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).

Anne Coates

It only took one tap dancing class (and some coaching from her mother who had been a dancer) for Anne Coates to realise that she would never be a Ginger Rogers, but being a journalist/editor and writing fiction has allowed her to explore all manner of careers and situations with far less embarrassment.

Born in Clapham and now living a few miles away in East Dulwich, Anne’s Hannah Weybridge series is set in 1990s London. The first book, Dancers in the Wind, was inspired by interviews she did for a national newspaper and the latest, Stage Call, begins and ends in one of the capitals most iconic theatres, The Old Vic – a favourite with the Coates family.

Anne continues to host Parenting Without Tears, a website she founded and regularly reviews books for The Arbuturian, an online lifestyle magazine.

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.