Barbara Cleverly Books

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Barbara Cleverly is a British author that writes historical mysteries and thrillers. A native of the north of England Cleverly attended Durham University. The former teacher got her big break when she wrote an outline for a London Sunday Times/ Crime Writers Association Dagger Competition.

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Order of Detective Joe Sandilands Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Last Kashmiri Rose 2001 Description / Buy
2 Ragtime in Simla 2002 Description / Buy
3 The Damascened Blade 2003 Description / Buy
4 The Palace Tiger 2004 Description / Buy
5 The Bee's Kiss 2005 Description / Buy
6 Tug of War 2006 Description / Buy
7 Folly du Jour 2007 Description / Buy
8 Strange Images of Death 2010 Description / Buy
9 The Blood Royal 2011 Description / Buy
10 Not My Blood 2012 Description / Buy
11 A Spider in the Cup 2013 Description / Buy
12 Enter Pale Death 2014 Description / Buy
13 Diana's Altar 2016 Description / Buy

Order of Detective John Redfyre Mystery Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Fall of Angels 2018 Description / Buy
2 Invitation to Die 2019 Description / Buy

Order of Laetitia Talbot Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Tomb of Zeus 2007 Description / Buy
2 Bright Hair About the Bone 2008 Description / Buy
3 A Darker God 2010 Description / Buy

Order of Barbara Cleverly Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 An Old Magic 2003 Description / Buy
2 The Corn Maiden 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Barbara Cleverly Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Ellie Hardwick Mysteries 2012 Description / Buy
2 The New Cambridge Mysteries 2015 Description / Buy
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Cleverly did not win. However, her submission was shortlisted for the prize, which gave her the courage to turn the outline into the first of the Joe Sandilands novels.

The books, for which she is best known, are set in the 1920s. The British occupy India. When readers first meet Cleverly’s hero, Joe Sandilands has been tasked with traveling to India and advising the Bengal Police. The Scotland Yard detective’s assignment takes an interesting turn when a British woman commits suicide.

Sandilands would have gladly ignored the incident if the death hadn’t been the fifth of its kind. After realizing that someone was murdering the wives of British Officers, Sandilands made it his mission to find the culprit. The novel (The Last Kashmiri Rose) was praised for the characters.

Many reviewers noted that the people felt real, not just the British but the Indians as well. They also commended Cleverly for successfully transporting them to a bygone era.

A few critics attacked the author for her rudimentary plotting skills. However, the author kept writing, and in the years that followed, the criticisms surrounding her plotting faded. In fact, some people praised books like ‘The Bee’s Kiss’ for being beautifully plotted, proving that the author’s talents had grown significantly.

People know Cleverly for Detective Joe Sandilands because she has written so many novels in the series. Her fans love the fact that the books haven’t grown stale because the lead characters keep evolving and maturing. Additionally, Cleverly continues to recreate historical settings vividly.

Best Barbara Cleverly Books

The author is married to Peter Cleverly. Peter is her second husband. Cleverly’s best books include:

The Last Kashmiri Rose: A woman is dead. The case seems relatively straightforward. She walked into a bathtub and slashed her wrists. But some people are not ready to rule her death a suicide. They need answers, and this is where Joe Sandilands enters the picture.

Sandilands did not enjoy his time on the Western Front. But he survived those horrors, and after six months in Calcutta, where the English also rule, he has been tasked with solving a mysterious murder in India.

Finding the killer won’t be easy. With the sovereignty of the British Empire in decline, Sandilands must tread carefully as he navigates the halls of political power in India.

The Last Kashmiri Rose is the first novel in the Joe Sandilands books. The story introduces Sandilands, a detective that has to investigate the suicide of an army officer’s wife.

On the surface, the case doesn’t sound particularly complicated. But a bit of digging reveals that the dead woman is just one of five officers’ wives that have died under suspicious circumstances in the last 12 years.

Sandilands also learns that the women experienced their worst fears before they died. For instance, the dead woman was afraid of blood. The previous victims faced similar ordeals, exposed to heights, snakes, fire, and the like.

To do his job, Sandilands has to rely on the assistance of Nancy, the dead woman’s best friend and a Sikh.

Ragtime in Simla: Joe Sandilands was on his way to Simla when his journey took a violent turn. A sniper’s bullet claimed the life of this companion, an opera singer. Determined to find the killer, Sandilands’ investigation revealed that someone else had died in the exact same spot under circumstances similar to the opera singer’s. Sandilands is convinced that solving that first case will solve the second one.

But the community at Simla is not ready to cooperate. Simla is the summer capital of the British Raj, a place that gives English colonials a small taste of home. Sandilands knows that the close-knit community is hiding deadly secrets, and he won’t stop until he exposes them.

This is the second Joe Sandilands novel. Unlike the first book, in which the detective was tasked with solving a murder, this time around, Sandilands stumbles into trouble. The detective was on holiday when a murder occurred. Now he has no choice but to put his professional skills to work.

When Does The Next Barbara Cleverly book come out?

Barbara Cleverly doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Invitation to Die and was released on August, 6th 2019. It is the newest book in the Detective John Redfyre Mystery Series.

2 thoughts on “Barbara Cleverly”

  1. agree Cleverly is favorite mystery writer. I see she is 83. so maybe she wants to rest. my experience as a writer. I hope I am wrong

  2. I am addicted to the Joe Sandilands series. I am hoping the author Barbara cleverly will be writing more books in this series.

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