The Death of an Ardent Bibliophile

Overview

Very little astounds Peter McGarr, the head of the Irish police's elite murder squad. But on this chilly, foul night when he is called to the sumptuous home of Brian Herrick, McGarr is astonished by what he sees. Sprawled over a table lies Brian Herrick, keeper of Dublin's famous Marsh's Library. He is naked and dead. In a room remarkably similar to Marsh's Library - right down to the oak bookshelves laden with exquisite, irreplaceable volumes - one item is anachronous. A video camera sits in a corner. It seems ...
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Overview

Very little astounds Peter McGarr, the head of the Irish police's elite murder squad. But on this chilly, foul night when he is called to the sumptuous home of Brian Herrick, McGarr is astonished by what he sees. Sprawled over a table lies Brian Herrick, keeper of Dublin's famous Marsh's Library. He is naked and dead. In a room remarkably similar to Marsh's Library - right down to the oak bookshelves laden with exquisite, irreplaceable volumes - one item is anachronous. A video camera sits in a corner. It seems that beyond rare books, Herrick had an even rarer love for "blue" videos - homemade and based on the poems of Jonathan Swift. Herrick's final episode is still in the camera. With the help of McGarr's young wife, Noreen, a spirited devote of Irish culture and an art dealer, McGarr scours the works of Jonathan Swift for leads that are as concealed as the twisted desires of the human libido. Bizarre and erotic, The Death of an Ardent Bibliophile is set against contemporary Dublin and the Ireland of Swift's time, a period more akin to our own than we might want to admit. And once again, Bartholomew Gill delivers a cunning, literary mystery infused with wisdom, scholarly intelligence, and irrepressible Irish humor.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Literary lore and procedural machinations weave through the third adventure of Dublin police superintendent Peter McGarr, last seen in Death on a Cold, Wild River. The bibliophile in question was noted Swiftian scholar Brian Herrick, the custodian of Swift's Marsh Library, famed for its rare editions, which Herrick had recreated in part in his own home. As much an enigma as Swift, Herrick had also shelved in his library video cassettes of orgies starring himself and featuring, among others, a memorable one-eyed tart. But in his final scene, Herrick is filmed alone, falling victim to a nasty poison. McGarr learns that Herrick, reputedly wealthy, may have squandered his estate and become the subject of blackmail. Focusing less than in the previous books on the dichotomies of modern Ireland, Gill paints a broad, bold cast, including McGarr's wife, Noreen, an art gallery owner, and a handsome threesome involved in an intense romantic triangle-two of Peter's coppers, one tall and statuesque, one short and pugilistic, and a dashing young businessman. This academic mystery, however, may hold the most appeal for readers who know and love their Swift. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Dubliner Peter McGarr investigates the bizarre death of the keeper of Marsh's Library, a repository for rare books. Unlike most librarians, Brian Herrick enjoyed a family fortune, a fine house, and a private book collection of his own. He also emulated Jonathan Swift and died while videotaping a pornographic version of Swiftian poetry. This subject, along with the possible youth of a film partner, quickly relegates Herrick to the animal side of human nature in police eyes. Avid descriptions, dry witticisms, and fascinating plot carry this along quite nicely. From the author of Death of a Cold, Wild River (LJ 9/1/93).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786205738
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Series: Peter McGarr Series, #11
  • Pages: 406

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