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A June of Ordinary Murders (Joe Swallow #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  175 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
In the 1880s the DMP classified crime in two distinct classes. Political crimes were ‘special’, whereas theft, robbery and even murder, no matter how terrible, were ‘ordinary’.

Dublin, June 1887: 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 p
Paperback, 381 pages
Published February 15th 2012 by New Island (first published January 1st 2012)
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Rob Kitchin
Aug 16, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it
A June of Ordinary Murders is an engaging historical police procedural. The start is quite ponderous and has too much show and not enough tell, with Brady spending time setting out the organisation of the Dublin police force, sometimes repeating certain information, and positioning the main characters. As the story unfolds the storytelling becomes more lively with a number of intersecting subplots, and the tale progresses to a nice resolution. The set-up is fairly standard police procedural ...more
May 26, 2012 Marleen rated it really liked it
In reality I rated this book 4.5 stars.

“G Division divided all crime into two categories: ‘special’ or ‘ordinary’. The absolute priority was ‘special crime’ – anything with an element of politics or subversion. ‘Ordinary crime’ might be serious but it took second place to security or politically related issues.”

Dublin, June 1887. It’s the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and Dublin is getting ready for a visit by the Queen’s grandson. A royal visit that is worrying those in authority; for
Linda Brue
Jul 11, 2015 Linda Brue rated it really liked it
This story takes place in Dublin, in June of 1887. Two shot and mutilated bodies are discovered in Phoenix Park. Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow catches the investigation. Swallow is nearing middle age and has enemies within his department and in the press, and his many successes are in the past and he needs to solve these murders.

Dublin is baking in an unusually long summer heat wave, a crime bosses' imminent death leaves two warring factions of criminals to fight for dominance, the Prince is co
Jun 12, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this over the last week. More of a full police investigation novel than a quick whodunnit, lots of layers and nuances. Plenty of historical insight into the political situation in Dublin pre-independance, but good central RIC characters. Hope there is going to be a series featuring Joe Swallow, look forward to more, there is plenty of scope with the characters and situations established.
Joanna McDarby
Aug 13, 2016 Joanna McDarby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did like this book, I liked the characters and the plot moved along at a fairly plodding pace and picked up towards the end. I liked the fact that I couldn't identify the murderer easily.

I would like to read more from this author as there are very few historical mystery writers who set their stories in Ireland.

The only really annoying thing about reading this was because I chose to read the kindle version, everything in italics was tiny, and it became very tedious.
nikkia authement
Perfect historical mystery! This book is so good I sat up in my bed and read the whole thing. I was so excited to have a great book to read I didn't even lay down, just sat up and smoked and read til it was over. Very satisfying
Georgia Lengyel
Nov 28, 2015 Georgia Lengyel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, library
This book was really hard for me to get into. I almost put it aside. I finished it and it is a really well written story and great mystery.
Jul 25, 2015 Libsue rated it really liked it
good mystery buyer could have been shorter. Rookie mistake. here's going Brady tightens up the next one. I'll give it a try it was a good mystery with interesting characters.
Charles Finch
May 19, 2015 Charles Finch rated it really liked it
I gave this book a blurb, which I don't often do! A very engaging read.
Amy Skretta
Jul 10, 2015 Amy Skretta rated it it was amazing
Totally started slow, but was a delicious mystery set in a time unlike my own. I loved it.
Apr 19, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Excellent period mystery that makes the most of it's setting and location.
Oct 25, 2016 Littoface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the setting and the author weaves maby threads together seamlessly. But though I wanted to like Swallow, he's too self-serving, too callous for me to enjoy any further books with him in the lead. It's a shame, too, because otherwise this was an excellent piece of historical mystery fiction.
I was sadly not very impressed with this book. For starters, it was much longer than it needed to be, and I'm not one to say that lightly. Part of this frustration is due to the fact that Brady unnecessarily repeats himself a lot. Once you define a term for your readers, you don't need to define it again later. Once you mention a particular character's motivations or worries, you don't need to spell it all out again in the next chapter.

I enjoyed the story and the setting, though, and it was fas
Jan Stone
Sep 24, 2016 Jan Stone rated it really liked it
If you like historical mysteries set in 1887 Dublin, this book is for you! Love the flawed detective, Joe Swallow who likes to push the envelope to solve the crime.
Jan 09, 2013 Deirdre rated it really liked it
There are two main, non-spoilery, things missing in this book, the first is a small appendix with the current names and former names of some of the streets (for example Carslile Bridge is now O'Connell Bridge) and the second is a postscript listing some of the real and fictional people in this story.

This book has a number of interesting characters and the most interesting of which is the city it's set in, you can see them travelling through the streets of Dublin, only slightly different from tod
The Dublin of June 1887 becomes a character of its own in this highly detailed crime novel. Brady has done a stunning job of resurrecting the past in his vivid description of a city in its infancy, striving for independence. Crime scene investigation is barely a science and the constabulary is fumbling through investigations with the numbing ignorance of the old guards refusal to try new techniques, and the frustrations of those advances being pushed aside as mere folly.
Detective Sgt. Swallow ha
Aug 14, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok
If given the opportunity, I would have rated this book 2.5/5.

I found the writing clumsy at times and a bit of struggle to keep my interest. The author definitely has the ability to be a good writer as Chapter 2 grabbed me and made me want more. Unfortunately, the rest of the book appeared to be a first time author in need of a better editor. At times, the book become a lengthy history lesson, which seemed unnecessary, that made me glaze over.

Try as I might, I really did not like the Joe Swallow
Andrea Russo
Mar 03, 2014 Andrea Russo rated it really liked it
The title of this historical novel captured my attention straight away: it's quite interesting that in the 1880s in Ireland such a heinous crime like murder was considered to be "ordinary". I had great expectations about Brady's book, and I was not let down.
I have enjoyed in particular the descriptions of the post-mortem examination, and of all the (then) state-of-the-art investigation procedures, including the science of ballistics and facial reconstruction from the bone structure of the victi
Sep 13, 2015 karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking forward to hearing more from Joe Swallow and the Dublin detectives of the late 1800s. Here's to the author not being afraid to add additional humor to his writing--there were tiny glimmers that added to the plot and character development and made the story more interesting. I did wonder if the author was getting a kickback from Tullamore Dew with all the references he made to that particular brand of Irish Whiskey. It was excessive and repetitive; more careful editing could be in order.
Nov 03, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I was drawn to this book because it is set in Dublin, where I lived in 2010. It's more of a police procedural than other books I've read, but I thought it was extremely well-written. The pacing could perhaps have been slightly faster, but I also took nearly a month to read it, so it could just be my perception. Looking forward to Brady's next novel.
Jul 03, 2016 Brucie rated it really liked it
A very good police procedure historical thriller. This debut novel is well-polished and covers lots of territory: memorable characters, detailed setting, mysterious plot with satisfying surprise ending, with just enough politics to make it real. Superb!
Mar 31, 2016 Ddoyle90 rated it really liked it
This police procedural set n Victorian Ireland introduced me to an area of fiction I was unfamiliar with. First I learned that ordinary murders are murders that do not have political connections Then I learned that everything taking place during this time has political implications
Tom Gorski
May 26, 2016 Tom Gorski rated it really liked it
Book 1 in the series but can stand alone (I read #2 first due to availability). Clever mystery set in Ireland of the late 19th century and provides an understanding of history as well as quite interesting characters.
Mary Crawford
Aug 19, 2015 Mary Crawford rated it really liked it
This historical murder mystery set in Dublin in the 1880s includes interesting social and political commentary. The main characters are engaging and the intertwining stories are well developed. Hope we hear more of G Division.
Jun 14, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
Well done historical mystery, set in 1880's Dublin, locale I haven't seen done before. Enjoyable. (Library)
Geoffrey Bateman
Smart, well-crafted historical crime novel. The political backdrop served the murder mystery well, and I enjoyed the detective and his personal story, too.
Apr 19, 2016 Linda rated it liked it
Interesting, both as a mystery and for the historical details. But as a retired copyeditor, I couldn't help but notice a few inconsistencies.
Anne Purwitsky
Nov 13, 2015 Anne Purwitsky rated it did not like it
Good plot, but so long winded with descriptions of police procedures in Dublin in the 1800s, that it was a really boring read for me
Jul 01, 2016 Enid rated it liked it
This mystery is set in 1887 Dublin. Overall, I enjoyed it, although it did drag a bit in a few places.
Feb 06, 2016 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great plot twist, which I never saw coming. That doesn't happen often. Could have done without the foul language sprinkled here and there.
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Journalist, author, former editor (@IrishTimes, The Sunday Tribune), former Commissioner, Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.
More about Conor Brady...

Other Books in the Series

Joe Swallow (3 books)
  • The Eloquence of the Dead (Joe Swallow, #2)
  • A Hunt in Winter (Joe Swallow, #3)

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