Number One Bestselling Author

Events Round-Up 2023

Cork World Book Festival

Cork World Book Festival Poster

Unravel the Mystery of Irish Crime Writing

Friday April 21st, 5.00 pm
Triskel Arts Centre Cork
Tickets – Free

Booking –

Sam Blake and Tadhg Coakley, in conversation with Michelle Dunne, discuss their recent books and the rise of crime writing in Ireland.

Tadhg Coakley, originally from Mallow, living in Cork city. He’s the author of “The First Sunday in September” (Mercier Press, 2018) a novel in stories shortlisted for the Mercier Press fiction prize; “Whatever It Takes” (Mercier Press, 2020) a crime novel set in Cork city, which is the 2020 Cork One City, One Book choice; and the autobiography of Denis Coughlan, called “Everything” (Hero Books, 2020) co-written. His fourth book “The Game: A Journey into the Heart of Sport” (2023) was shortlisted as Sports Book of The Year. His new book “Before He Kills Again”, a follow up of “Whatever It Takes”, will be published in February 2023. He also wrote many short-stories, articles and essays for The Stinging FlyThe Winter PapersThe Irish ExaminerThe Irish TimesThe Honest UlstermanQuarrymanSilver Apples and elsewhere.

Michelle Dunne, born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, joined the Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit, to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland. Taking a less than conventional route to writing has stood her in good stead when portraying the darker side of life as a crime writer. Dunne’s latest book, “The Invisible”, follows on from her first crime novel, “While Nobody is Watching”, which both feature former soldier Lindsey Ryan.

Houses of Character with Sam Blake and Andrew Hughes

 Andrew Hughes and Sam Blake

Wednesday, April 26th, 6:30 pm
Goethe-Institut, 37 Merrion Square East, Dublin 2
Tickets – Free

Booking – Houses of Character: A One Dublin One Book Event

Drawing room intrigue, revelry and romance, hidden rooms and buried secrets

In the wonderful surrounds of the Goethe-Institut, a splendidly refurbished Georgian house in Merrion Square, Andrew Hughes will be joined by author Sam Blake to discuss the atmosphere, sense of place, and plot inspiration provided by grand old houses in historical fiction.

Andrew Hughes is a qualified archivist who worked for RTÉ before going freelance. It was while researching his social history of Fitzwilliam Square – Lives Less Ordinary: Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square, 1798-1922 – that he came across the true story of John Delahunt, a Victorian murderer and Dublin Castle informer, which inspired his debut novel. The Convictions of John Delahunt was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Irish Crime Book of the Year. The Coroner’s Daughter, a tale of a young lady sleuth operating at the dawn of forensic science, is the One Dublin One Book choice for 2023.

Something Terrible Happened Last Night – Launch Events

Sam Blake is hosting a number of special student events celebrating the launch of her new YA thriller, Something Terrible Happened Last Night.

Cover image of Something Terrible Happened Last Night by Sam Blake

May 4th, dlr LexIcon, Queen’s Rd, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin (Invitation ONLY)
May 8th, Arklow Library, 7 Main St, Arklow, Co. Wicklow
May 8th, Wicklow Library, The Mall, Main Street, Wicklow
May 10th, Temple Carraig School Greystones, Co. Wicklow

If you’d like Sam to speak at your school or library, get in touch!


National Crime Reading Month Poster

1 June 2023 @ 6:30 pm
Waterstones London – Piccadilly
203/206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD
Tickets £8 – £6

Booking – NCRM Launch

Launching the CWA’s National Crime Reading Month, The Reading Agency is joined by award-winning crime writers, Dreda Say Mitchell MBE and Louise Candlish, at Waterstones Piccadilly. In a discussion chaired by Abir Muckerjee, exploring just what it is about crime fiction that makes us tick, they’ll be exploring what makes a great crime read, how the plots and characters capture our imaginations and why crime fiction continues to convert new readers into lifelong book lovers.

Opening the evening, Andrew Hunter Murray will discuss the huge variety of subgenres within crime with author and NCRM director Sam Blake.


14 June 2023 @ 6:30 pm

Dunstable Library, The Dunstable Cente, Dunstable LU5 4JD

Tickets: £3.00 Available at the library

Talking Something Terrible with Pyper and Ethan (Year 12, All Saints Academy) and Adult thrillers with Liz Roberts.


15 June 2023 @ 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm
St. Albans Library, Level 2, The Maltings, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3JQ
Tickets – £5.00


Meet best-selling authors, Sam Blake, Rachael Blok, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Howard Linskey and Rachel Lynch and hear how they chose a life of crime. Chaired by Annie Payne.

Hinterland Festival Kells 2023

 Saturday 24 June 2023, 5pm
Venue: Eureka – €10 Book Here

Sam Blake (the pen name of the writer Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin), author of eight bestselling books in total, has been shortlisted for the Irish Crime Novel of the year three times (2016, 2021 and 2022). Her debut novel, Little Bones (2016) was her first runaway success. Her latest adult work, The Mystery of Four had the distinction of being knocked off the top of the bestseller lists by the juggernaut Spare, written by a fellow English exile (Sam lives in Wicklow but is originally from Hertfordshire). With Something Terrible Happened Last Night Sam has written her first (of many?) books for a young adult audience. Sam will be in conversation with Deirdre Hurley.

Tregolls Lodge Book Club Author Event

29 June 2023 @ 2:00 pm

Tregolls Lodge, St Clements Hill, Truro, TR1 1GW, Cornwall


Authors Sam Blake, Roz Watkins and Jo Jakeman will be discussing writing crime and reading from their latest books.

Jo Jakeman, Sam Blake, and Roz Watkins  all have strong links with Cornwall, and have been  inspired by the Cornish landscape and people, finding mystery in the dark coves and narrow lanes of this beautiful county. They are thrilled to be visiting Tregolls bookclub to discuss their new books, how much research it takes to write twisty gripping crime, and to read excerpts.

Penzance Literary Festival Poster with logo

Penzance LitFest: 1pm Friday 7th July

St John’s Hall, Alverton Street, Penzance TR18 2QW

The 12th edition of the Penzance Literary Festival with a theme for 2023 of ARRIVAL, runs from July 5-8 2023, when Penzance will play host to a wonderful array of talented authors, performers, poets and more.

Sam Blake, Roz Watkins andJo Jakeman discuss where their ideas arrive from. Some ideas arrive from nowhere. Others you have to dig and sweat to find, or they depart again before getting anywhere. Best-selling crime writers Jo Jakeman, Sam Blake, and Roz Watkins talk about their ideas and inspiration, how three ordinary women think of so many ways to kill people, and the impact of the Cornish landscape and culture on their writing.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival Logo

Author Dinner
Saturday 22nd July 2023,
The Wedgewood Restaurant The Old Swan Hotel,

Booking – Harrogate International Festival Author Dinner

Whodunnit? That’s the question on everyone’s lips at the author dinner – along with good food, wine and conversation. Your table will be hosted by a leading crime writer who will lend their insight, experience and skill – or failing that, their best guess – to identify the perpetrator of the dastardly crime in the murder mystery that will be acted out for your delight, delectation and diversion. Knives, forks and sharp wits at the ready, let’s eat!

On Saturday 22nd, expose the murderer with:

Richard Armitage, Tina Baker, D.V. Bishop, Sam Blake, Steph Broadribb, Emma Christie, Lisa Gray, David Hewson, Susi Holliday, Olivia Kiernan, Alex Marwood, Stuart Neville, Christie J. Newport, Jude O’Reilly, James Oswald, Holly Seddon, Sue Watson, Katy Watson

Includes a welcome glass of wine, 2-course murder mystery dinner, teas and coffees, as well as a copy of your host’s latest book… plus a prize for the winning table!

Spike Island Crime Festival: Cork

Saturday, 19th August
Boat in: 5pm – Return: 7:30pm

“Thriller Killer” – Two of Ireland’s best-selling crime writers Catherine Ryan Howard and Sam Blake discuss the makings of a successful thriller and what inspired their own novels in a thought-provoking, intimate discussion.


Dedicated to the popular theme of crime writing, visit an island location perfect for inspiring writers, with a dark history of four prisons over 400 years that has inspired many books. Lucky attendees can further their knowledge and writing skills with a series of author talks and workshops, suited to all genres and storytellers.

Every visitor will also enjoy very special access to all areas, with a ‘writers tour’ on arrival, which will focus on the criminals and crimes associated with this historic island.  Join us for an unbelievable deep dive into writing and the art of storytelling, at Ireland’s historic island.

Bloody ScotlandScotland’s International Crime Writing Festival

Saturday 16th September from 10:30 am – 11:30 am BST

Locked Room Revival: Jenny Blackhurst, Katy Watson, Sam Blake

Holy Trinity Church 6 Albert Place, Stirling, United Kingdom

Booking –

Meet three authors who have cleverly crafted three classic, and seemingly impossible, mysteries for their characters to solve. Jenny Blackhurst’s exceptional Three Card Murder features three fiendish locked-room crimes in one book as two sisters, one a cop, one a con-artist, go head-to-head. In Katy Watson’s vintage murder tale, A Very Lively Murder, three actresses set out to catch a murderer before he or she can strike again. The Mystery of Four by Sam Blake features a vivid cast of characters and a classic mystery as murder strikes at the grand reopening of a restored country house. Book now!

The Write Time Festival 2023

Saturday 30th September 3pm – 4pm

6th talk in the author series with Sam Blake

Malahide Library, Main St, Malahide, Co. Dublin

Booking: To reserve a place, please contact Malahide Library directly at (01) 870 4430 or via email at

Sam Blake is a multiple number one bestselling crime writer, who has been shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of the Year three times. As The Write Time Festival comes to an end, join Sam as she unravels the mystery of crime writing and discusses her bestselling crime novels.

Murder One, Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival

Dun Laoghaire’s Lexicon venue 6th-8th October

All info at

Red Line Book Festival 2023


Murder most Horrid: Crime Fiction for Teenagers with Sam Blake and Tríona Campbell
Tuesday October 17th at 11am, County Library, Tallaght

Thrillers and crime are big news in YA fiction at the moment. Join 2 YA Crime authors Sam Blake and Tríona Campbell as they talk to librarian Mags Lynch about all things writing and crime related.

Malta Book Festival 2023

Inspiration, Technique, Success –
A Creative Writing Masterclass By Sam Blake

Thursday October 19th at 11.30am

Booking – Inspiration, Technique, Success with Sam Blake

Character, location and plot are the vital components of a great story, but where do you find them and how do you bring them together? Sam Blake will take you through her own process with tips from her colleagues in the industry, from Jeffery Deaver to Joanne Harris. This event is aimed at adolescents at post-secondary level who are interested in fiction writing in any language.

Masterclass: What Is Your Story: 5 Steps To Write A Bestseller 

Thursday October 19th at 6.30pm

Booking – What’s Your Story: 5 Steps to Writing a Bestseller

Finding an idea that’s original and fresh is one of the keys to success in a busy marketplace, but how you tell that story is just as important. Understanding creativity, fiction writing techniques and the scaffolding you need to create a strong story house is essential. Sam Blake explains how to adapt the process to give your own work the best chance of success.

Finding The Words – An Exchange Between Sam Blake
And Leanne Ellul On Ideas And Words In Fiction Writing 

Friday 20th October at 6pm

Booking – Finding the Words

Two writers, local children’s author and poet Leanne Ellul and bestselling Irish crime writer Sam Blake, discuss their shared love of storytelling and their inspiration. Finding the best way to tell a story is a challenge faced by every writer. Literary agent Simon Trewin will be moderating the discussion and delving into the nature and origin of story ideas, and how these two writers bring them to the page. Some ideas suit a short story, some a poem, others a novel; this exchange sheds light on how writers decide on the best approach.

‘What’s The Story?’ Presented by Tara Lynne O’Neill

Sunday, 22nd October 2023

Virgin Media 1 at 1pm, or Virgin Media 3 at 5pm

Mario Rosenstock – reviews ‘History of Ireland in Maps’ by Pat Liddy.
Sam Blake – reviews ‘Geneva’ by Richard Armitage.

Series 3 of ‘What’s the Story?’ continues on Virgin Media One this Sunday the 22nd at
1pm. In episode 2 of the new series, presenter extraordinaire Tara Lynne O’Neill (Derry
Girls – Channel 4, Rough Girls – BBC) is joined in the studio by a best-selling crime author
who’s recently dipped her to toe into teen thriller writing with ‘Something Terrible
Happened Last Night, it’s Sam Blake. And alongside Sam on the sofa is a comic writer
and performer with a million and one voices. You know you’ve made it when Mario
Rosenstock impersonates you.

There’s a gentle geographic theme to the new publications our guests have been invited
to review in this episode. Sam will share her thoughts on the debut novel from actor
turned writer Richard Armitage, ‘Geneva’. And Mario will take us around our fair land as
he reviews ‘History of Ireland in Maps’, the new book from the well-traveled Pat Liddy.

Dublin Book Festival 2023

Something Terrible Happened Last Night with Sam Blake

In Partnership with Dublin City Libraries


Wednesday 8th November 11:15 am, Coolock Library
Booking –

Age 16+ years

It’s Katie’s 17th birthday and the party is in full flight but, after a fight breaks out, the friends find more than they bargained for when they return to clear up the mess. Something Terrible Happened Last Night (Gill Books) is a gripping teen thriller that will keep everyone guessing. Students will join No 1 bestselling crime author Sam Blake to find out more about the plot, characters and her writing process in her debut YA.

This is a schools event for transition year students. Expressions of interest should be emailed to