Palmer-Jones Books

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George and Molly Palmer-Jones are the two protagonists of the Palmer-Jones series of novels by English crime mystery and thriller novelist Ann Cleeves. The first novel featuring the two characters was “A Bird in Hand” that Cleeves first published in 1986. The last in the series was “High Island Blues” that she published a decade later in 1996.

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Order of Palmer-Jones Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Bird in the Hand ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1986 Description / Buy
2 Come Death And High Water ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1988 Description / Buy
3 Murder In Paradise ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1988 Description / Buy
4 A Prey To Murder ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1989 Description / Buy
5 Another Man's Poison ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1992 Description / Buy
6 Sea Fever ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1993 Description / Buy
7 The Mill On The Shore ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1994 Description / Buy
8 High Island Blues ( By: Ann Cleeves) 1996 Description / Buy
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The series of novels follows Molly and George Palmer-Jones an elderly bird watching couple and their adventures in the English countryside. When we are first introduced to the couple they are traveling the country following some of the most rare of birds, when they are suddenly thrust into the world of private investigations.

In the first novel in the series, “A Bird in the Hand” Tom French a young bird watching enthusiast turns up dead in Norfolk. French was found with his binoculars by his head and his head smashed with a blunt object. He had been one of England’s most accomplished and well-liked bird watchers and spotters, and had made his village Rushy a household name in the bird watchers world.

George Palmer who knew the man immediately gets into whodunit mode determined to find the person responsible. His investigations unearth mixed emotions including pure envy and thwarted love, all of which could be great motives for a murder. But as the bird watchers congregate to pursue rare bird sightings, the couple finally find the telltale signs of the most vicious of killers in their group. All he has to do is ferret the man out before he can strike again. What follows is an excellent story that shows why Cleeves is a multiple award-winning author.


A Bird in the Hand: The first novel in the series is definitely one of the most highly regarded. The novel provides a good introduction to bird watching, particularly for anyone with no experience in the hobby. It showcases the passions, the lifestyle and of course the vocabulary that makes for a great foundation for a whodunit murder mystery.

Set in the small village of Rushy, the novel has a cozy mystery feel, as everyone knows everyone. With a wonderful plot and great characters, the novel makes for a great detective story that ends in a wonderfully affecting and dark twist.

Come Death And High Water: The second novel in the series is a delightful novel in the series following another mysterious murder. The members of the bird watching and wrangling guild has come together to enjoy themselves in their favorite passions on an island. Charlie Todd, a bird enthusiast that owns the island spoils the evening by announcing that he intended to sell the property in the near future.

If the island were to be sold, the Observatory would have an uncertain future and some of the enthusiasts would be hard-pressed to find anything similar. After a fierce night storm, the group wakes up to find Charlie Todd dead and covered in bird hide. A delightful summer weekend had just turned deadly.

Another Man’s Poison: The sixth novel in the series is another very popular novel in the series and considered among Cleeve’s best works. Ursula Ottway just found that some protected wild fowl together with her beloved cats had died of eating illegal poison. She believes that Marcus Grenville her landlord and rabid anti preservationist politician is responsible, and vows to expose him. She never gets the chance to take any action as she dies within hours of the same poison.

With the police terming it an accident, it is left to George and his wife Molly to try to resolve the murder mystery. Their investigations reveal that the dead woman had a long memory and sharp eyes that were a threat to several people in the village, and particularly Marcus, his alienated children and his wife. To get justice for their friend, they may have to go through a nest full of vipers and lifetime full of deadly secrets.


Many fans of the Palmer Jones series of novels also liked the “Dog Walker Mysteries” by Judi McCoy. The novels follow the adventures of a psychic dog walker who supernaturally communicates with her adopted dogs and her New York City police detective and boyfriend Sam Ryder.

Palmer-Jones fans also love the “A Dixie Hemingway Mystery” series by Blaize Clement. The lead in the series is Dixie Hemingway a retired Florida sheriff’s deputy turned pet sitter and amateur sleuth that arrests more than her fair share of criminals.

What Is The Next Book in The Palmer-jones Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Palmer-jones Series. The newest book is High Island Blues and was released on May, 24th 1996.

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