Skip to content

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

Watching You By Lisa Jewell

Watching You‘Watching You’ is the latest book by ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author, Lisa Jewell.

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room. That’s when you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you.

With a title called ‘Watching You’, I knew the latest book from Lisa Jewell would be a dark read, but nothing quite prepared me for the sinister twist to the tale that chilled me on the final page.

The story is primarily through the eyes of Joey, Jenna and Freddie, all people who keep a close eye on their community. Joey has recently moved back home from Ibiza with a new husband in tow. She’s trying to settle down to the quieter pace of life, but finds herself distracted from the handsome headteacher who has just moved into the area and has turned the heads off quite a few people. Jenna lives alone with her single mother who’s convinced someone is watching her. Jenna has to be adult of the family and deal with her mother’s paranoia, as well as look out for her best friend who has developed a crush on the new headteacher whilst Freddie, the son of the new principal, enjoys nothing more than observing and recording world around them. He knows a different side to his father and is tired of seeing people in awe of this supposedly charismatic man.

Since ‘The Third Wife’, I have found that Lisa’s books get considerably darker and I thought ‘Then She Was Gone’ was dark but then I read this and thought, wow this is twisted.

The story starts at the present moment, when a body is found and sets the scene perfectly as it backtracks through the narrative of the three main characters all with different perceptives of the situation and the people involved.

The different perspectives are a clever addition to the tale and give an interesting slant to story, keeping the reader on their toes. For me, I found the characters to be suspicious and regularly found them to be quite untrustworthy at times and this really keeps the reader absorbed as secrets and situations are revealed.

I was so fortunate that I had a day off work so I could absorb myself in this book as it really did need my undivided attention. A taunt thriller filled with paranoia, suspense and plenty of untrustworthy characters, ‘Watching You’ is a claustrophobic and dark story that will have you looking at your neighbours in a new light. Like a fine wine ageing, Lisa just gets better and better with each book.

You can buy Watching You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lisa Jewell Reveals New Book – Watching You

Watching YouI was so excited to see Lisa Jewell tweeting about her new book for 2018 called ‘Watching You’, that I just had to share the news.

What the back cover says –

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.

That’s when you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.

All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you.

Family secrets, illicit passion and an unexplained murder? It can only be the gripping new novel from Lisa Jewell.

You can pre-order Watching You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 12th July 2018.

I can’t wait!

Merry Christmas From Handwritten Girl

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas is nearly upon us and I’ve found myself writing my annual sign off instead of wrapping presents that are still in their bags. Last minute as always!

This year was a great year for books and I’ve even listed my top ten books for 2017, just incase you are looking for a few last minute stocking fillers.

It was also a great year for Handwritten Girl, as I attended the Bord Gais Energy Book Awards for the first time and had an amazing time meeting some of Ireland’s finest literary talent ans well as spending Halloween weekend learning about the dark and interesting world of crime writing.

Before I sign off, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the lovely publishers and authors who introduced me to some of the most wonderful books this year, from intense thrillers to happy romances, there’s something for everyone to curl up with during the cold winter nights.

Most importantly, thank you to the readers of the website for taking the time to read a review, tweet, Favourite or Like a post, your support is appreciated tremendously. I hope you all have a safe and relaxing Christmas and receive loads of treats from Santa Claus, especially books as there are some great ones out there.

Have a Happy New Year and I shall see you in 2018.

Handwritten Girl’s Favourite Books of 2017.

1. The Break by Marian Keyes
2. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
3. Final Girls By Riley Sager
4. Bring Me Back By BA Paris
5. You, Me, Everything by Catherine Issac
6. The Summer of Impossible Things By Rowan Coleman
7. The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon
8. Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
9. A Song For Tomorrow By Alice Peterson
10. The One By John Marrs

Then She Was Gone By Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone‘Then She Was Gone’ is the thrilling new book by Lisa Jewell.

She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

When it comes to Lisa Jewell, I’m a huge fan of her book, I love and admire how she has transcended beautifully from writing romantic fiction to psychological thrillers that grip you at every page and her latest book is no different.

In this book, we meet Laurel, a mother who’s daughter disappeared one day and was never found. She doesn’t believe that Ellie ran away, her daughter was happy and about to start her exams and prepare for her bright future ahead, she had no reason to leave. Years later, there is a discovery and finally Laurel can put Ellie to rest but she’s left with a lot of unanswered questions.

Laurel decides to move forward with her life, trying to take an interest in her other children’s lives, as she felt she neglected them with Ellie’s disappearance. And with moving on, Laurel meets Floyd, a handsome man with an outspoken and mature daughter called Poppy, who really reminds Laurel of Ellie.

As the story progresses, it is seen through different narratives all giving various perspectives to the tale. As well as the various narratives, the story also travels back and forth in time, setting the scenes.

Laurel is a guilty mother, guilty that she lost her child as well as being guilty of having a favourite child. She tries to form a bond with her other daughter Hanna, but she pushes her away, tired of being second best. When she meets Poppy, she’s curious about the old fashioned child with an opinion on everything and is drawn to her and her father who has brought some happiness into her bleak life.

I adored this book and have to say that I think it’s my favourite book by Lisa to date. The chapters are short, so it’s very easy to keep reading and thinking “just one more chapter before bed” and that’s how I ended up reading into the early hours!

I loved the characters and found them to be engaging, relatable with their troubled that all made for compelling reading. A fast paced thriller with just the right mix of psychological and poignancy to keep the reader on their toes,’Then She Was Gone’ is a cleverly written and delicious read that is perfect for fans of Nicci French.

You can pre-order Then She Was Gone from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 27th July 2017.