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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Ann Cleeves (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Moth Catcher

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Much More Than A "Procedural"

I am so grateful that I found this author and this series. I have read all the books available on Audible and have not been disappointed in any of them.

Vera Stanhope is a fascinating character. She's rough around the edges and flawed in some ways. But she is uniquely talented as a detective. She isn't always likable, but I always find her interesting.

The author creates a unique setting and develops the cast of characters (who are also suspects). This attention to detail is what keeps me interested and makes this book stand apart from others of its type.

If you prefer "action packed" fast moving stories, this may not be a good choice for you. The story moves slowly, but steadily and I never was bored or impatient with the pace. I wasn't able to guess who the killer was before it was revealed in the book.

Janine Birkett's narration was excellent. I was never confused about who was speaking or what was happening. Her voice was clear, and her tone pleasing to my ear. The is what makes a narrator perfect for me.

If you have enjoyed earlier books this is series I believe you will enjoy this one. If you haven't tried any of Ann Cleeves' other books, do try them. She is an excellent writer.



13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kept me guessing up to the end.

Would you listen to The Moth Catcher again? Why?

Yes, the twists and turns in the plot were very good. When I hunt through my library at a later date for a title to listen to again, I am sure I won't be able to recall the whole plot. So it will be worth another listen.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Vera Stanhope isn't Jack Reacher, so on the edge of your seat doesn't typically describe the plot for one of Ann Cleeves/ Vera Stanhope books. But I was concerned about one of the main characters for a while.

Have you listened to any of Janine Birkett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I listened to Charlie Hardwick's narration before Janine Birkett. Personally I liked Charlie Hardwick's narration better. I had difficulty at times distinguishing between characters during Janine Birkett's narration.

Any additional comments?

Vera Stanhope may be an acquired taste, or listen. I enjoy the series.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite detectives!

Vera Stanhope is a fascinating character, who is full of surprises. The story is well-wrought, the auxiliary characters are satisfying, and the narration is excellent. I love the accent of Northumbria- wonderful listening.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A solid *10* but Audible only permits a *5*--Alas!

I love Ann Cleeves' books. They are always good, but this one is exceptional. I think she has outdone her usual great skill at depicting Vera Stanhope, a brilliant woman detective, but one who constantly deals with her own self anxiety, fueled by her size and self image.

In this book, Vera takes on a complex murder case, where she and her team have to tediously work to piece together the clues to murders that initially don't seem to have much in common. But gradually they start to make sense, and as a listener I loved feeling led from one guess about the killer to another. Cleeves has great skill in weaving the story through several threads without ever losing the pace.

I would just also like to say that the narrator is superb. I loved listening to her many different voices and accents--I felt it was worth the credit just to listen to her brilliant reading. Highly recommend!

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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My favorite in the series so far

I enjoy Ann Cleeves writing whether it is the Vera Stanhoe or Shetland series. This is probably my favorite book so far. Highly recommended!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it except one thing

It’s Anne Cleeves so what’s not to love? Such a great story that leaves you wondering right up to the end. The “one thing” I do not like is how the narrator makes Joe’s voice sound so terribly stupid. When I think of the first season of the Vera episodes, which are also good. Not like the novels of course. That is how I will always see Joe. Wish she would change his voice.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

I selected this book because I really like Ann Cleaves mysteries. This was another great murder mystery.
The narrator, Janine Burkett does a decent job with the women’s voices, but there is mulch to be desired with her men’s voices. I cannot stand hear how she speaks for Joe in this book and the previous story, Harbor Street. Please bring back one of the previous narrators for Ann Cleeves first few stories!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but odd voicings from narrator.

Narrator gave certain female characters very high pitched, almost babyish voices, which was very distracting. There's no need to try to come up with unique voices for everyone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, not great. Narration is distraction

I love the Vera series by Ann Cleeves. But I'm finding that each subsequent book is not as good as the one before. I hope that changes with The Seagull, which I'm listening to next. This one is just not as clever, not as suspenseful or exciting as others.
The narrator for this book is okay when doing the female characters, but what a disaster with the male characters. Especially with Joe, who's one of the main characters. Its so bad, it sounds like a little child imitating an adult. I don't know, but it really took away from the story for me.
Its a good listen, entertaining, just not as crisp of a mystery.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • VE
  • 12-19-18

Too Many Red Herrings!

The redoubtable Vera is back as fiesty as ever and the set up for the mystery involving two victims obsessed with rare moths is engaging. Couples parents and children are all part of the plot and Cleeves really knows how to deploy dysfunctional families in creating tension and suspense. Unfortunately the ending arrives out of the blue and there are too few genuine clues along the way to make the reader feel part of Vera’s sudden solution.

1 person found this helpful