Meet Ashley Dyer


Suitable for ages 16+

Meet Ashley Dyer (a new pseudonym for writer Margaret Murphy and her advisor, forensic & policing expert, Helen Pepper) as they explain, using pictures, practical demonstrations, chat and laughter, where they get their ideas from.

In light of their outstanding new book, Splinter in the Blood, the duo are visiting The Word to discuss this.

You will learn how forensic investigations happen, see how an expert ‘lifts’ fingerprints, and try your hand at identifying footwear evidence.

The ‘writing arm’ of Team Ashley Dyer, Margaret Murphy, will explain how forensic science, research, location (and conversations with murder detectives) inspire plot and stories, and brings characters to life.

Margaret Murphy


Margaret Murphy has published nine internationally acclaimed psychological thrillers under her own name – both stand-alone and police series. She is Writing Fellow and Reading Round Lector for the Royal Literary Fund, a past Chair of the Crime Writers Association (CWA), and founder of Murder Squad. A CWA Short Story Dagger winner, she has been shortlisted for the First Blood critics’ award for crime fiction as well as the CWA Dagger in the Library. Her lifelong passion for science is reflected in her painstaking research for her novels.

Margaret is now writing forensic thrillers under the pseudonym A.D. Garrett. Working in collaboration with forensics and policing expert, Helen Pepper, she has published three novels in the Fennimore and Simms series, which partners forensic scientist Prof. Nick Fennimore with Detective Chief Inspector Kate Simms. Everyone Lies, published in 2013 by Constable Crime, was a Kindle bestseller, and has received rave reviews.  Believe No One was released in July 2014, and like Everyone Lies, was awarded a coveted ‘starred review’ by Publishers’ News.  The third in the series, Truth Will Out, is now out in paperback.

Helen Pepper


Helen Pepper is a Senior Lecturer in Policing at Teesside University. She has been an analyst, Forensic Scientist, Scene of Crime Officer, CSI, and Crime Scene Manager. As a Crime Scene Investigator, she examined over 3000 crime scenes, ranging from thefts and fires to rapes and murders. Later, as Crime Scene Manager for Durham Police, she supervised CSIs in over 50 major incidents. She is a member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, and has a wealth of experience in the investigation of all crime types, from simple thefts to murders and terrorism. An author in her own right, Helen has co-authored, as well as contributed to, professional policing texts. Her expertise is in great demand with crime writers: she is a judge for the CWA’s Non-Fiction Dagger award, and is Forensic Consultant on both the Vera and Shetland TV series.



Please note, booking is essential. This event takes place in the Catherine Cookson Room.

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