Symon, Vanda

Symon, Vanda


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In Brief

Vanda Symon is a crime fiction writer. Born in Tauranga and living in Dunedin, she also produces and hosts ‘Write On’, a radio show on Toroa Radio. She has written several novels featuring the aspiring female detective Sam Shephard, and her books have been described as ‘fast-paced… rip-roaring stories with a twist’. Symon’s books have also been published in Germany.


Symon, Vanda (1969 - ) is a crime fiction writer. Born in Tauranga, Symon studied pharmacy at the University of Otago, and practiced as a pharmacist until 1999. She started a family in 2000, and began writing full-time while looking after her children. She also produces and hosts the radio show of the Southland Otago branch of the NZSA, called 'Write On', with Toroa Radio.

Her first publication was Overkill (Penguin, 2007). This was described as, 'A rollicking good read,' in the Sunday Star Times. The rights for publication in German were bought by Blanvalet, and Ein Harmloser Mord (2008) is the name of the German translation.

The second book in the series featuring aspiring female detective Sam Shephard is The Ringmaster (Penguin, 2008). The rights for the German publication have also been sold to Blanvalet.

Kate Mosse says of Symon's work, 'Vanda Symon's fast-paced crime novels are as good as anything the US has to offer - a sassy heroine, fabulous sense of pace, and rip-roaring stories with a twist. Perfect curl-up on the sofa reading'.

Symon's third instalment in the crime series, Containment, was published by Penguin in 2009.

Bound, the fourth book in the Sam Shephard series, was published by Penguin in 2011.

Vanda Symon lives in Dunedin.


Updated January 2017.