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Murder One – New International Crime-Writing Festival For Dublin

Murder One

A stellar cast of crime and thriller writers have been lined up for a new crime writing festival taking place in Dublin in November. Murder One will feature a host international authors including Peter James, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Clare Mackintosh, Lynda La Plante, Lisa Jewell, Ruth Ware, Mick Herron and Robert Goddard together with many of your favourite Irish crime writers including Liz Nugent, Jane Casey, Patricia Gibney, Jo Spain, Karen Perry, Sam Blake and many more.

A three-day long weekend crime writing festival running from 2 – 4 November, Murder One will also feature readings and interviews with Irish and international authors, panel events, a speakers’ corner and forensics and writing workshops. Murder One will be a broad church which will aim to accommodate the kindred genres of thrillers and spy fiction.

International bestseller, Michael Connelly will open the festival with a special preview event on October 28th at 2.00pm in City Hall with Declan Burke moderating. Thereafter the main programme takes place in Smock Alley, one of Dublin’s premier event venues, from 2nd – 4th November.

International bestseller Lynda La Plante brings festival attendees a unique free workshop for anyone interested in the world of forensics or Crime Scene Investigation. This interactive event is hosted by Think Forensic whose experts include CSI’s, forensic scientists, and senior investigating officers. In Lynda La Plante’s CSI Murder Room, get a hands on introduction to forensic science and be briefed on the crime of the day, inspired by Lynda’s newest thriller Murder Mile. Lynda herself will be interviewed by Niamh O’Connor on Saturday 3rd November, talking about Murder Mile and the Steve McQueen movie due out in November, based on her novel ‘Widows’.

Murder One has been developed and will be curated by two of Ireland’s most experienced literary event programmers, Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin of Writing.ie, and Bert Wright formerly of Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival and currently curator of The Dublin Festival of History and the DLR Voices Series. Working with Dublin City Libraries, Dublin City Events, and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, the organisers aim to attract not just an avid local audience but also literary tourists from all over the world.

With crime writing consistently the highest selling genre worldwide, the time is ripe for a great literary city to expand its festival portfolio and Murder One, it is hoped, will become one of the key events in the national and international crime festival calendar.

Bert Wright said: “Not for nothing was Dublin chosen as one of the first UNESCO Cities of Literature. UK visitors always remark upon the enthusiasm and sophistication of Dublin audiences and this has been a festival waiting to happen. Irish crime writers are now rightly respected and admired the world over. England Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own crime festivals, so it really was time for Dublin to step up to the plate. It’s all enormously exciting and we can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Vanessa O’Loughlin said: “As a crime writer myself I’m constantly delighted by the passion and enthusiasm of Irish crime fans and I’m confident that they will welcome this new landmark festival in Dublin. In addition to my fellow Irish writers, we have attracted some major international names to make our first year a memorable one. In 2017, the top three bestselling books were thrillers and we plan to thrill festival goers whether they enjoy cosy whodunits or Cold War spy dramas. Check out murderone.ie to see the plot unfold.”

Alison Lyons, Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, added: “Crime novels are enjoyed by a wider variety of readers than possibly any other genre, and are consistently among the most popular titles borrowed in libraries, so we have no doubt that there is a huge appetite for Murder One. We look forward to being a part of the festival and bringing readers and authors together, especially our widely celebrated and internationally renowned Irish writers of crime fiction.”

For more information and how to buy tickets, go to

The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes By Anna McPartlin

The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ is the latest book by Anna McPartlin.

Here is a truth that can’t be escaped: for Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes, life is coming to an end…Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it. She loves her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colourful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye. But it turns out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she’s OK with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days left to make them happen. Here is a truth that won’t be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life’s surprises and finding the joy in every moment.

I met Anna McPartlin at a Penguin Ireland event a few years ago and I really warmed to her, I loved her sharp wit and her cynical view towards life. ‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ was the first book that I read by her and as I thought when I read the synopsis of the story, I was heartbroken and in bits at the end.

The story starts with Rabbit being left at the hospice with her mother, Molly. After years of battling cancer, the illness has taken over her body and the hospice is there to make her last remaining days as comfortable as possible. The story is seen through the narrative of all the characters, Rabbit, her parents Molly and Jack, her 12 year old daughter Juliet, Rabbit’s brother and sister, Grace and Davy and Rabbit’s childhood best friend Majorie. Together, they all have to deal with the Rabbit’s impending death and the void that the bubbly and outspoken woman will leave behind as well as who will take over the duty of becoming Juliet’s guardian.

Each chapter contains perspectives of the various characters as they struggled with the realisation that they are about to loose someone who means the world to them. Molly and Jack refuse to give up on the Rabbit and Molly believes through her faith, they will find a cure for her and neither Jack or Molly can live with the thought that they outlive their daughter. Davy and Grace, Rabbit’s older siblings and they are amongst the people, who want to take on Juliet, but the 12 year old is unaware of the extent of her mothers illness, she thinks that she can care for Rabbit just like she did with previous times. A lovely inclusion in the story is the character Johnny, who was Davy’s best friend and was Rabbit’s first love. From a young age, she idolised the young musician and with the chapter he is featured in, we see Rabbit develop and mature from a gawky little girl into a strong and dynamic young woman who is admired by many.

This book is a heartbreaking story that will tug at the hardest of hearts, just as the title says, the book is indeed about the last days of Rabbit Hayes and as I got closer to the end, I found myself slowing down so I could enjoy the wit of the Hayes family as well prolong the sheer heartbreak that would be Rabbit’s death. Anna has been described as the female equivalent of Roddy Doyle and I could almost certainly agree with this statement, as with very sad moment there is a sharp witty comment there to soften the blow. One scene in particular that is quite tender, is when Rabbit asks for the family and her friend Majorie to be present so that she can talk about her funeral, this is a heartbreaking scene, as everyone has to face up to the fact that Rabbit will die soon, but in this sad scene, Anna has included funny dialogue and wit, that through the tears of it, I found myself giggling along.

Beautifully written from the very start, this book is an emotional roller-coaster story, filled with touching and poignant moments and the welcome inclusion of humour to lighten the dark scenes. ‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ is a touching book about family love, treasuring each moment and I won’t forget it for a long time, I laughed, I cried and I fell in love with this book.

You can buy The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition

Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition

Good news for all you aspiring writers out there, as it is that time of year again when Penguin Ireland in partnership with the RTE Guide magazine, announce their annual short story competition.

Now in it’s third year of operation, the competition has been going strength to strength as some of Ireland’s finest budding writers and beyond submit their stories filled with laughter and tears.

The winning story in the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition will be published 
in the RTE Guide and the winner will be presented with a special trophy and prize. The winner
 and 60 runners-up will be invited to a special day-long writers’ workshop at Pearse Street Library in Dublin on September 7, which is organised in conjunction with Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature. On the day, three professional writers – Sinead Moriarty, Niamh Greene and Naomi Alderman – will dispense words of wisdom for aspiring writers, and some industry figures will also be in attendance to show you the way to go.

Rules: All entries for the 2012 RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland
 Short Story Competition should be original, unpublished and previously not broadcast short stories in English of 2,000 words or less. Manuscripts must be typed and cannot be returned. Entrants’ name and contact details (address, phone and/or email) should be on a separate page. The closing date is 6pm on Friday, July 13. Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world.

Send your entries to : RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition, PO Box 1480, RTE, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 or you can email rteguide@rte.ie