Number One Bestselling Author

Three Little Birds in the News

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Three Little Birds is getting incredible reader feedback and this week is in its 5th week in the Irish top 10!

Here’s some of the coverage to date, with links to watch back, although I wouldn’t recommend taking my financial advice – Chris McGale is the man you need to follow!

I had such a lovely chat with Muireann O’Connell and Tommy Bowe – they are both huge supporters of Irish writers.

Pen names and princes, facial reconstruction research, Bob Marley, the two Paul’s and Dr Carla Steele – and Cat Connolly! Where else would you get it on a Wednesday morning?!

You can watch back: https://www.virginmediatelevision.ie/player/show/Sam-Blake

Three Little Birds flew into No 8 in the overall Irish bestseller list – and was No 3 in the Irish Times Original Fiction chart snapping at the heels of my pals the two Paul’s. Very good company indeed!

Huge thanks to everyone who is reading, reviewing and sharing, it means the world!

Newspaper book charts
Three women sitting on a television set with bookcases behind them

 ‘What’s the Story?’ kicked off the new year in January with fabulous host Tara Lynne O’Neill, who was joined in studio by Emma Doran who reviewed Munich Wolf by Rory Clements and international best selling author Andrea Mara who delved into Three Little Birds by Sam Blake.’ And what a wonderful review from Andrea!

‘What’s the Story?’ is a monthly book show created by Eason in partnership with Virgin Media, featuring exclusive author interviews and book reviews. Now available on Virgin Media Player, and you can watch back here:

Watch ‘What’s the Story?’ on Virgin Media Player

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https://www.meathchronicle.ie/2024/01/27/wild-atlantic-way-anthology-has-some-surprises/

“There’s plenty of action and intrigue, not to mention lightly worn but meticulous research on the part of the author to keep the reader engaged right to the end.

Sam Blake is the nom-de-plume of literary agent, author, publication consultant and founder of the writing.ie website, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, who has tirelessly championed the cause of dozens of emerging Irish authors over the last twenty years. Since her debut, Little Bones, in 2016, she has proven herself to be up there with the best when it comes to crime/noir novels. This novel is grim in parts (very!) but it’s an utterly immersive thriller.”

“With deft plotting, pacey writing and a dramatic finale, this is one to devour.” – Breda Browne
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/skull-in-lake-leads-to-an-immersive-pool-of-grim-secrets-in-three-little-birds/a404640847.html

Newspaper Review

When divers find a skull in a lake in Coynes Cross village in Co Mayo, Dr Carla Steele, a forensic facial reconstruction specialist, is called in by Detective Sergeant Jack Maguire to assist in the investigation.

Carla runs the forensic anthropology and computer enhancement department at Garda Headquarters and works with skulls to build a model of the face of the dead person to help with the identification process. Her job is to find out the who, so others can find out the why.

She’s quickly able to tell Jack that the skull belonged to a young female and had been in the water for a number of years. With fracture lines evident, she also reveals that whatever happened to the victim involved a blow to the head. But how and why had she ended up in the lake?

Carla and her girlfriend Dr Grace Franciosi, a forensic psychologist who fronts a cold case series on TV, travel to Coynes Cross to see the victim’s last resting place. While there, the pair are shocked when a local woman is found murdered. When another copycat murder follows, fear spreads over the locality.

How is the killer choosing his prey? Why are they positioning each body in a particular way? And could these murders have anything to do with the skull discovered in the lake?

Three Little Birds, the 10th novel from Irish author Sam Blake, is an immersive thriller that offers a fascinating insight into forensic facial reconstruction. Dr Steele is a memorable protagonist and, combined with Grace’s psychological nous and Jack’s intricate police work, the trio make a formidable team.

With deft plotting, pacey writing and a dramatic finale, this is one to devour.  

‘Sam Blake has written another cracker of a crime novel with just the right amount of technical detail. It also has an emotional core’ – Colette Sheridan
https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsandculture/arid-41305144.html

Newspaper article

Thanks to Martin Doyle for these brilliant questions and for running my answers in today’s Ticket, the Irish Times Culture Magazine – the Orient Express is definitely on my bucket list!!

The Irish Time newspaper article

https://www.rte.ie/culture/2024/0112/1424598-culture-5-your-cultural-highlights-for-the-next-seven-days/

RTE webpage screenshot

I had a great time chatting to Pat Kenny, Newstalk FM about Three Little Birds.

Pat is such a huge champion of books, we talked forensic facial reconstruction, where ideas come from and detail!

You can listen back here 🎧- https://www.newstalk.com/podcasts/highlights-from-the-pat-kenny-show/author-sam-blake-on-her-new-book

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https://irelandsbigissuemagazine.com/assets/images/laptopmagazinepdfs/January2024Laptop.pdf

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https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/books/new-reads-for-the-new-year/a1375720593.html

“Dr Carla Steele is a facial reconstruction expert working within Garda headquarters in Dublin. Upon hearing that a skull was discovered in Loch Coyne, Carla’s interest is piqued. Visiting the site, she wants to gather information about not only whose skull it is, but also how they lived their life. She and partner Grace — a criminal psychologist — team up with DS Jack Maguire and the trio work together nicely… which is handy, as a body is later discovered in the area. All three will have different skills and insights on hand to help solve the whodunnit. To be able to maintain a reader’s attention over 500 pages, keeping them turning the pages, also takes skill and, once again, Sam Blake has demonstrated her writing prowess.”

‘A gripping and dark thriller perfect for the January fireside‘ – Edel Coffey
https://thegloss.ie/the-best-books-to-read-this-january/

A page from a magazine featuring books

https://www.dubraybooks.ie/pp/recommended-reads

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/new-crime-novels-and-thrillers-to-read-this-january-featuring-sam-blake-and-elly-griffiths/a8672956.html

A book review feature in a newspaper

Dr Carla Steele has a most unusual profession. She’s the director of the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement department, affectionately known as FACE, at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park.

She and her small team can take a skull and quickly make a three-dimensional recreation in clay and latex of the victim’s head and face. Carla’s skill is particularly useful in cold cases, as her creations help identify the victims and bring closure to the families of missing people.

When DS Jack Maguire from the village of Coyne’s Cross in Mayo arrives in her office with a skull just dredged up from the seabed, Carla and her life partner, the eminent and extremely elegant criminal psychologist Professor Grace Franciosi, find themselves plunged into a real-life murder enquiry. When she and Grace decide to spend a weekend in Coyne’s Cross to see the spot where the skull was found, Carla and Jack Maguire stumble across the gruesomely displayed and mutilated body of a woman, one of two sisters who own the ‘big house’ outside the village.

Ever since her best friend Lizzi had disappeared many years ago, Carla felt her task in life was to bring the dead home. Now the living need her just as badly as the body count in Coyne’s Cross begins to mount. Can she, Grace and Jack unearth the secrets of the past and stop a serial killer determined to keep them buried? Highly entertaining.

https://www.thejournal.ie/irish-novels-short-story-collections-published-2024-6245954-Jan2024

A newspaper book roundup feature

Huge thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed Three Little Birds – without the support of the media, bookshops, book bloggers and reviewers, readers might not be aware of it – THANK YOU!

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