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The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves
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The Glass Room

by Ann Cleeves

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2371072,041 (3.79)1 / 26

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Excellent plot which had me guessing right to the end. I liked the use of real locations which for me always adds to the atmosphere of any novel ( )
  edwardsgt | Nov 11, 2018 |
Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, an overbearing and irritating woman who enjoys lording it over her subordinates, loves nothing more than a juicy murder. Suspects tend to underestimate Vera because she is overweight and slovenly. Her looks notwithstanding, Vera is smart, insightful, and doggedly determined to ferret out the truth, no matter how hard she and her officers have to work to uncover it. In "The Glass Room," by Ann Cleeves, Vera's neighbor, Jack Devanney, sounds the alarm when his partner, Joanna Tobin, leaves him for a few days because she "needs some space." Jack is worried about Joanna's mental healthÛÓhe says that she is bipolar and has stopped taking her pills--and begs Vera to find her. DI Stanhope learns that Joanna went to the scenic Writers' House, "a country retreat where aspiring authors work on their stories."

To put Jack's mind at ease, Vera takes time off and travels to Writers' House to check on Joanna. Shortly after she arrives, Vera discovers that "an academic, reviewer, and arts guru" named Tony Ferdinand had just been stabbed to death. The homicide shocks the residents, but since Ferdinand had been an arrogant and rude man with few friends, the only people who will miss him are those who thought (rightly or wrongly) that the victim would use his considerable influence to further their careers. Stanhope takes over the investigation, with the help of her prot̩g̩, Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth, and the other members of her team. When the assailant strikes again, Vera intensifies her efforts to find out who had the motive, means, and opportunity to commit the crimes.

This is a character-driven novel in which the author describes the insecurities, ambition, and frustration of budding artists who are unsure that they are good enough to make it, but are eager to try. Vera, as usual, is a hoot. Joe's wife, Sal, thinks of her husband's boss as "a ghoul‰ÛÓthe delight she takes in other people's misery"‰ÛÓand is not entirely wrong in her assessment. Alas, this book is padded with quite a few red herrings and rambles along at a snail's pace. As the narrative progresses, we glean quite a bit of information about the owners and guests of Writers' House who, in some cases, are keeping secrets they would prefer to keep hidden. "The Glass House" is a readable, sometimes amusing, but fairly ordinary police procedural that is marred by its long-windedness and an unconvincing conclusion. Its main attraction is the larger-than-life, shrewd, and tenacious Vera Stanhope.
( )
  booklover915 | Oct 9, 2018 |
THE GLASS ROOM by Ann Cleeves is a title in Ms. Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series.
The series revolves around mystery and murder (of course) and the personality of DCI Vera Stanhope.
How to describe Vera? Fierce. A bully at times. Intelligent. Adept at her job. Shabby in appearance. Often grumpy and cranky. Our Vera is quite a personality. She is also a rather brilliant detective.
I particularly liked the locale and atmosphere of THE GLASS ROOM. We are in a secluded ‘country house’ at a writer’s retreat; a workshop and also a ‘meet and greet’ for potential writers, professors and a publisher or two. A budding artist may gain insights on the writing process, some recognition and useful contacts.
The added twist here is that the workshops are dealing with crime writing. Very relevant for what happens in ‘the glass room’.
The dialogue, the detailed characters, the settings and incidents are all brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this title.
I read the Kindle/e-reader edition and I quite like the cover art. The books I have read in this series on my kindle have all had the same cut-out type picture on the cover. (I think ‘cover art’ is very unappreciated. I quite like book covers. I think they give a lot of information and can help set a certain tone for a title.)
I like that Joe was given a bit more personality in this title. Holly, also.
I’m a big Vera fan. Thank you, Ann Cleeves. ( )
  diana.hauser | Apr 30, 2018 |
DI Vera Stanhope isn't a friendly sort so she's surprised one night when her “hippyish” next door neighbor, Jack, drops by to tell her his partner, Joanna, has disappeared. Vera feels like she needs to go looking for her, and eventually tracks her down to the Writer’s House, a country retreat where aspiring authors gather to work through their novels. Her task soon becomes vastly more complex when Joanna is found holding a knife over a dead body. The victim was unpopular, but there doesn't appear to be a motive. Before long, another body is found and Vera knows there must be a reason someone is targeting this group of people, but she can't figure out who.

The Glass House gives the reader a lot of insight into the world of publishing. The plot was interesting and there were plenty of twists. I felt it moved a bit slowly at the beginning and the eventual killer had a motive I never really bought into. Nevertheless, I love the unkempt and cantankerous character of Vera Stanhope and her relationship with her subordinates. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Sep 6, 2016 |
This is the 5th book in the Vera Stanhope series. This book was a little off and not as good as the others. I like the fact that Vera delegated in this book, but, I think Ann did that because this book was written for television and the characters had to look like they were all part of solving the mystery. This book was not as suspenseful as some of her others. It almost seemed like Agatha Christie wrote it. One interview after another with a gathering of all the characters at the end for the grand finale of solving the mystery and naming the murderer. I did enjoy the book but her books usually get 5 stars from me but this one was slightly lacking, hence, the 4 stars from me. I do, however, look forward to reading the next in the series and highly recommend reading these books in order. ( )
  EadieB | Sep 4, 2016 |
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DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her hippy neighbours keep her well-supplied in homebrew and conversation so she has more tolerance for them than most. When one of them goes missing she feels duty-bound to find out what happened. But her path leads her to more than just a missing friend.… (more)

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