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.

Join our mailing list below and we’ll  be able to notify you first of future events so you don’t miss out!

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 

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST to keep in touch with Murder One, Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival

* indicates required


“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 Writing Workshops 2019

Writing a Best Selling Series with Patricia Gibney

How do you create an original and empathetic character that is strong enough to carry a series? What are the essential ingredients to make sure every book must work on its own as well as part of the series? How many should you write before you approach an agent, and how do you construct a series character arc? Patricia Gibney has sold over a million books, find out her secrets and how to make them work for you!

Pearse Street Library   €25  
Thursday 31 October, 11.00am-1.00pm 
Book now

What’s Your Story? Writing from Life with Shane Dunphy

Are you planning to fictionalise elements of your life or write a memoir? Find out the essential first steps and the key techniques of fiction writing that will make your story leap off the page. Shane Dunphy is an Irish and London Times bestseller, and the movie adaptation of his memoir, The Boy They Tried to Hide, is in development with Hollywood production company Rumble Films. His series of non-fiction titles, relating the years he spent as a child protection worker, have been internationally successful and sold in
translation across several territories. These include the Number 1 bestseller Wednesday’s Child, and The Girl Who Couldn’t Smile, which spent five weeks on the London Times Top 10 list.

Pearse Street Library   €25
Thursday 31 October, 2.00pm-4.00 pm
Book now

Plot the Perfect Murder with Catherine Ryan Howard

Learn how to plot the perfect crime novel with Dagger and Edgar shortlisted crime author Catherine Ryan Howard. This workshop will explore the mechanics of storytelling and the best methods for taking your idea from brain to blurb. Catherine will share each step of her own process, from interrogating the initial idea to getting to ‘THE END’ of the first draft, with lots of Post-It Notes in between. Even if you’re more of a pantser than a plotter, this workshop will offer techniques, tips and tricks that will help you strengthen your storytelling and keep your readers turning the page.

Pearse Street Library    €25
Friday 1 November, 11.00am-1.00pm
Book now

Breaking Bad with Liz Nugent

Before becoming a full-time writer, Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. At the 2018 Irish Book Awards, Liz enjoyed a rare double success, winning both Crime Fiction Book of the Year and the Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award for Skin Deep, her third bestseller. Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait were previous winners in the same category. In 2017, Liz was named Irish Woman of the Year in Literature. In this Masterclass, Liz will talk about the core principles of writing drama that can apply to tv, radio, cinema or novels. Using the pilot episode of Breaking Bad as a teaching tool, she will examine plot, dialogue, characterisation, structure and awareness of the medium in question. Participants are required to bring only a pen, paper and their imagination!

Pearse Street Library    €35
Friday 1 November, 2.00pm-5.00pm
Book now

The Killer Pitch with Literary Agent Simon Trewin

Sam Blake chats to Simon Trewin about what catches an agent’s eye, famous hits and misses
and his top ten tips for writing a killer pitch. Giving examples of pitches that worked, find out how to make your book irresistible to a literary agent.

Smock Alley Main Space
Sunday 3 November
5.00pm-6.00pm | €12/€10

Book Here!

Look Back Murder One 2021: Murder In The Library



Murder One are delighted to be supported by the DLR LexIcon for their 2021 events, and will be running a special event in conjunction with the Dublin Book Festival and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.

Join us for our Monday Night Murder Club and get your week off to a deadly start! Our events are online and free but booking is required.

Find out more about our 2021 Murder One authors here.

Event quick link menu, click to book our free events (full details below):

Masterclasses Quick links (click here or see below for full details)

The Murder One Masterclasses are €25 each per person plus booking fees and numbers are limited so don’t leave your booking to chance!

Creating Compelling Characters  with Sam Blake, Olivia Kiernan and Andrea Mara.  Sat 6th Nov 2pm-4pm

Killer Opening Chapters with William Ryan, Nadine Matheson and Femi Kayode. Sat 13th Nov 10.30am-12.30pm

How to Write a Bestselling Crime Novel with Sophie Hannah Sat 20th Nov 10am -12.00

Murder One Masterclass: On the Editor’s Desk with William Ryan, Stefanie Bierweth (Quercus Books) and Sarah Hodgson (Corvus Atlantic) Sat 27th Nov 10.30am-12.30pm

Murder One in the Library Event Details:

Deadly Women with Vaseem Khan

Monday 8th November 8pm      FREE but booking required

Both Adele Parks and Jane Casey have stepped into new worlds with gripping psychological thrillers – both with strong female leads. Vaseem Khan, the award winning creator of Inspector Persis Wadia, India’s first female detective, quizzes them on the what, where, and how, and why women make such compelling lead characters.

Adele Parks was born in North Yorkshire. Selling over 4 million books in the UK and translated into 31 languages, she is the author of twenty bestselling novels including the recent Sunday Times Number One hits Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck. Both optioned for development for TV in conjunction with Netflix producers. She’s an ambassador for The National Literacy Trust and a judge for the Costa. Adele has lived in Botswana, Italy and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband, son and cat. Both of You is Adele’s 21st book in 21 years.

Crime is a family affair for Jane Casey. Married to a criminal barrister, she has a unique insight into the brutal underbelly of urban life, from the smell of a police cell to the darkest motives of a serial killer. This gritty realism has made her books international bestsellers and critical successes; while Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan has quickly become one of the most popular characters in crime fiction.

Winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know, Jane has been shortlisted four times for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award and longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. She is a top ten Sunday Times bestselling author. Her No 1 bestseller, standalone thriller The Killing Kind is out now.

Vaseem Khan is the author of two crime series set in India, the Baby Ganesh Agency series set in modern Mumbai, and the Malabar House historical crime novels set in 1950s Bombay. His first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Times bestseller, now translated into 15 languages. The second in the series won the Shamus Award in the US. In 2018, he was awarded the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Award for Literature. Vaseem was born in England, but spent a decade working in India. In 2021, Midnight at Malabar House won the Crime Writers Association Historical Dagger. His latest book is The Dying Day about the theft of one of the world’s great treasures, a 600-year-old copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, stored at Bombay’s Asiatic Society.


Crime in the City








Tuesday 9th November  7pm    FREE but booking required

Presented by Dublin Book Festival in partnership with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Murder One

Join Vanda Symon, Awais Khan and Lilja Sigurðardóttir in conversation with Sam Blake for an evening of crime! Crime writers from four UNESCO Cities of Literature: Dublin, Lahore, Dunedin and Reykjavík meet to discuss the influence their home cities have had on their writing, how crime fiction crosses geographical divides and what prompted them to start a life of crime. Also available as a Podcast

Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and has also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

Awais Khan is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Durham University, and studied creative writing with Faber Academy. His debut novel, In the Company of Strangers, was published to much critical acclaim, and he now regularly appears on TV and radio. Awais also teaches a popular online creative writing course to aspiring writers around the world. He lives in Lahore and is currently working on his third novel.

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, her English debut shortlisting for the CWA International Dagger and hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap soon followed suit, with the third in the trilogy Cage winning the Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year, and was a Guardian Book of the Year. Lilja’s standalone Betrayal, was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja is also an award-winning screenwriter in her native Iceland. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Based just outside Dublin, No 1 bestseller Sam Blake is the founder of the Murder One International Crime writing festival, a board member of the Society of Authors and of the Crime Writers Association. Her debut novel ‘Little Bones’ (Bonnier 2016) was No 1 in Ireland for four weeks, remained in the top 10 for another four, and was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year. It launched the bestselling Cat Connolly trilogy. Moving away from police procedurals Sam is keeping a focus on strong female characters, writing psychological thrillers: ‘Keep Your Eyes On Me’ went straight to No 1 in January 2020 and ‘The Dark Room’ hit the bestseller list in January 2021


Murder Under the Microscope

Monday 15th November 8pm  FREE but booking required

Ex State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy will be in conversation with Professor Jim Fraser in what will be one of the most enthralling discussions online this year.

Professor Fraser is a forensic scientist who has been involved in some of the biggest cases in recent UK history. Professor Dr Marie Cassidy was Ireland’s State Pathologist from 2004 until 2018 and involved in many high-profile cases that grabbed national headlines. The two experts in their fields will draw on their experience to discuss what can and cannot be discovered in the lab, how essential the chain of evidence is, how evidence-gathering must be meticulous and what can go wrong if it isn’t.

Professor Jim Fraser is a forensic investigator who has been involved in hundreds of murder investigations as an expert witness and cold case reviewer. He has given evidence many times as an expert witness. A Research Professor in Forensic Science at the University of Strathclyde and a Commissioner on the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, he has advised many public agencies including police organisations in the UK and abroad, the Home Office, the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament. He is the author of Murder under the Microscope. Find out more at

Professor Dr. Marie Cassidy was Ireland’s State Pathologist from 2004 until 2018. During that time, she was involved in many high-profile cases, including the Stardust exhumation and the deaths of Siobhan Kearney, Rachel O’Reilly, Robert Holohan and Tom O’Gorman. In her memoir, Beyond the Tape, she invites us into the world of forensic pathology, and shares her remarkable personal journey, from working-class Glasgow to becoming Ireland’s head pathologist.


Murder in Mind: Val McDermid in conversation with Liz Nugent

 Monday 22nd November 8pm   FREE but booking required

Number one bestselling crime novelist, Val McDermid, discusses her new novel, 1979, with our own Liz Nugent in what is sure to be a sparky and marvellously engaging event.  In 1979 Val kicks off her first new series in nearly twenty years with the story of Allie Burns, a young investigative journalist whose work leads her into a world of corruption, terror, and murder.

It’s only January, and the year 1979 has already brought blizzards, strikes, power cuts, and political unrest. For Allie Burns, however, someone else’s bad news is the unmistakable sound of opportunity knocking, a chance to escape the “women’s stories” to which her editors have confined her. Striking up an alliance with budding investigative journalist Danny Sullivan, Allie begins covering international tax fraud and a group of Scottish ultranationalists aiming to cause mayhem ahead of a referendum on breaking away from the United Kingdom. Their stories quickly get attention and create enemies for the two young up-and-comers. Drawing on McDermid’s own experiences as a young journalist, 1979 is redolent of the thundering presses, hammering typewriters, and wreaths of smoke of the Clarion newsroom. A journey to the past with much to say about the present, it is the latest pitch-perfect, suspenseful addition to Val McDermid’s crime pantheon.

Val McDermid’s novels have been translated into forty languages, and have sold over seventeen million copies. A remarkably versatile writer, as well as novels, Val has written radio plays, short stories, non-fiction and even a children’s book and has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2010 and received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011. In 2016, Val received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and in 2017 received the DIVA Literary Prize for Crime.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. Her novels – Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait and Skin Deep and Our Little Cruelties have been Number One bestsellers in Ireland and she has won four Irish Book Awards (two for Skin Deep). She lives in Dublin with her husband.


A Narrow Door: Joanne Harris in conversation with Declan Burke







Monday 29th November 8pm  FREE but booking required

Multi genre international bestseller Joanne Harris discusses the inspiration behind A Narrow Door, her writing process and what made her turn to crime, with author, editor and journalist, Declan Burke.

Joanne Harris (MBE) was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels, including Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche .

Since then, she has written 18 more novels, plus novellas, short stories, game scripts, the libretti for two short operas, several screenplays, a musical and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, has honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of Sheffield and Huddersfield, and has been a judge for the Whitbread Prize, the Orange Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, the Betty Trask Award, the Prima Donna Prize and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science, as well as for the Fragrance Foundation awards for perfume and perfume journalism (for which she also received an award in 2017).

She is a passionate advocate for authors’ rights, and is currently the Chair of the Society of Authors (SOA), and member of the Board of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

Declan Burke is an award-winning author and editor. His novel Absolute Zero Cool won the Goldsboro Award in 2012. Books to Die For (2013), co-edited with John Connolly, won the Anthony Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime. The Lammisters, a comic novel, is published by No Alibis Press.


Murder One Writing Masterclasses

For crime writers everywhere we’ve created a series of masterclasses for you to hone your writing skills and kick start your Work in Progress.

Please note that while all our Masterclasses run on a Saturday, the START TIMES VARY, so please make a note! Eventbrite will automatically send out a reminder link prior to the event but do put it in your diary!

Murder One Masterclass: Creating Compelling Characters

With bestselling authors Sam Blake, Olivia Kiernan and Andrea Mara

€25 plus booking fees.

Saturday 6th November 2pm-4pm Book HERE

While plot is vital in crime writing, characters are the lifeblood of great fiction. If you want your reader to remember your book long after they put it down, you need to create compelling characters that resonate with them. Whether you are creating serial or standalone characters, Sam Blake reveals her process and cross examines her expert witnesses bestselling authors Olivia Kiernan and Andrea Mara on theirs.Find out how to create a character that will captivate an agent and how to build your readership from book to book with characters readers’ cannot forget!



Murder One Masterclass: Killer Opening Chapters

With multiple award shortlisted William Ryan, Nadine Matheson and Femi Kayode

€25 plus booking fees

Saturday 13th November 10.30am-12.30pm Book HERE

The first 3 chapters of your book are crucial to get right, not only to hook an agent or editor, but to hook your reader – how do you make them the best that they can be? William Ryan will explain the essential ingredients to create a killer opening and is joined by critically acclaimed debut authors Nadine Matheson and Femi Kayode to explain how they did it.


Murder One Masterclass: How to Write a Bestselling Crime Novel with Sophie Hannah

€25 plus booking fees

Saturday 20th November 10am -12.00 Book HERE

International bestseller Sophie Hannah will take you through her top tips for writing a bestelling crime novel, teaching participants:

  • how to massively increase your chances of success
  • how to change incorrect, unhelpful and limiting beliefs
  • how to avoid unnecessary suffering
  • how to thrive in the face of the psychological and emotional challenges that life as a writer brings with it
  • how to start and finish the best possible book you can write, and how to use Sophie’s amazing Literary Diagnostics method (which is very different from editing), to take your writing to the next level.



Murder One Masterclass: On the Editor’s Desk

With multiple award shortlisted William Ryan, Stefanie Bierweth (Editorial Director Quercus Books) and Sarah Hodgson (Editorial Director Corvus Atlantic)

€25 plus booking fees

Saturday 27th November 10.30am-12.30pm Book HERE

Find out what two of London’s top editors are looking for in crime fiction! William Ryan outlines what you need to know to submit to succesfully submit to agents, what goes into your covering letter and how to write a synopsis. Joined by the Editoral Directors of Quercus and Corvus, William has successfully assisted numerous authors to publication – this is a must do masterclass for anyone looking to submit, both William and the editors are ready to answer your questions!

Write a Bestseller: Writing Workshops 2018


The team behind MURDER ONE know a thing or two about how to write a bestseller, and they are delighted to bring you two of Ireland’s top authors to share their knowledge in the perfect location, Pearse Street Library. As well as housing an incredible archive, Pearse Street is the headquarters of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin Libraries who we have been working closely with to bring  the festival to fruition.

Successful crime novels demand two things, great plot and great character, and in 2018 that’s what our authors were talking about. But don’t feel that if you don’t write crime, these workshops aren’t for you – the techniques outlined apply to all genre. Who doesn’t want to be hooked into a novel, frantically turning the pages to find out what happens? Whatever you write, these workshops will bring you a step closer to achieving your goals.

Find out very soon what 2019 will bring!

With limited places these workshops sold out very fast

– sign up for our newsletter to keep in touch.


In 2018 our To Plot or Not to Plot Writing Workshop was with Julie Parsons 

To plot or not to plot that is the question!  Irish Book Awards Crime Novelist of the Year 2017, Julie Parsons gave expert guidance on how to hook your reader, build tension and deliver a satisfying ending. A story can start with a character, a situation, a question – what if? Find out how much you need to do to build the foundations of your novel and techniques for delivering a pacey story. Julie explained the importance of conflict, both internal and external and take you through her own process, honed over seven bestselling and award winning novels.

Julie Parsons’ most recent thriller, The Therapy House, won the Crime Fiction Book of the Year award at the Irish Book Awards, 2017. She has been a full-time writer since 1998 when her first novel Mary, Mary was published to critical and commercial success. It was translated into 17 languages and published in the US. Her subsequent novels were The Courtship Gift, Eager to Please, The Guilty Heart, The Hourglass and I Saw You. Julie is currently a columnist with the Irish Times. Her column, ‘In Praise of Older Books’ appears weekly in The Ticket.


In 2018 our Character Witness workshop was with Arlene Hunt

Whatever stage your book is at, without memorable three dimensional characters you have no story. In this workshop bestselling crime writer Arlene Hunt showed participants how to understand the building blocks of a great book. Learning how to develop character and how to create an original protagonist is vital. How well do you need to know your characters and how many should you have in a book? How should they develop and change? Arlene Hunt gave vital tips on creating incredible and memorable characters. This was a workshop for both new and experienced writers that designed to make them think and improve their fiction.

Arlene Hunt is an author of ten novels and co-founder of Portnoy Publishing. She is currently working on a new series, the first to be published early 2019. Her last novel was released in May 2018, entitled The Last Goodbye. She lives in Dublin with her husband and can usually be found half way up a mountain with two German Shepherds.

                                  2018 also brought you The Confessions of a Secret Agent                                                                                       

Simon Trewin has spent the last twenty-five years as a literary agent working with some of the biggest names in the world and helping launch the careers of countless debuts. In this candid, and, at times, irreverent event, he locked the doors, swore everyone to secrecy and revealed his top ten essential tips to getting published and also tell some stories of people who got it terribly terribly wrong…and right.

Simon is a Partner in the global entertainment agency WME. He has been an agent for over twenty years and is a three time nominee for the Bookseller Industry Awards Literary Agent of the Year. Trewin began his career in the theatre and moved to the world of literary agenting 25 years ago and has worked with a string of internationally bestselling authors who have, between them, either been nominated or have won the Man Booker, the Baileys, the Costa, the CWA Daggers, the Irish Book Awards and the IMPAC. Simon represents a number of crime and thriller writers including Robert Goddard, Alex Barclay, Luke Delaney, A A Dhand, Jake Woodhouse and Sam Blake. Simon Trewin is always on the look out for new talent in this area and he also has a particular affinity for the Irish market – representing, as he does, John Boyne, Mary Costello, Alex Barclay, Paul Lynch, Claire Kilroy, John Connell, Sarah Griffin and Sam Blake.