Murder One ‘It would have been criminal to miss it!’

‘I always love being part of Murder One – it has rapidly become an important fixture in the literary calendar for anyone connected to the  crime and thriller genre. I also enjoy the fact it takes place in a library – it is impossible NOT to quietly look for a body, a dagger and a rapidly disappearing Colonel Mustard’
SIMON TREWIN – Literary Agent

We were thrilled with the success this year of Murder One Fest 2023, which was brought to you with the invaluable support of DLR Libraries. Back in it’s weekend format, October 6th-8th, we welcomed a host of Irish and international authors. We were delighted to have the wonderful Bob Johnston of The Gutter Bookshop on hand supplying everyone with books from both new, and already favourite, authors. Also a big thank you to Paul Sherwood Photography for all the fantastic photos which really capture the spirit of the festival.

Crime is one of the biggest-selling genres in the book business and Ireland boasts some of the world’s top crime writers. The festival showcased the cream of Irish crime writing talent with Tana FrenchJane Casey, Colin Walsh, Catherine Ryan Howard, Steve Cavanagh, Andrea Mara, Sam Blake, and Catherine Kirwan among those appearing on a range of solo events and hot-topic panels.

UK visitors included the hugely popular, Sophie Hannah, 2023 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, Tom Benn, Alice Feeney, author of the phenomenally successful Daisy Darker, plus cosy crime specialist, British Book Awards winner Janice Hallett, and highly praised debutante, Alice Bell.

Once a name synonymous with breaking news of high-profile crime cases, Dr Marie Cassidy has turned her hand to crime fiction and she discussed her debut novel, Body of Truth, in conversation with bestselling crime writer, Liz Nugent. 

True crime fans were entertained by award-winning political journalist, Harry McGee whose book, The Murderer and the Taoiseach, retraces the extraordinary happenings in Dublin’s notorious Malcolm Macarthur murder case.

Wherever your tastes in the crime genre lie, we hope you were gripped by the plot of Murder One this year.

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Murder One is run by crime author Sam Blake and festival director Bert Wright.

Two black chairs on a stage with posters
©Paul Sherwood Photographer

 

Earlier in the year we kicked off 2023 with international blockbuster Harlan Coben on 21st March at the Lexicon Library in Dun Laoghaire which was an amazing event.

On March 26th we had an exciting evening at The Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire  with Liz Nugent giving us all a wonderful opportunity to get right inside the  head of Strange Sally Diamond!

And on 20th June we were back at the Lexicon Library for a fantastic evening of crime with international bestseller Karin Slaughter.

Three faces looking at the camera

‘MURDER ONE has established a huge following among Irish crime fans in a short space of time and in a country that boasts so many successful crime writers, it’s a joy to get fans and writers together on an annual basis in an ideal location like Dun Laoghaire.’ – Bert Wright

 

A stage
©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

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“Literary festivals, writing festivals, readers’ festivals … however you wish to call an
event that brings readers and writers together … are magical spaces where magical things happen.
Being at Murder One has reminded me of that.” – Amy Gaffney

Murder One 2023: Take a Look Back!

Running from 6th-8th October 2023, Murder One was thrilled to be supported by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries again this year with a gripping programme for all.

Wherever your tastes in the crime genre lie, we hope you were gripped by the plot of Murder One as it unfolded across three days at Dun Laoghaire’s stunning LexIcon Library and Cultural Centre.

“Murder One is supported by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries and that library connection is true synergy for us – bringing new authors to new readers and new readers to authors is at the heart of both the festival and the library’s mission.” – Sam Blake

FRIDAY 6TH OCTOBER

Not Just Crime – Meet the Editors

A stage set with three people on a sofa and one on an armchair

Three top Irish editors, Deirdre Nolan, Sarah Liddy and Ciara Dooley, who publish both fiction and nonfiction, discussed their submission process and what they were looking for with Sam Blake.

Deirdre Nolan heads up Bonnier Books Irish imprint Ériu, Sarah Liddy is a non fiction editor with Gill Books and Ciara Doorley is publishing director at Hachette Ireland.

Not Just Crime – Meet the Agents

Two top agents,  Polly Nolan and Simon Trewin, revealed what they are looking for in a book. Sam Blake asked them for their tips for your submission package and how to impress an agent, plus the common mistakes they see every day.

The Body of Truth: Marie Cassidy in conversation with Liz Nugent

Four people smiling at a camera
©Paul Sherwood Photography 

Dr Marie Cassidy discussed her debut thriller with bestselling crime writer, Liz Nugent. Dr Cassidy served as Ireland’s State Pathologist from 2004 until 2018, her image synonymous with breaking news of high-profile cases. In 2020’s Beyond the Tape: The Life and Many Deaths of a State Pathologist, she described the intricate processes central to solving modern crime. Now retired, she turns her hand to crime fiction with her debut novel Body of Truth.

SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER

The Murderer and the Taoiseach:
Harry McGee in conversation with Breda Brown

Two people on a stage
©Paul Sherwood Photography 

Award-winning political journalist, Harry McGee retraced the happenings of the long hot summer of 1982 and the ramifications of the notorious Malcolm Macarthur murder case with Breda Brown. From the cat-and-mouse game to track down an unpredictable killer to Macarthur’s extraordinary capture, he considers both the life and psyche of a murderer, and that of the leading political figure of the time – a man similarly driven by greed, status and a sense of himself as existing above the law. True crime doesn’t come much more local than this!

3 x 10 Readings in the Studio

Kitty Murphy –  ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 
Woman on a stage
Gill Perdue – ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 
Woman on stage
Casey King – ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Three talented crime writers,  Kitty Murphy, Gill Perdue and Casey King, introduced by Sam Blake, had 10 minutes each to hook the audience as they discussed and read their work ! 

New Blood:
Meet Debut Authors Disha Bose, Alice Bell & Michelle McDonagh

Three women on a sofa on a stage
Alice Bell, Michelle McDonagh, Disha Bose – ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Sam Blake quizzed three very different debut authors — Disha Bose, Alice Bell, and Michelle McDonagh — on the game-changing factors that transformed their writing lives and set in motion the transition from aspiring writers to published authors in 2023.

3 x 10 Readings in the Studio

Man with glasses sitting at a lectern on stage
Joe Joyce – ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

 

Woman standing at a lectern on stage
Gaye Maguire – ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 
Woman at lectern on a stage
 Claire Coughlan- ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Three talented crime writers,  Joe Joyce, Gaye Maguire and Claire Coughlan, introduced by Sam Blake, had 10 minutes each to hook the audience as they discussed and read their work ! 

Secrets and Suspense: Alice Feeney, Janice Hallett and Sam Blake talk to Karen Perry

Four people sitting down on a stage
Karen Perry, Alice Feeney, Janice Hallett, Sam Blake ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Author Karen Perry talked secrets and suspense with bestsellers Alice Feeney, British Book Awards winner Janice Hallett and Sam Blake.  These three authors discussed story ideas, what draws a reader in, how they keep readers guessing and how they keep the surprises coming.  

French Connections:
Tana French in conversation with Karen Perry

Two women sitting on a stage
 Karen Perry & Tana French- ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Tana French is universally acknowledged as one of the most highly skilled crime writers currently working in the genre. Her Dublin Murder Squad novels have won a slew of awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction on two occasions.  A rare participant on the festival circuit – Tana French discussed her work and career with close friend Karen Perry.

SUNDAY 8TH OCTOBER

Genre and Beyond:
Tom Benn, Liz Nugent and Colin Walsh in conversation with Amanda Cassidy

Four people sitting down on chairs on a stage
Amanda Cassidy, Tom Benn, Colin Walsh, Liz Nugent ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Genre is often not much more than a convenient descriptor for the benefit of publishers and critics. Writers have stronger views on the limitations of genre which they find inhibiting and artificial. Tom Benn, recently anointed Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year for 2023 has said “genre is a moral, disruptive living thing, forever evolving and trading with its neighbours to better innovate and interrogate.” Liz Nugent has said she owes “no particular allegiance to any genre.” Colin Walsh’s debut thriller, Kala, has shot into the bestseller list and has been described as more literary than thriller. These three fiercely independent writers discussed the question of genre with Amanda Cassidy in what was truly an enlightening experience.

Complicit: Winnie M Li in conversation with Remie Michelle Clarke

Two women sitting on chairs on a stage
Remie Michelle Clarke & Winnie M Li – ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

This event was was run in association with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

Winnie M Li’s critically acclaimed Complicit is, as the Guardian describes, ‘a visceral and timely story about the men – and women – who turn a blind eye to systemic exploitation in the film industry.’  Li has much in common with her character Sarah Lai – she is the daughter of east Asian immigrants, an Ivy League graduate and former film producer, and as a sexual assault survivor, Li brings a deep understanding of her character’s world to this landmark novel.

‘Li’s novel is a way of acknowledging the women whose stories have been heard, and those who haven’t.’ The Guardian.

Winnie M Li discussed Complicit, her own experiences of the film industry and #MeToo with Dublin Rape Crisis champion and crisis counsellor, author Remie Michelle Clarke. Find out more about the work of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre here.

Support for anyone affected:

If you have been affected by issues raised here or have been subjected to sexual violence at any time, you can contact the 24-hour National Helpline 1800 778888 for free, confidential support. Dublin Rape Crisis Centre also offers crisis counselling via a free webchat support service at www.drcc.ie

Inspired by Real Life:
Catherine Ryan Howard, Andrea Mara and Catherine Kirwan
with Martin Doyle

Four people sitting on chairs on a stage
Martin Doyle, Catherine Ryan Howard, Andrea Mara, Catherine Kirwan©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Three of Ireland’s favourite bestselling authors, Catherine Ryan Howard, Andrea Mara and Catherine Kirwan, in conversation with Martin Doyle, discussed how true-life events and locations inspired their latest fiction. Howard’s The Trap was inspired by a series of still-unsolved disappearances; Mara’s No One Saw a Thing is based on a real- life event that happened to her and her sister in childhood; Kirwan’s A Lesson in Malice is set in her alma mater, UCC. Is real life stranger than fiction or vice versa?

 

On the Shoulders of Giants: Christie, Highsmith & Sayers

Four people standing with books in their hands
Andrea Carter, Sophie Hannah, Steve Cavanagh, Jane Casey – ©Paul Sherwood Photographer 

Three of our greatest contemporary crime writers, in conversation with Andrea Carter, discussed their latest books and how some of the great crime writers have influenced their work. Commissioned by the Christie estate to continue Poirot’s legacy, Sophie Hannah has been called “Christie’s heir.” Steve Cavanagh has cited Patricia Highsmith as an increasing influence on his work and his latest book Kill for Me Kill for You brings the theme in Strangers on a Train bang up to date. Jane Casey is a huge fan of Dorothy L Sayers and her recent novel The Close delivers a modern locked room thriller to the page, complete with a broad cast of characters with interwoven secrets. It was fascinating to discover what brings today’s authors back to the classics in what was a truly insightful discussion!

Lots more photos available on our Facebook page!!