Read A Lesson In Dying by Ann Cleeves Online


The first crime novel featuring Inspector Ramsay, whose reputation hangs in the balance as he investigates the murder of a headmaster in a close-knit Northumbrian pit village....

Title : A Lesson In Dying
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099690207
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 202 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Lesson In Dying Reviews

  • Marion
    2019-03-06 02:13

    Ironically, I found this book somewhat encouraging. It's an earlier novel by Ann Cleeves and, as mysteries go, it's not really very good. The characters are not well-developed, the setting is less well drawn than the Stanhope or the Shetland books, no real tension. It felt as if she'd just thought up the basic plot and rolled out a story around it. So why satisfying? Because it was a living example that a mediocre writer can get lots, lots better with more practice! And that's good news, right?But if you've started with Ann Cleeves later stuff, don't bother with this one. You'll be disappointed.

  • Hannah Stewart
    2019-03-14 08:15

    Wow. Having read all the Shetland Series and having watched all the Vera Stanhope TV series, I was expecting more; more characterisation, more background storylines, more colour in general. This book, the characters and the storyline were pretty poor. But, it is great to see an author who has progressed so much in the last 28 years. Much better than to keep going making the same mistakes. I'm not sure if I'll continue to read this series, we shall see.

  • Larraine
    2019-03-13 09:29

    I had only read the Shetland Island series when I decided to give this one a try. This is one of Ann Cleeves' earlier series. There were six in the series. This is the first. Like most writers (or most any other profession), Ms. Cleeves improved as she wrote. The story was a good one with quite a few twists and turns. A very nasty school headmaster is found hanged, wearing his academic gown that he kept hanging on a peg of his office door. Nobody liked him including his wife, Kitty. It soon is established that he has been murdered. Inspector Ramsay is convinced that his wife did it. He arrests her although it soon becomes obvious to him that she might be innocent. The school custodian, Jack Robson, was once in love with Kitty and is convinced that she is innocent. He convinced his daughter Patty to help him. Patty is bored and is at loose ends with no children at home and no job for which she is really suited. When Kitty commits suicide, Inspector Ramsay becomes an object of derision. Already a lone wolf, he becomes even more withdrawn from the other police officers. There are a lot of obvious suspects, but the writing style of the book doesn't really develop any of them enough. Kitty doesn't seem in the least interested in helping herself although she does deny that she killed her husband. Why does she commit suicide? That really isn't explored, just dropped. Ramsay is unpopular. However, the reader doesn't get into the "skin" of the character to know what's going on. There is a lot that is simply not developed. This was a first novel, though, and that sort of thing does happen. If I can find the later ones in the series, I might see if things changed. Having read all of the books in the Shetland Island series, there is definitely a lack of passion in these books that is more evident in that series.

  • Lela
    2019-03-13 05:34

    Rereading.I read this long ago and needed a memory refreshing. Ramsey is an unusual man even for British police detectives who all seem to be eccentric and have foibles -- the reason I like books about them. Now, I recall this series isn't exactly a huge favorite though pleasant enough. Not a lot of depth unlike Cleeves other protagonists.

  • Nancy Wilson
    2019-03-01 08:41

    The inspector in this book Ramsey seemed amateurish and unprofessional--it kept me reading one because it was so short and two because I had no clue who did it--but sadly neither did he!

  • Harriet Steel
    2019-02-23 07:21

    I very much enjoyed the series Shetland on TV so I was looking forward to this when I saw it on an Amazon offer. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The detective, Ramsey, barely appears for the first half of the book and when he does is very sketchily drawn. He doesn't give the impression that he's a character who will be able to carry the series successfully at all. Other people do more to solve the mystery. I found the book easily forgettable. I've since learnt it was one of Cleeves' early works.

  • Sheila Khan
    2019-03-02 05:16

    I was a bit disappointed with this book. the detective, Ramsey, is hardly relevant to the story and there are too many characters at the start. the storyline is good but not up to the standard that Ann Cleeves achieved with her Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez characters in her later novels. I hope she developed the character of Ramsey more in the further books in this series as I bought the set when they were on offer at £1 each.

  • Rubina Savage
    2019-02-27 03:17

    Interesting book. Not what I expected. Will be interested to find out when it was published. The detective didn’t feature much so not sure why it should be labelled as the first Ramsey book.?Lots of characters to get your head round who are introduced at the beginning, a bit like an Agatha set up. I didn’t guess the murderer which unusual for me. Will read Ramsay’s next escapade with interest.

  • pigstar911
    2019-03-12 06:15

    I'm a big Ann Cleeves fan and am reading the Shetland as well as Vera books. This book was a bit choppy but I enjoyed it. Kind of interesting to see how her writing has evolved. A very quick read. I am excited to continue with the rest of the series and I do hope Inspector Ramsey gets better at detecting in the next one.

  • Julie
    2019-02-24 08:38

    Harold Medburn, headmaster of the school, is killed in the schoolyard at night. Inspector Ramsey is on the job trying to figure out which one it could be. Difficult to do as everyone hated him!Some surprises, but not the best writing.

  • Merelyn
    2019-03-15 02:22

    Very well written story.Knowing Ann Cleeves, I thought this might be a good read. Not disappointed at all. Liked the atmosphere created, the characters, and the whole story. All issues answered. Kept my interest. Recommend this book.

  • Petra Willemse
    2019-03-12 02:43

    I enjoyed this new to me mystery series opener. The main character is different from the usual mysteries as he has problems interacting with people but for a change it’s not from alcohol or drugs , just who he is.

  • Brian White
    2019-03-05 06:19

    A well crafted mystery by Ann Cleeves which does not fail to entertain. Although this is early Cleeves it does display the mastery which will come to full fruition in her Shetland and Vera Stanhope series. As always, I love the characters and the northern England landscape.

  • Jan
    2019-03-18 06:23

    Murder mystery, it was ok but liked the Shetland books better.

  • Lydia Hayes
    2019-03-05 03:40

    Village NoirGood mystery. Enjoyable characters. Bit of a surprise at the end. Real reflection of life in a small country community.

  • Shauna
    2019-03-07 03:29

    This was my first Ann Cleeves book. I enjoyed the story very much. I look forward to reading more of the series.

  • David Highton
    2019-03-11 06:30

    A decent enough murder thriller but the writing is not as strong as her later series of Vera and Shetland

  • Tom Jenckes
    2019-03-02 04:37

    Just started reading andI couldn't stop until I finished the book by the time I reached my final destination. Thoroughly enjoyed inspector Ramsay, Patty and Jack. Good read!

  • Marianne
    2019-03-20 04:42

    I love her more recent books. This one is a much earlier one and her writing has greatly improved since then!

  • Sara
    2019-03-10 02:34

    I suspect this is her first book. Her Shetland series is so much better, writing and story wise, than this book. I'm glad she developed her craft, but I won't be reading more of this series.

  • Ms Karen T Hooper
    2019-02-27 10:36

    A fair readMy first Ann Sleeves book and although I enjoyed it it was a bit slow for me . I've got the next book in the series so will see how that one pans out

  • Lorraine Webb
    2019-02-28 09:39

    I shall be reading more of Ann Cleaves Inspector Ramsey books. They were gentle, in the style of the classic detective story rather than modern and gritty, and as such made an enjoyable read. No gratuitous violence or blood and guts, sex or bad language; more Midsomer Murders than Jack Reacher. Some bits were slightly unbelievable - the character of Ramsey himself seemed a bit mixed up and it will be interesting to see how Cleaves develops this character over future books. But a good afternoon's read with a cup of coffee and a biscuit (or barrel of biscuits) with nothing to put you off your custard cream.

  • Elaine
    2019-03-09 07:19

    This is a good old fashioned traditional murder mystery. When school headmaster, Harold Medburn, is found murdered, it seems that every single member of staff or member of the Parents Association had a reason to kill him. Whilst Inspector Ramsay is in charge of the case, and firmly believes Medburn was killed by his wife, school caretaker Jack Robson is not so sure and is determined to carry out his own investigation with the help of his daughter, Patty. The story moves along at a good pace, it is a quick read that can be read in one day, but the story flows well, twisting and turning and throwing suspicion on different characters left, right and centre, until the very end when everything is tied up in a satisfactory manner. I didn’t guess the ending until it was revealed in the story.

  • Judy
    2019-02-26 03:18

    I am a fan of Ann Cleeves Shetland series so I snapped up this book at the library as soon as I saw it only to find that it is one of her early books and not as satisfying a read. There's nothing like finding the headmaster's body hanging on the playground on the night of the Halloween party to get a school in an uproar. While the police zero in on the wife, Jack Robson, the school caretaker, knows that nearly everyone hated and feared the headmaster so he begins to investigate and searches further afield.

  • Mike Sumner
    2019-03-18 03:25

    Oh dear. I read this on my Kindle and had to summon up the energy to keep reading to the end. Having read all of the Shetland series and three of the Vera Stanhope series I was expecting another enjoyable read. Sadly that was not the case. Inspector Ramsay is as dull as ditchwater - he hardly does any detecting, leaving that to other characters in the story. The plot, what there was of it, was tedious, the motive for murder was ridiculous, the characters were shallow and I just found it all incredibly boring.Time to move on...

  • Christine Dolan
    2019-02-28 05:35

    This is a quick and easy read. It was written in 1990, before Ann Cleeves had got into her stride. But there are recognisable patterns that appear in later books. The policeman (a bit of an outsider) works with the local community, dealing with all the relationships and gossip. The culprit is the person you suspect the least, because of all the red herrings along the way. Nothing startling, but a comfortable whodunnit. I think I will read more in this series.

  • Kim
    2019-02-27 07:35

    Good little quiet English village mystery with a little poison and strangulation thrown in. A little too predictable, though. And the characters were lacking in a bit of depth, although you could sense the effort for it to not be so. Made me think a bit of PD James (a English bit) and with that comparison, realized it could have been so much more if Ms James had written it. And there's my true disappointment.

  • Anetq
    2019-03-04 05:31

    It wasn't the best detective novel, but it wasn't the worst either - it felt like a first try and a little too close to Agatha Christie or just episode 527 of Midsomer Murders. I found it strange that the detective was so weak, and hardly in focus any of the time (and seemingly pretty bad at anything but charming the village ladies into dangerous detecting?) I hope the series picks up, I'm willing to give it another try, as Cleeves' Shetland books are really good.

  • Val Sanford
    2019-03-13 05:14

    Inspector Ramsay is failing in his search for the killer of a man not liked by most people. He was a bully, an emotional blackmailer, and a jerk. His death upsets an elementary school in Northumbria and uncovers secrets that lean to more deaths. Ramsay's humanity is painful and endearing. A great story.

  • Sarah Williams
    2019-02-25 09:20

    I was pleased to stumble across this and the other 5 volumes of the Inspector Ramsay series.I really enjoy her 'Vera' and 'Shetland' series and although Inspector Ramsay came a while earlier & is not quite as well-crafted Ramsay's character is good to spend time with and the settings are also well-drawn and enjoyable.