Fiction banner.jpg


New Island publishes some of the best fiction written in Ireland. From literary fiction and short stories, to chilling crime, you’ll always find a book to transport you.

A June of Ordinary Murders

A June of Ordinary Murders


by Conor Brady

The first book in a pacey and evocative detective series set in Victorian Dublin.

Trade-format paperback | 381pp | ISBN 9781848401181 | Release Date: February 2012

Add To Cart

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 past successes in need of a win. In the background, the city is sweltering in a long summer heatwave, a potential gangland war is simmering as the chief lieutenants of a dying crime boss size each other up and the castle administration want the celebration of Queen Victoria s Golden jubilee to pass off without complication. Underneath it all, the growing threat of anti-British radicals is never far away. With the Land War at its height, the priority is to contain special crime. But these murders appear to be ordinary and thus of lesser priority. When the evidence suggests high-level involvement, and as the body count increases, Swallow must navigate the waters of foolish superiors, political directives and frayed tempers to investigate the crime, find the true murderer and deliver justice. A June Of Ordinary Murders captures the life and essence of Dublin in the 1880s and draws the reader on a thrilling journey of murder and intrigue.


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
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

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