National Crime Reading Month

NCRM Organisers

Sam Blake

Sam Blake has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks, and she had an idea for a book. Originally from St. Albans in Hertfordshire, she now lives in Ireland, at the foot of the Wicklow mountains. In 2016 her runaway bestselling debut novel Little Bones launched the Cat Connolly trilogy.

Moving away from police procedurals, Sam is now writing psychological thrillers for Corvus Atlantic, with a focus is on strong female characters. Her latest bestseller Remember My Name hit the No 1 slot in January 2022 and was in the top ten in Ireland for six weeks.

Sam founded and runs the Murder One International Crime Writing Festival and Writing.ie, the award winning writing resources website. She is a board member of the Society of Authors and the CWA. Sam Blake is a pen name for Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, who was previously the Chair of Irish PEN and is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Linda Mather

Linda is the author of the Zodiac Mystery series featuring Jo Hughes, a Private Investigator who is also an astrologer. Jo is a determined and independent sleuth who uses her knowledge of astrology to give her insights into the people she investigates. The books are: FORECAST MURDER, A SIGN FOR MURDER, MURDER AS PREDICTED, THE HANGED MAN and the latest, A FUTURE MURDER, which was published in September. Book 6 in the series is due out this Spring.

Linda lives in Worcestershire and bases the books nearby in the Midlands and Cotswolds. She once worked as a PI herself and, although she was nothing like as successful as Jo, it gave her the idea for the series. In fact, having done many jobs from working for the coastguard to organising graduate schemes in Scandinavia, she often draws on her experiences at work and a sense of place to inspire great stories. She has written and directed Murder Mystery events and also writes short stories. Linda is a qualified coach, enjoys yoga and walking and, of course, astrology.

Victoria Dowd

Victoria is the award-winning author of the bestselling Smart Woman’s Mystery series. Her debut novel, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder, won The People’s Book Prize for fiction 2021 and was named In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel’s Book of the Year 2020. She was awarded the Gothic Fiction prize for her short fiction and is also the author of the Adapting Agatha series. Originally from Yorkshire, Victoria was a criminal defence barrister for many years and is now co-convenor of the London chapter of the CWA.