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The Death of an Ardent Bibliophile (Peter McGarr #11)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  120 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Called to the sumptuous home of Brian Herrick, the keeper of Dublin's famed Swift library, McGarr finds the bibliophile naked and dead. Even more curious, it appears that Herrick was making blue videos based on Swift's poems. With wit and cunning, Gill has created a bizarre and erotic mystery about a period more akin to our own than we might want to admit.
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published February 1st 1995 by William Morrow & Company (first published 1995)
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Jan C
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, ireland
Covers the investigation of the death of a Swift scholar. This lets the author bring in a lot of quotes from Swift. Not sure if it includes his infamous quote about letting the Irish eat their young if they are so hungry (this was satirical).
Elizabeth Desole
It was one of those books that I kind of enjoyed, but didn't think it was a good book. Although marginally about the death of a Swift scholar, the Swift references seemed a bit of an afterthought. The book, in general, was so over the top that it became almost cloying (like the smell of a too long dead body perhaps?)
The police are really quite imbecilic which was a bit annoying. I mean, who would drink the alcohol next to a dead body at a suspicious death scene? ANd not one but 2!! detectives do
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: global-mystery
Having discovered Gill in the early 90's, I'd read the majority of his books. His characters are fleshed out and he is one of the few authors who will drive me to pull out a dictionary for the occasional word. He is brilliant at describing the environs of Ireland. That said, I found myself having to skip paragraphs and pages in this particular book. It read more like a Ph.D. dissertation on Jonathan Swift - who as it turns out, was a vastly unpleasant man. Sadly, this was not one of Gill's bette ...more
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Picked this up off the free shelf at the library because of the literary aspect and because I've been on a mystery kick lately. It's set in Dublin, so I recognized a few of the touristy references (like Marsh's Library) from visiting. I liked the Jonathan Swift tie-in but wasn't really interested in the detectives or their personalities and backstories, so I don't think I'll be looking up more in this series. Back to the free shelf it goes.
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had to pass this book unfinished. I had high hopes for this murder mystery and the rich background of once of the characters being a book conservator and admirer of Jonathan Swift. The use of art and literary history as backdrop to the bleak and mysterious atmosphere of Dublin was what drew me to this book. But the unnecessary back-stories of Ruthie and Noreen just bored me out. The language, too, was rather stiff.
Steph (loves water)
Started out OK, love stories about the Garda and Murder Squad, however, I'm sure I walked in in the middle of the series and had no idea what the deal was with Noreen, Ruth, Ward, etc. I knew from the beginning who the murderer was, which is also disappointing. Not bad, but I don't think I'll be recommending it to anyone.
Apr 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe I read a Bartholomew Gill once before; it didn't stick with me so I wasn't likely too impressed. This was rather interesting--the Jonathan Swift tie-in was clever...not up to the level of 'The Dante Club', but an amusing read. I will likely read more in this series.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, mystery, 2016
I like this Irish spin on the English police procedural. It's much lighter and more fun, but still sticks with the facts and solves the case. A fun romp and an author I may have to read more of. (Truly, I only picked it up because of the word "bibliophile" in the title. Glad I did.)
Pretty good, a different of death and life styles
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I could give it 3 1/2 stars.
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Bartholomew Gill is the pen name of Mark McGarrity.

Mr. McGarrity was born in Holyoke, Mass., and graduated from Brown University in 1966. He studied for his master's degree at Trinity College, Dublin, and never tired of mining the country for material.

''One of the things they gave me,'' he once said of his books, ''is a chance to go back to Ireland time and time again to do research.''

He was also
More about Bartholomew Gill...

Other Books in the Series

Peter McGarr (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Death of an Irish Politician (Peter McGarr, #1)
  • The Death of an Irish Consul (Peter McGarr, #2)
  • The Death of an Irish Lass (Peter McGarr, #3)
  • The Death of an Irish Tradition (Peter McGarr, #4)
  • McGarr and the P.M. of Belgrave Square (Peter McGarr, #5)
  • McGarr and the Method of Descartes (Peter McGarr, #6)
  • McGarr and the Legacy of a Woman Scorned (Peter McGarr, #7)
  • The Death of a Joyce Scholar (Peter McGarr, #8)
  • The Death of Love (Peter McGarr, #9)
  • Death on a Cold, Wild River (Peter McGarr, #10)