Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A June of Ordinary Murders

A June of Ordinary Murders

A Mystery

Conor Brady

Minotaur Books

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A thrilling, beautifully written mystery debut that brings Victorian Dublin vividly, passionately to life, drawing readers on a gripping journey of murder and intrigue.

In the 1880s the Dublin Metropolitan Police classified crime in two distinct categories. Political crimes were classed as "special," whereas theft, robbery and even murder, no matter how terrible, were known as "ordinary."

Dublin, June 1887: The city swelters in a long summer heat wave, the criminal underworld simmers, and with it, the threat of nationalist violence is growing. Meanwhile, the Castle administration hopes the celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee will pass peacefully. Then, the mutilated bodies of a man and a child are discovered in Phoenix Park and Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow steps up to investigate. Cynical and tired, Swallow is a man living on past successes in need of a win. With the Land War at its height, the priority is to contain special crime, and these murders appear to be ordinary—and thus of lesser priority. But when the evidence suggests high-level involvement, and the body count increases, Swallow must navigate the treacherous waters of foolish superiors, political directives, and frayed tempers to solve the case, find the true murderer, and deliver justice.

Written by Conor Brady, the former editor of The Irish Times, A June of Ordinary Murders is an accomplished, atmospheric debut that captures the life and essence of Dublin in the 1880s and introduces an unforgettable new sleuth.

Reviews

Praise for A June of Ordinary Murders

“A vivid and crafty whodunit… Fans of mysteries that capture the flavor of the past will hope that Swallow has a long literary life.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Brady's powerful first mystery novel is evocative of the period. The many aspects of life in 19th-century Dublin are cleverly woven through a baffling mystery.” —Kirkus

“Swallow is an increasingly interesting protagonist who is left to face the realities of his professional future and his closest personal relationship; readers will want to see more of him.” —Booklist

“Making his mystery debut, former Irish Times editor Brady presents a fascinating and in-depth historical peek at crime solving in a bygone era when it took more than a few keystrokes and a phone call to catch a perp. Swallow is a complicated, earnest hero with just enough flaws to make him endearingly sympathetic.” —Library Journal

“Conor Brady's debut novel is a slice of history about Dublin, Ireland, and the Dublin Metropolitan police, intertwined with a first-rate murder mystery, and peopled by characters both complex and realistic.” —NY Journal of Books

“Like all great historical fiction, A June of Ordinary Murders stuns us into fresh recognition of a period we thought we knew - and as if that weren't enough, hides all of its meticulous research inside a superbly engaging mystery. Get in on the ground floor. Conor Brady is the real deal.” —Charles Finch, bestselling author of The Laws of Murder

“Brady weaves a police procedural that does full justice to the complex nature of the social, political and criminal labyrinth that was Dublin in the summer of 1887. He paints a vivid picture of the city as it bakes beneath the unrelenting sun, employing Joe Swallow's sharp eye and the character's ambitions as an amateur painter to deftly sketch both its landmarks and its less salubrious corners… Swallow himself is very much in the mould of the classic fictional policeman, a man ostensibly dedicated to upholding law and order and seeking out justice, even if, as he points out, ‘the statue of blind Justice' at Dublin Castle ‘topped the archway with her back to the city.'” —The Irish Times

“As in the best crime fiction, the city itself is here a kind of character – and it's a Dublin we haven't seen a great deal of in recent fiction… An absorbing read, cleanly written, beautifully structured and thrillingly vivid… Brady has done an excellent job of conjuring the febrile atmosphere of the city as it lurches and stumbles its way towards the War of Independence.” —Sunday Business Post

“Delivers a thrilling sense of the familiar, lit with the profane….the pace raises the novel above the period pastiche.” —Sunday Independent

“Brady handles the political atmosphere of the time with aplomb. A June Of Ordinary Murders pulsates with a vivid sense of a country on edge as the land wars rage and preparations get under way for a royal visit.” —Irish Independent

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Conor Brady

CONOR BRADY is the former editor of The Irish Times. A June of Ordinary Murders is his first novel. He lives in Dublin.

Conor Brady

Courtesy of Bryan Meade/The Sunday Times

Conor Brady

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