“The Moth Catcher”

Title: The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope Series #7), Author: Ann Cleeves The latest Anna Cleeves mystery starring the curmudgeonly DI Vera Stanhope is set in the English countryside where several retirees have retreated to live out their years in peace and seclusion. DI Stanhope is called out when two murders are discovered that disturb the lives of the residents. One young man was an outsider house-sitting on the estate. The other dead body is identified as a quirky, solitary man whose interest in catching and studying moths seems to be the only connection the police can find at first between the two bodies.  The various married couples occupying the tranquil renovated barns reveal that their lives are more tangled and complicated than the surface originally reveals. One couple is awaiting the release of their 20-someting daughter from prison.  Another seemingly happily married pair are hiding secrets as well.  When a third body turns up dead, Vera turns on her lack of charm to uncover the the truth.  Cleeves writes her Vera as a gruff, unkempt, overweight, solitary woman without many friends. Her lack of attraction is her singular attraction.  She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her and that pulls the reader in even more. Atmospheric.

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