top of page

About Derville Murphy

I came to writing accidently. A journey that begin when I embarked on an abrupt career change when I left my job as an architect and entered the world of academia. I have always painted, I loved art and my job as an architect involved looking after an art collection. So I chose to study the History of Art and Architecture. Once I started, I got the academic bug and continued to do a PhD,  also on the subject of art and architecture. I initially started to write creatively to help enrich my research into historic events. But I discovered that I just love writing and telling stories. I  particularly love writing twisty, suspenseful stories with unexpected plots. I do hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I have enjoyed writing them.


Derville Murphy

Learn More

Derville Murphy's Website

Published Author

Notebook and Pen
A Perfect Copy Final.jpg
Latest Novel

A Perfect Copy

April 15th, 2022

A Perfect Copy, the latest title from Derville Murphy Author is available at all good bookshops and online.

Two portraits of the same woman. Is one a forgery? Set between Ukraine, Vienna, and Dublin, Ben Tarrant and Daisy Frome trace the lives of their ancestors to uncover a tale of, love, lies, deceit and revenge, in their journey to find the true story of the perfect copies.

Patricia O’Reilly Author of The Interview.

 'This is a book about two portraits where Murphy’s artistic background comes to the fore. it’s full of twists and turns with a great sense of location, impeccable research and a thoroughly satisfying ending.'

Elaine Banfield, Reviewer @ThreeRockPanorama

 Secrets, lies and broken hearts are portrayed in this Jewish family saga that Murphy conveys with a rich vibrancy, whilst her narrative weaves us through a celebrated landscape of life and literature. Sense of place is illustrated through textures, fragrances and beautiful imagery. There is no doubt Murphy’s art historian background is an accolade that compliments this powerful, tender reclamation of a beleaguered society.

Previous novels

January 27, 2021

Love, art and espionage, in a compelling, stylish drama set in the Victorian artworlds of Dublin and Manchester.

Published by Poolbeg Press.

Available on as an ebook and paperback.


Julia Benson, spirited Irish artist and photographer from a Unionist family, is having an affair with Fenian Donal O’Keefe. To stop her squandering the family’s dwindling fortunes and end her
relationship with Donal, her father’s will makes her dependent on her sister Harriet's controlling husband, Edward.
Julia is persuaded that that to contest the will is futile. And Harriet and Edward move to Manchester to start a new life without her. Shortly afterwards, Julia receives a disturbing visitor in the photography studio who tells her that Donal, who had travelled to America to raise funds for the Nationalist cause, is now missing in England and his life is in danger.
To find Donal, Julia moves to Manchester where she tries to establish herself in the art world by raising awareness of Ireland’s plight through her painting. But to her dismay she becomes increasingly entangled in a web of Fenian espionage and deceit. A plot so terrifying that it could destroy any hopes of Home Rule for Ireland and the nationalist cause.

ifonlyFC 5.jpg
If Only She Knew

The Art Collector's Daughter

July 2020

A stylish historical thriller

Published by Poolbeg Press.

Available on as an ebook and paperback

As the Germans advance on Paris in 1940, a young Jewish girl, Sylvie Vasseur, is evacuated to rural Ireland to the dysfunctional Courtney family by her father. He also sends his valuable art collection – including a portrait of Sylvie by Mateus, The Girl on the Swing.

Seduced by narcissistic, elder-son Nicholas Courtney when she is eighteen, he abandons her when he discovers she is pregnant. To avoid the inevitable social stigma, Sylvie marries his brother, Peter. In Dublin, Sylvie becomes involved with the art scene, achieving critical acclaim as an artist. But trapped in a loveless marriage, she continues to be obsessed with Nicholas. Until, unexpectedly, secrets from her father’s past emerge leading her to question everything she once believed. Shortly after, she is found drowned, on a Wexford beach.

Many years later Claire Howard, struggling art-historian, is hired by the Courtney family to record Sylvie’s lifeworks. Fascinated by the artist and working with her charismatic son Sam – travelling between Dublin and Paris – Claire unravels a labyrinth of deceit and lies – until, finally she does not know who to trust anymore.

Final tryst_edited.jpg

I am currently writing about the life of Isabel de Clare, Wife of the 'Greatest Knight' William Marshal and daughter of Aoife and Strongbow. Isabel changed from being a pawn in the power games of King Henry II, to becoming one of the most influential women in the medieval period. Her life was full of adventure, romance, and intrigue. Through my writing, I hope to bring her world to life and inspire readers to learn more about this remarkable historical figure.


The story of Isabel Marshal

Historical biographical fiction

watch this space

Open Book

"A book is a dream that you hold  in your hand."

Neil Gaman

bottom of page