A Zailer & Waterhouse Mystery series.
What is Culver Valley Crime about?
The Culver Valley Crime series has several names. It’s also called the Spilling CID series, The Zailer and Waterhouse Mystery series, or yet the Simon & Charlie series.
Whatever the name you prefer, these psychological crime novels follow Simon Waterhouse, a detective constable, and Charlie (Charlotte) Zailer, a detective sergeant, in rural England. Two of them, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television, with Olivia Colman and Darren Boyd, in a series called Case Sensitive.
Culver Valley Crime Books in Order:
- Little Face — She’s only been gone two hours. Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she’s never seen before. With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it’s too lat
- Hurting Distance — also published as The Truth-Teller’s Lie. Naomi Jenkins knows all about secrets: three years ago something so terrible happened to her that she’s never told anyone about it. Now, Naomi has another secret: her relationship with the unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without explanation, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced. In desperation, Naomi decides that if she can’t persuade the detectives that Robert is in danger, she’ll convince them that he is a danger to others. Naomi knows how to describe the actions of a psychopath; all she needs to do is dig up her own traumatic past.
- The Point of Rescue — also published as The Wrong Mother. Sally Thorning is watching the news with her husband when she hears a name she never thought she’d hear again: Mark Bretherick. Last year, Sally treated herself to a secret vacation in a remote hotel. While she was there, Sally met a man—Mark Bretherick. All the details are the same: where he lives, his job, his wife Geraldine and daughter Lucy. Except that the photograph on the news is of a man Sally has never seen before. And Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick are both dead…
- The Other Half Lives — also published as The Dead Lie Down. Ruth Bussey once did something she regrets, and her punishment nearly destroyed her. Now Ruth is rebuilding her life, and has found a love she doesn’t believe she deserves: Aidan Seed. Aidan is also troubled by a past he hates to talk about, until one day he decides he must confide in Ruth. He tells her that years ago he killed someone: a woman called Mary Trelease. Ruth is confused. She’s certain she’s heard the name before, and when she realises why it sounds familiar, her fear and confusion deepen – because the Mary Trelease that Ruth knows is very much alive . . .
- A Room Swept White — also published as The Cradle in the Grave. Television producer Fliss Benson is surprised to discover that her superstar boss, Laurie Nattrass, is stepping down from his post. She’s even more surprised that he asks her to take over his documentary about crib-death mothers wrongly accused of murder. Thanks to Laurie’s advocacy, three women are now free, while the doctor who testified against them is under investigation for misconduct. Then one of the mothers is found dead. In her pocket is a card with sixteen numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four- exactly like the anonymous card Fliss has just received in the mail.
- Lasting Damage — also published as The Other Woman’s House. It’s past midnight, but Connie Bowskill can’t sleep. To pass the time, she logs on to a real estate website in search of a particular house, one she is obsessed with for reasons she’s too scared to even admit to herself. As she clicks through the virtual tour, she comes across a scene from a nightmare: a woman lying facedown on the living room floor in a pool of blood. But when she returns to show her husband, there is no body, no blood—just a perfectly ordinary room, with a perfectly clean beige carpet.
- Kind of Cruel — When Amber Hewerdine consults a hypnotherapist as a desperate last resort, she doesn’t expect that anything much will change. She doesn’t expect it to help with her chronic insomnia . . . She doesn’t expect to hear herself, under hypnosis, saying words that mean nothing to her: ‘Kind, cruel, kind of cruel’ – words she has seen somewhere before, if only she could remember where . . . She doesn’t expect to be arrested two hours later, as a result of having spoken those words out loud, in connection with the brutal murder of Katharine Allen, a woman she’s never heard of . . .
- The Carrier — An overnight plane delay is bad. Having to share your hotel room with a stranger is worse. But that is only the beginning of Gaby Struthers’ problems. Gaby has never met Lauren Cookson before. So how does Lauren know so much about her? How does she know that the love of Gaby’s life has been accused of murder? Why is she telling her that he is innocent? And why is she so terrified of Gaby?
- Pictures or it Didn’t Happen — After Chloe and her daughter Freya are rescued from disaster by a man who seems too good to be true, Chloe decides she must find him again to thank him. But instead of meeting her knight in shining armour, she comes across a woman called Nadine Caspian who warns her to stay well away from him. Alarmed, Chloe asks her what she means, but Nadine will say no more. Chloe knows that the sensible choice would be to walk away – after all, she doesn’t know anything about this man. But she is too curious. What could Nadine have meant? And can Chloe find out the truth without putting herself and her daughter in danger?
- The Telling Error — also published as Woman with a Secret. All she wanted to do was take her son’s forgotten sports kit to school. So why does Nicki Clements drive past the home of controversial newspaper columnist Damon Blundy eight times in one day? Blundy has been murdered, and the words ‘HE IS NO LESS DEAD’ daubed on his wall – in red paint, not blood. And, though Blundy was killed with a knife, he was not stabbed. Why? Nicki, called in for questioning, doesn’t have any of the answers police are looking for. Nor can she tell them the truth, because although she is not guilty of murder, she is far from innocent. And the words on the wall are disturbingly familiar to her, if only she could remember where she has heard them before.
- The Tennis Church — An original short story for Christmas, originally published in The Guardian. Also available online at Sophie Hannah’s own website.
- The Narrow Bed — also published as The Next to Die. A killer that the police are calling ‘Billy Dead Mates’ is murdering pairs of best friends, one by one. Before they die, each victim is given a small white book… For months, detectives have failed to catch Billy, or work out what the white books mean. And then a woman, scared by what she’s seen on the news, comes forward. Stand-up comedian Kim Tribbeck has one of Billy’s peculiar little books. A stranger gave it to her at a gig she did a year ago. Was he Billy, and does he want to kill her? Kim has no friends and trusts no one, so how – and why – could she possibly be Billy Dead Mates’ next target?
- The Dwelling — Another Charlie Zailer Christmas Story, first published in The Spectator. Also available at Sophie Hannah’s own website.
- The Warrior Prophet — a Novella published available for free at www.adt.co.uk/adarktime.
- The Couple at the Table — Six couples. One luxury resort. And the perfect murder….
If you like Waterhouse and Zailer, you may also want to see our Peter James reading order, or our guide to Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.