Shetland Island by Ann Cleeves
The Shetland Island series is a series of mystery/thriller novels by English author Ann Cleeves. The featured character in the series is Inspector Jimmy Perez. The series was adapted into a television drama on BBC One starring Douglas Henshall.

Ann Cleeves began her Shetland Island series in 2006 with Raven Black. Originally intended as a quartet, the series continued far beyond that. Below is a list of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland Island books in order of when they were first published (which is the same as their chronological order):

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Publication Order of Shetland Island Books

Publication Order of Shetland Island Non-Fiction Books

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Shetland Island Synopses: Raven Black by Ann Cleeves is the first book in the Shetland Island series. On a frigid January morning, the remote island of Shetland is blanketed under a thick layer of snow, creating a serene yet chilling landscape. Fran Hunter, trudging her way home through the wintry terrain, suddenly spots a stark contrast against the white backdrop—a vivid splash of color on the frozen ground, with ominous ravens circling overhead. The shocking discovery that meets her gaze is the lifeless body of her teenage neighbor, Catherine Ross, her life tragically cut short.

As the islanders grapple with the grim reality of Catherine’s murder, their collective suspicion turns towards one individual—Magnus Tait, an enigmatic loner and perceived simpleton. The close-knit community seems eager to attribute the crime to Magnus, seeking a quick resolution to the tragedy. However, the investigation takes an unexpected turn when detective Jimmy Perez and his mainland colleagues arrive, determined to delve deeper into the case.

As the mainland investigators probe into the details surrounding Catherine’s death, a cloud of unease and apprehension descends upon the island. The sense of security that once enveloped the tranquil community is shattered, replaced by a pervasive sense of fear and uncertainty. The islanders, once accustomed to leaving their doors unlocked, now nervously secure their homes against an elusive threat that seems to linger in their midst.

White Nights by Ann Cleeves is book 2 in the Shetland Island series. When a young archaeologist studying on a site at Whalsay discovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find – or a more contemporary mystery?

Then an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident in the middle of the night. Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in by her grandson – his own colleague, Sandy Wilson.

The sparse landscape and the emptiness of the sea have bred a fierce and secretive people. Mima Wilson was a recluse. She had her land, her pride and her family. As Jimmy looks to the islanders for answers, he finds instead two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness have lasted generations.

Surrounded by people he doesn’t know and in unfamiliar territory, Jimmy finds himself out of his depth. Then there’s another death and, as the spring weather shrouds the island in claustrophobic mists, Jimmy must dig up old secrets to stop a new killer from striking again…

Red Bones is book 3 in Ann Cleeves’ Shetland Island series. In the midst of the rugged beauty of Whalsay, a remote island, a young archaeologist’s remarkable discovery stirs the curiosity of the island’s inhabitants. Unearthing human remains from the past, the find ignites speculation—could it be an ancient relic, or does it conceal a more contemporary enigma?

Tragedy strikes the island when an elderly woman is fatally shot in the dead of night, a devastating incident that appears to be an accident. Detective Jimmy Perez, intimately familiar with the intricate dynamics of the island community, is summoned to the scene by his own colleague and the grieving grandson of the victim, Sandy Wilson.

Against the backdrop of the stark and desolate landscape, the island’s residents harbor their own secrets, their lives shaped by the harsh surroundings and a culture of secrecy. Mima Wilson, a reclusive figure, embodies this insular way of life, finding solace in her land, family, and her own solitude. As Jimmy delves into the investigation, he quickly realizes that beneath the surface of the island’s serene façade lies a longstanding feud between two families, marked by generations of envy, greed, and bitterness.

In his pursuit of the truth, Jimmy is confronted with a community steeped in tradition and suspicion, where allegiances run deep and outsiders are met with wary glances. Faced with unfamiliar terrain and a web of complex relationships, Jimmy struggles to navigate the labyrinthine mysteries that shroud the island. As the island is shrouded in mist and the atmosphere grows increasingly claustrophobic, another life is claimed, adding urgency to Jimmy’s quest for answers.

With the arrival of spring, Jimmy is compelled to unearth the buried secrets of the island, tracing the tendrils of the past to thwart a relentless and ruthless killer from striking again. The island’s insularity becomes both a barrier and a source of insight, and as Jimmy unearths old wounds, he must confront the reality that the line between ancient history and present danger is often blurred in a place where time moves slowly, and secrets are tightly held.

Order of Books » Characters » Order of Shetland Island Books

3 Responses to “Order of Shetland Island Books”

  1. Mongoose218: 6 years ago

    Excellent series: also see the other series by Ann Cleeves:


  2. Dave Torr: 7 years ago

    A bit out of date – I am reading Cold Earth in this series now…


    • Mongoose218: 6 years ago

      Not really “out of date”….the last book in the series was just released, it is Wild Fire.

      This site tries to show all the past and present books in any given series.


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