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A Verse to Murder

A Verse to Murder [Kindle Edition]

Tony Bailie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

When police find Northern Ireland's leading poet with a noose around his neck and his trousers around his ankles they assume it is a case of death by sexual misadventure.
However, when Sunday tabloid hack Barry Crowe looks into the dead poet's background he uncovers blackmail, an erotic trio of muses and experimentation with psychedelic drugs… he also gets off with a foxy policewoman with a handcuff fetish.
Sex, drugs, violence and some damn fine poetry combine to make Tony Bailie’s third novel A Verse to Murder a stylish, comic and rather kinky read.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 236 KB
  • Print Length: 74 pages
  • Publisher: ecopunks fiction (27 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009I6317G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #553,979 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tony Bailie is an Irish novelist, poet, and journalist. His third novel A Verse to Murder is now available as an ebook. His previous two novels, ecopunks (2010) and The Lost Chord (2006) were both published in paperback by Lagan Press.
He has also written two collection of poems, Coill, (2005) and Tranquillity of Stone (2010) both published by Lapwing Publication.
His story The Druid's Dance appeared in the award-winning Irish crime-fiction anthology Requiems for the Departed published in June 2010 by Morrigan Books.
He had three haiku included in Bamboo Dreams an anthology of Irish Haiku.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and entertaining 3 Oct 2012
By Dunkel
Format:Kindle Edition
Vibrant, fast-paced and blackly comic, 'A Verse to Murder' introduces us to Barry Crowe, a hapless tabloid hack who, when investigating a scandal concerning a prominent poet, gets unwillingly (and unwittingly) dragged into the seedy underbelly of Belfast's literary scene. Like a modern-day Hitchcockian Everyman, Barry gets swept along by events which he can neither understand nor control.

Credit should be given to the author for successfully using Belfast as a backdrop without falling into the 'Norn Iron' cliche trap - the location adds atmosphere but doesn't overwhelm the plot or the characters.

Overall, a thoroughly original, enjoyable read, with memorable characters and a mordant wit - highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Living Poem 31 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A Verse to Murder is a great little mystery that has a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun with the Belfast poetry scene. Muses, morbidity and murder; Tony Bailie weaves crime and extra-light erotica with a literary sensibility.

In many ways it reminded me of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected in which the method of murder was quirky and the motivation somewhat abstract. I felt it stumbled a little in the closing lines with one (almost supernatural) coincidence too far. But the enjoyment I took from the story up until that point put me in a forgiving mood.

Bailie has a neat turn of phrase and a knack for cranking up the pace that holds your attention all the way through the story. You're likely to read this in one or two sittings so be sure to clear a few hours when you first crack it open.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not a clue... 28 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Dathai Devine, a well known Irish poet, is found dead in dubious circumstances - apparently by his own hand whilst fulfilling a less than salubrious sexual act and under the influence of narcotics. Enter Barry Crowe, investigative journalist, who pursues Dathai's sad story. En route he meets Dathai's muses, a policewoman with a bondage fetish, a drunken fellow poet and lesbians with the same odd tattoo on their inner thigh. It's not long before Barry begins to suspect that there's more to Dathai's death than initially meets the eye.

This was a difficult read for a whole range of reasons. Besides the multiple formatting errors (see below) A Verse To Murder was more like a radio play than a novel - heavily weighted towards dialogue after an often cursory introductory description at the beginning of each chapter. This meant there was very little sense of character, place or activity. The story is supposed to occur in Belfast, however it could have been anywhere.

The plot was often disjointed, for example the book opens with Barry supposedly having a dream (I think), before the police turn up at his flat and awaken him. A Chief Inspector Hamilton then explains Dathai is dead under suspicious circumstances before the narrative inexplicably switches to Barry in conversation with a punk girl, Sally ("But don't tell my friends that," she says - why?) who appears out of nowhere to politely inform Barry she'd recently sold Dathai some mind bending substances. Although this meeting occurs chronologically after Barry has been to the scene of the crime it appears (that word again) in the book before Barry is described as having arrived at the scene of the crime. Confused? I was, and this was only the first chapter.

This sudden appearance of characters continues throughout.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable throwback to Marlowe and Spade 20 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tony Bailie seems to have written this story purely for the joy of writing - which makes it a joy to read.
A Verse to Murder is a fast-paced, no-nonsense, back-to-basics crime novel that will keep you turning the pages. The story, which kicks off with the death of a renowned poet is set in the inner city back streets of Belfast, in streets, pubs and 'exclusive' seedy clubs occupied by poets, hedonists and the criminally insane. The central character Barry is a tabloid hack, whose quest for the next big scoop sees him pulled into a world that at first seems at odds with his cynicism.
There's no pretence with this story it deliberately pays homage to the great crime writers of the 30s and 40s like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and manages to make the same ideas work in the 21st century. It is also written with tongue firmly in cheek but yet there's real poetry in the writing as the author paints a picture of a city within a city and the society that dwells there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Celtic archetypes, Belfast murder(s) 31 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This cover merits study--it's well chosen and ties into the mystery elaborated by an informant. The title, a play off of the "murder of crows," echoes in the name of Barry Crowe, a Belfast journalist (or is it "sleazy tabloid hack"?) pursuing the backstory behind the sudden demise, apparently by auto-asphyxiation, of Northern Ireland's leading poet. The compromising circumstances unfold neatly in this e-book novella.

Bailie, whose novels The Lost Chord and Ecopunks delved into respectively gnosticism and New Age quests, continues his application of Celtic and esoteric themes into his fiction. As a Belfast-based journalist (and a poet), he enjoys sending up his profession(s) and their shared pretensions. His short story "The Druid's Dance" in the anthology Requiems for the Departed by Irish mystery writers incorporating Celtic myth and archetypes anticipates the mood and tone of this new tale.

Reviewing a mystery, one cannot give much away. The blurb at Amazon sums up the premise enticingly. It's not betraying the story to admit that the set-up elaborates into, over 74 quick pages, an entry into the symbol of the spiral and the Triple Goddess of Celtic lore. Drawing on, in my "guesstimation," theories of spacetime and the earlier attempts of Irish writers Denis Johnston (The Brazen Horn) and Francis Stuart (The Abandoned Snail Shell) to plunge into the liminal, the results for Barry recall those of the warp-spasm of Cú Chulainn, and the cosmic terror that seems to cross generations and centuries as Bríd, Andrea, and Alma enter the lives of Barry and his cop pal Dervla.
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