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Victoria Dowd Books In Order

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Publication Order of Smart Woman's Mystery Books

The Smart Woman's Guide to Murder (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Body on the Island (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Supper Club Murders (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Book of Murder (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Most Cold (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Painter of Siena (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Tears of Venus (With: Delilah Dowd) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

UnLocked: A captivating collection of short stories from the D20 Authors(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Victoria Dowd
Victoria Dowd’s “Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder” series is a dark and humorous crime series which is a modern take on the Golden Age of crime fiction and writers like Josephine Tey, Agatha Christie, and Ngaio Marsh. She is also an award winning short story author, winning the 2019 Gothic Fiction prize for short fiction by Go Gothic.

Victoria was also the runner up in The New Writers of the Year Award and has been shortlisted and Highly commended by Writers’ Forum magazine. She was also longlisted for the Willesden Herald International Short Story Competition. She’s had short stories published in Gold Dust magazine, BTS Literary and Arts Annual, and by Stairwell books in their literary and arts journal Dream Catcher. Her work has been chosen for publication in an anthology called “A Ghostly Challenge”.

Victoria speaks at various literary festivals, one in Bath, and at various book groups and schools.

She was born and grew up in Yorkshire and after she studied at Cambridge, went on to become a successful criminal law barrister for many years.

Victoria outlines her stories on large pin boards the majority of the time. Her starting point for the third “Smart Woman’s Guide” book (set in a Dartmoor village) was to draw the village and the houses out. Then she moved on to the characters living in these houses and how they relate to one another.

But the driving force behind this visit is the Smart women. They guide the reader around the new world and Ursula, especially, is our eyes so what she sees is very important. What she does not see is very important as well. Victoria layers it really. She gives them a setting and each of the characters set out and then they drive the action forward. She goes over and over it though putting very small clues and red herrings in.

“The Smart Women’s Guide to Murder” is the first novel in the “Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder” series and was released in 2020. A faded country house in the middle of nowhere, and the guests are all snowed in. That is when the murders start.

Ursula Smart (which is not her real name) is waspish and withering, and gate crashes her mom’s book club at this isolated country house for a long weekend retreat. Much to the chagrin of her Mother. Joining them are Bridget and her dog Mr. Bojangles, Mirabelle (her Mother’s best friend) Aunts Less and Charlotte. It does not matter that they have read “Gone Girl” three times already this year, this retreat is their opportunity to escape bustling suburbia. However somebody has got other ideas.

There is a body discovered on the grounds. Could a lone killer hunting them? Or could one of their own group be embarking on a killing spree? What they really need is to quit sniping at one another just long enough to solve this mystery before the murderer kills again. What they need is a guide to survive.

This enjoyable and unusual take on the classic style country house mystery kept readers guessing until the very end, it is that clever, witty, and darkly delicious of a take on the genre. Fans relished the turns and twists that come at you faster than an Alpine switchback and these characters who are at times much too terribly familiar. Victoria delivers a quirky and fun take on the classic whodunit mystery novel.

“Body on the Island” is the second novel in the “Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder” series and was released in 2021. Ten stranded strangers on an uninhabited Scottish island. There’s a murderer on the loose.

Ursula Smart, along with her dysfunctional family, heads off to Scottish for a gentle weekend of camping and foraging in the Outer Hebrides.

Their boat capsizes. Washed up on some uninhabited island, the Smart women face freezing conditions, starvation, and (worse) no Wi-Fi.

This fun break soon turns into a desperate battle for survival. Somebody starts killing them off one at a time. Is our gang of Smart women going to be next or will they be able to escape?

“The Supper Club Murders” is the third novel in the “Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder” series and was released in 2021. The roads have flooded, the phones are out, there is no way in or out. And the murders have started.

Ursula Smart and her mom have been invited to this supper club at Greystone Castle right on the edge of a picturesque Dartmoor village, along with their ever-adventurous book group.

However while the dinner party starts, their hosts Lady and Lord Black start revealing these festering resentments. Lord Black (who actually bought his title), looks as though he is having an affair with the maid.

Then while midnight strikes, somebody is discovered brutally murdered and the Smart women find themselves investigating another puzzling crime. On such a dark and stormy night, with the castle having been cut off by flood waters, who’ll be the next one to die?

An impossible locked-room murder mystery with just a hint of dark humor.

“A Book of Murder” is the fourth novel in the “Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder” series and was released in 2022. One exclusive party on this private island. Nineteen guests, each with secrets to hide. An invitation to die for?

Ursula Smart and Pandora (her mom) wangle this invitation to the latest book launch of Anthony Lovell (crime-fiction powerhouse), which is set to be a weekend long bash at his private island home. They are ready for an evening spent dining, wining, and hobnobbing.

However trouble has a knack for following the Smart women. Late that night, Ursula gets awakened by some blood-curdling screams. Anthony’s dead. Poisoned by the fugu fillet, the highlight of the evening feast. If not prepared correctly, this rare Japanese delicacy is lethal.

Who killed him? When the accused gets put on trial, the Smart women each are called as witnesses. However Ursula’s not so sure that the cops have the right person. Could asking questions be asking for trouble?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Victoria Dowd

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