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The Case of the Singing Sword

(Billibub Baddings #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  547 ratings  ·  38 reviews
"Chicago, 1929. There are a thousand stories in the naked city; and when you're a dwarf at four-foot-one, they all look that much taller." It is The Era of Prohibition, where crime runs rampant in the streets and a city divided into territories serves as the ultimate prize. Somewhere in this Underworld of Chicago, an enchanted weapon holds the key to ending The Gangland Wa ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Dragon Moon Press
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  547 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Joe Pecoraro
Dec 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this book on mp3 from while I was rollerblading last summer. It's light, fast paced and fun, with a sometimes dry wit. This is not Hemmingway, nor is it intended to be. It's a modern twist on the old crime noir genre: "The dame walked into my office. I remember it like it was yesterday. She had two 38's and a gun . . ."
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: podcast
Another good read from Tee Morris! I put off listening to this podcast for some reason, and when I needed something to listen to I finally downloaded it and have to admit that I enjoyed it more than I had expected to. Stupid of me to have that expectation because I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I've heard by Tee Morris.

Tee has a way of taking a story and making it one that you hate to leave and can't wait to get back to. He puts just enough male/female sexual attraction in without it being
Scott wachter
Feb 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
So imagine hypothetical novel about a detective who is recent immigrant from Belgium. The plot of this novel does have certain amount of material that has to do with Belgium, so it would make sense for this character to explain the necessary details to the plot via narration, right? But probably not drag the story into extended asides about how such and such situation reminds him of Belgium or how Belgian deal with such and such situations. The main main character should have character traits be ...more
Melissa Hayden
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Billibub Baddings is an ax yielding dwarf of Gryfennos who finds himself accidentally dropped into a library of the human world...of Chicago after falling into a portal. He teaches himself the language and catches up on current events. Along with the reading in the library to get to know the world he is now in, he enjoyed the fiction stories of Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then trying to figure out what work to do, he figured with his military skills as a dwarf and what he loved he would ...more
John M Campbell
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is a lot of fun. Billibub is a dwarf thrown into detective noir world, just the mix of elements is really fun I'd like to see more of. Why not elven Sci-fi? Orcs in Steampunk? Vampire Romance?... nevermind.

Morris makes Billi a great character who feels real, despite not meshing with his surroundings. He really sticks out with a different way of thinking compared to the people of 1920s Chicago.

And the world has a stability too. It feels like the 20s you see or read in other stories, ins
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Here's an exercise.

Go and read a Damon Runyon short story. Something by Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler will probably do as well, but I know Runyon, so I say Runyon. One of his pieces is linked from his Wikipedia article.

Now take a look at the preview of this book.

See the difference in the writing?

If you don't see the difference, you may enjoy this one.

Of course, it's a little unfair to compare anyone to those masters, but if someone is writing a hard-boiled detective story, even mashed up
Dec 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
With the introduction of Billibub Baddings, Tee Morris firmly establishes himself as master of the Dwarf-noir genre. This is a great character in a unique and rich setting. An excellent bit of story-telling, surprising, gritty and just a bit naughty.
Dec 18, 2008 added it
Well produced free audio book. I love the paper back version as well. Listened to this three times, read twice.
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: podiobook, fantasy
Fantastic characters and a wonderful spin on two tired genres: Fantasy and detective mystery.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Billibub Baddings is a survivor. A blokey bloke sort, the dwarf is accustomed to battle, to adjusting to his surroundings. But when, in the midst of battle in his home, Acryonis, he gets a bit too close to a portal, life as he knew it ends. He is transformed to 1927 Chicago, smack dab in the stacks of the Chicago Public Library.

Billi, a sarcastic, funny guy is forced through the portal and into Chicago and is given few options. One of which, surviving, is an opportunity he won’t squander. Instea
Scott Marlowe
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword by Tee Morris is a melding of two of my favorite genres: traditional fantasy and the noir, hard-boiled detective tales of such characters as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. In many ways you get what you expect here: a tough but endearing detective, plenty of buxom babes, and a colorful cast of villains, some dim-witted, others cunning. Taking place in 1920's Chicago, the kicker and what sets this novel apart ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
If you think the idea of mixing the classic detective-genre novel (think Rex Stout, or any other tale where all the broads look like Jessica Rabbit, and a private dick's best friends are his piece and a bottle of liquor stashed in his desk...) with classic genre fantasy (dwarves, elves, and enchanted talismans) is just the most brilliant concept you've heard of all week, well, then this might be the book for you.
Falling through a Portal of Oblivion and landing in Al Capone's Chicago, a Dwarf War
Julie Davis
Jun 30, 2010 rated it liked it
"Chicago, 1929. There are a thousand stories in the naked city; and when you're a dwarf at four-foot-one, they all look that much taller."
That gives you the sense of the story. Billibub was sucked into a mysterious portal from his own magical world to that of 1929 Chicago where instead of orcs he must do battle with guys like Al Capone. Using his warrior abilities the best way that a dwarf of his talents can, Billibub becomes a P.I.

I remember listening to this when it first came out and it is th
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I first meet Tee and WesterCon when it was in Calgary Alberta Canada. I had been to a panel with him on it. When I saw the book for sale in the dealers room I bought it. A little while latter I was in the hotel lobby reading the book and laughing out loud. After that I paneled stalked Tee. I went back to the dealers room and bought his two other books. Latter I had them signed by the author.

I bought the second Billibub Baddings novel as soon as it came out and have been waiting for more. I have
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I really need to get a new copy. I lent my old one out to a friend and haven't seen it since.
Billibub (Billi for short), is a dwarf from the fantasy world Gryfennos who was transported to 1928 Chicago in a magical accident. He can't go home as far as he knows, so he uses the skills he developed as a captain of a saboteur squad to work as a P.I. There are several nods to film-noir, Sam Spade-esque styles of writing here, and Morris's signature humor also shines through.
Tee, Y U
Tee Morris was already one of my favorite authors for his Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana Book 1, and he does not disappoint with this book. The podiobook version has great production and amazing voice talent, and really brings the story to life, but it all starts with the writing. A great read and listen.
Kim Savage
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Billibub Baddings is a dwarf in the throes of war with the Black Orcs. In the midst of battle he falls through a portal of oblivion and ends up in 1929 Chicago. Sometime after becoming a private detective, a beautiful woman enters his office and hires him to find out why her boyfriend (who is Al Capone's right hand man) was killed. A fantasy/mystery genre, there is a great mix of action, humor, suspense, and romance. This story was fun to read.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, to what genra does this belong? Historical urban fantasy? Whatever it is, its a rollicking good read. Looking at late 1920's Chicago through the eyes of a displaced Dwarf from an epic fantasy world turned private investigator is just a hoot.

This is one of 2 books which involve the main character. I hope that at some point in the future that the author will blow the dust off the battle axe and we'll get some more tales about a certain 4 foot tall gumshoe.
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Overall an easy book to enjoy, the characters and style of the story made it easy to listen too. I listened to this book as it was coming out on and found myself waiting for the next chapter.

As this book was released to print, I did have to buy it and reread it, always fun looking for those little things that were missed while listening. I have normally looked to Tee Morris as a non-fiction author, but his fiction works have also won me over.
Dan Absalonson
Aug 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! It had me laughing all the way through. The story was great to, I couldn't put this one down, and never became bored. I really liked the melding of the fantasy and mystery genres. Who would have thought that would work? But this here book is proof that it shines. I can't wait to read Pitcher's Pendant!
Alex Jahnke
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
What a great idea, a dwarf from a fantasy world dumped in the mobster world of 1928 Chicago as a private eye. The book has everything this genre needs, humor, cool guys - pardon me - dwarves, hot girls und evil gangsters. Who needs film noire if there is the dwarf noir genre available? You can listen to the whole book read by the autor for free at
Aaron Schwartz
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy, fantasy, fiction
This was a fun and distracting little story. Funny concept: dwarf from a magical world is thrown into 1929 Chicago and faces off against Al Capone etc., but it was a little heavy handed at times. Forced cliches and "down home" kind of sayings, and the writing in general wasn't terribly good. But the story was fun, and it's nice to read something fun and dumb sometimes.
Will Hudson
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing mix of Fantasy and Crime Noir. Two genre's that you would not expect to mesh well at all. I DL'ed the podiobook version and Tee Morris not only wrote a wonderfully humorous Story, but also put in some grade 'A' audio production. You will think you have been taken back the to day's of great radio drama's!!!! I completely recommend this book.
Juraj Borza
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hard to put down story with a hard-boiled dwarf detective, interspersed with references to the titular hero's fantasy homeworld. I've listened to the audiobook version and it had an exciting cast of guest stars (from Podiobooks fame).
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gritty send-up of the noir detective and sword & sorcery fantasy at the same time. A great mystery and a hysterical read, as well. The full-cast audiobook is a performance to be remembered. I've never heard better.

Remember, friends: Dwarves may be short, but they're not small.
Gae-Lynn Woods
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy and myster lovers
GREAT book! I listened to the podiocast and am impressed by the readers and sound effects. I'll definitely look for the next Billi Baddings book!
Matt Braymiller
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I listened to the audio version of this some years ago and really enjoyed the story and the performances. It was a fun book.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Billibub Baddings is my new favorite Dwarf detective. You should check him out.
Dec 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
unbelievably shitty
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic story. I listened to it on The production values are excellent and the story engaging and rich. Defiantly give this one a try.
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Tee Morris began his writing career with his 2002 historical epic fantasy, MOREVI The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana. In 2005 Tee took MOREVI into the then-unknown podosphere, making his novel the first book podcast in its entirety. That experience led to the founding of and collaborating with Evo Terra and Chuck Tomasi on Podcasting for Dummies and its follow-up, Expert Podcasting ...more

Other books in the series

Billibub Baddings (2 books)
  • The Case of the Pitcher's Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Mystery