A very warm welcome! My name is Victoria Blake and I’m the author of eight books. My most recent novel is TITIAN’S BOATMAN (re-titled as THE RETURN OF THE COURTESAN in paperback). It  is historical fiction set partly in Renaissance Venice and partly in 21st century London and New York. Sunday Times bestseller, Rory Clements, author of Holy Spy, had this to say about it.

‘From the squalid glamour of the 16th century Venice to modern-day London and New York, Titian’s Boatman demonstrates the power of art to bridge the years and transform lives. With fine, elegant brush-strokes, Victoria Blake has created a rich and enchanting novel.’

v blake in foyles

In one of my favourite bookshops, Foyles on the Charing Cross Road, London.

I’m also the author of the PI Sam Falconer crime series: BLOODLESS SHADOW, CUTTING BLADES, SKIN AND BLISTER and JUMPING THE CRACKS. These books are set in South West London and Oxford. I have also written two true crime books based on documents in the National Archives. One on Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, and the other on Florence Maybrick, who was accused of poisoning her husband with arsenic in 1889.

My book, FAR AWAY, was shortlisted for the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016 and is set during the second world war. It draws on my father’s account of escaping from a prisoner of war camp in Italy. If you are interested in this area of history please click on FAR AWAY: BLOG in the menu above because I’ve posted material there relating to my father’s escape specifically and Allied POWs in Italy in general.

I was brought up in The Queen’s College, Oxford where my father was the Provost and went to university in the same city, studying history at Lady Margaret Hall. Subsequently, I worked in law, publishing and book selling. In 2019 I was a judge for the Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown Award for Fiction.

Here you’ll find information about my books, tips on writing, and the occasional review. I have also written about my experiences of working in a second-hand bookshop in London. If you want a taster of those, click on TALES FROM THE BOOKTRADE. Many thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy whatever you read!

17 thoughts on “About

  1. So fortunate to have discovered your blog (thanks for the help in that matter) and your writing. Your accomplishments thus far intrigue me to the point of purchase (the true form of appreciation) and your “On Writing Quotes” provided much needed inspiration. Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Best wishes to you, Victoria Blake. I am a very recently retired Broadway musician now living in Rome. I seem to have an unquenchable thirst for novels set in Italy – as well as a weakness for books about artists. For many years I have kept a book list, and for a number of years TITIAN’S BOATMAN has been high on it. I’d have read it long ago, but for the fact that I can no longer read regular-size print. I’ve searched for a large print version to no avail. Is there no chance of getting a version I can read on my e-reader? I just have a gut feeling I’ll love your book. In any event, I wish you the best. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Wayne and thank you for your message. How lovely to be living in Rome. Can you download e-books from amazon because if so the book is available under the title The Return of the Courtesan. For reasons best known to themselves my publishers re-titled the paperback. The contents are exactly the same as Titian’s Boatman. I’m afraid it isn’t yet available in large print but hope you manage to read it in this way. If so also hope very much that you enjoy it. All good wishes Vicky


  2. I am having difficulty getting ahold of “Bloodless Shadow” and “Cutting Blades”. I live in Canada and have searched through our public libraries, Amazon, and Chapters/Indigo. I have even tried Barnes and Noble in the states. Could you please direct me to where I might purchase these? I would prefer loading them to my ereader but even a paperback purchase is doable. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anne sorry not to have replied before I’ve been away and without wifi. Thanks for your interest. I’m sorry you’re having difficulties getting hold of these books. They are not available as e books I’m afraid and I’m currently having a lively discussion with my publishers about reclaiming the rights. There are quite a few for sale in the amazon UK secondhand market. Is that something you can access from Canada? I have copies but am not sure how to manage payment etc because I do not have a paypal account.


  3. Hi Ruth,
    You don’t provide any contact details. I ought to take the hint and assume that means you have no desire to be contacted. I can not, however, resist the temptation to be cheeky and ask if you would be willing to read my novel set during the famine years in County Clare, Ireland. It is very much based upon true events and features a man who subsequently became a senior British diplomat and governor of Hong Kong, for which he was knighted by Queen Victoria. In County Clare he was Poor Law Inspector, undertaking an impossible task in horrendous circumstances. If you are interested, I can send you a review copy entirely free of charge. It is not a long read.
    Thanking you for the time it took you to read this,


    • Dear Frank thank you for getting in touch. I review very few books and at the moment am only blogging about things I really want to. I’m also veering towards the cheerful given the world circumstances. So I can’t see myself reviewing your book. I am sorry to disappoint and wish you good luck with it. By the way my name is Vicky not Ruth!


  4. Hi Victoria,
    My Father was POW in Sulmona camp. I found copy of his camp diary, including his unsuccessful attempt to escape after the Italians abandoned the camp 8/sept/43. He was capture and stayed in the camp until 24/Sept/43, when he and others were transported to Stalag 4C in Poland.
    The diary is about to go off to the printers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ernest apologies for not replying I’ve been away from here for a long time. Your poor Dad ending up in Poland. The diary sounds fascinating and how lovely to have a record of what he experienced for future generations.


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