looks anorexic. I lost someone very close to me from anorexia. I have read several of her books and she is always stressing on body size. The Vera books n particular really focus on how fat Vera is in a very negative way. I worry about people reading these books and developing an eating disorder. It was one comment that started my relatives eating disorder. I believe in creative licence but I really feel author almost Good book as usual but wondering if author is fat phobic. From her photos she looks anorexic. I lost someone very close to me from anorexia. I have read several of her books and she is always stressing on body size. The Vera books n particular really focus on how fat Vera is in a very negative way. I worry about people reading these books and developing an eating disorder. It was one comment that started my relatives eating disorder. I believe in creative licence but I really feel author almost obsessive about weight in all her books. I won't be referring her books to anyone. Should add in case anyone thinks I am making too much of this and being PC about the anorexia....every book stresses the fat comments and the gratuitous usage of the descriptive words of the fat woman detective being made by every character is over used. It becomes a distraction from. Reading the book because it is so obvious and seems to indicate the authors bias then flow from story development.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Linda Branham Greenwell

    Really enjoyed it. It was the first novel I have read by this author - and is her latest. Now I will have to go back and read the earlier ones. A small town in England...a double murder. The Chief Inspector is Vera Stanhope an overweight detective. It is a real whodonit - with several interesting characters. Including moth catchers :)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol Jean

    Probably the best Vera so far. Interesting and complex plot, and an odd group of characters. And I love Cleeves' descriptions of her characters! A one point a member of Vera's team thinks of her, sitting on her desk, as a walrus on a rock. And Vera herself tries not to resent her lovely assistant who has "legs up to her waist and American teeth." Nicely done!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Full review to follow shortly. I really enjoyed the latest Vera Stanhope book and I can't help but see Brenda Blethyn playing the role of Vera in my head if that makes sense.

  21. 4 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    The Moth Catcher is another in the Ann Cleeves, Vera series. Fascinating case with significant red herrings and a wealth of suspicious characters.  Holly features prominently in this installment, as she works on the cases while dealing with a crisis of faith.  The murders stack up pretty rapidly and the mystery keeps on until the last couple pages.  Vera is her usual self as she holds a "masterclass in witness interrogation", getting the objects of her attention to reveal more than they intend. The Moth Catcher is another in the Ann Cleeves, Vera series. Fascinating case with significant red herrings and a wealth of suspicious characters.  Holly features prominently in this installment, as she works on the cases while dealing with a crisis of faith.  The murders stack up pretty rapidly and the mystery keeps on until the last couple pages.  Vera is her usual self as she holds a "masterclass in witness interrogation", getting the objects of her attention to reveal more than they intend. Great book in a great series.  

  22. 4 out of 5

    Penne Moschetti

    While reading another of the Vera series, it occurred to me why I enjoyed them. Cleeves is great at developing and presenting fully rounded characters. You almost feel you know them and can understand their actions and part in the story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A nice little police who dunnit. My only objection is that they describe the main character (Vera) in very unflattering terms - fat and slobby. Maybe it just hits too close to home. I'll try from the start of the series and see if that's any better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kirstie

    By far the best in the series! I have to say i did not enjoy this book series as much as I thought I would but enjoyed reading them all the same. Will have to read the new one when its out to complete the series

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky Loader

    Best puzzle yet! A moth catcher is a box set up with a bright light bulb to attract moths for study. Who knew? I loved the setting near a stately country "Big House" with converted outliers for retired city folk. What will I do after I finish Vera #8? Cleeves needs to get writing!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    #7 in the Det. Vera Stanhope series & one of the standouts of the series. Lots of great characters, a super plot & solid writing, equal a very enjoyable read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Love Ann Cleeves! So relaxing easy and relaxing to read. Beautifully crafted mystery with gorgeous characters

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    It was a great read. Very satisfying murder mystery

  29. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    Another excellent read from Ann Cleeves. The plotting is good (didn't guess the end, anyway!), but the greatness of this book (and her others) lies in the well-drawn, interesting characters, their interactions, and the sly little nods at human nature. Recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves Vera Stanhope series Book #7 4★'s From The Book: Life seems perfect in the quiet community of Valley Farm. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist, to look after the place while they’re away. But his dead body is found by the side of the lane―a lonely place to die. When DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, she finds the body of a second man. What the two victims seem to have in The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves Vera Stanhope series Book #7 4★'s From The Book: Life seems perfect in the quiet community of Valley Farm. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist, to look after the place while they’re away. But his dead body is found by the side of the lane―a lonely place to die. When DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, she finds the body of a second man. What the two victims seem to have in common is a fascination with studying moths―and with catching these beautiful, intriguing creatures. The others who live in Valley Farm have secrets too: Lorraine’s calm demeanor belies a more complex personality; Annie and Sam’s daughter, Lizzie, is due to be released from prison; and Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be many deadly secrets trapped there . My Thoughts: You can't be in a hurry when indulging yourself in an Ann Cleeves book. This is a writer that keeps many "secrets" close and only throws them out occasionally. Separating the facts from the red herrings does require the expertise of one such as DI Vera Stanhope. Lucky for the reader that she always shows up. The title of this book, The Moth Catcher can be interpenetrated to indicate the trap itself or the one catching in the trap. Throughout this book the reader will feel "caught". In her usual manner Vera Stanhope cleverly works her way through the many entanglements and like the Mounties..."gets her man". It was an enjoyable read and the only problem I had with the book was the complete lack of enough information to let the reader figure out who the killer was. This is evident in most of Ann Cleeve's books. One thing that she is excellent at is "layering" each of her characters so that the reader has a multitude of suspects to choose from. I had to give this one 4 stars because I just happened to pick the correct suspect. This was accomplished through no talent of my own...just blind good luck.

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