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Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword [Paperback]

Tee Morris

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2004
"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 Wars. In the wake of The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, only one is man enough to stand up against Al Capone... ...a four-foot-one dwarf named Billibub Baddings. "Billi," as his friends come to know him, is a working stiff dwarf in the all too-human sized world of Chicago. Seems that a brood of orcs and a renegade warlock had opened a Portal of Oblivion in his homeworld and was planning to submerge his nine lands of Acryonis into an Age of Darkness. Billi had managed to throw a monkey wrench into those plans...but not before getting himself caught in the pull of that portal. When he came to, he found himself in the heart of The Windy City during The Roaring Twenties. After dealing with trolls, goblins, and rock dragons, Al Capone and Bugs Moran are about as intimidating as choir boys. Billi sets himself up as a tough-talking, waist-high, straight-dealing detective, and business was looking bleak, until a dark-eyed beauty crossed his threshold with the case that involved the mob, the upper-crust of Chicago society, and Billi's past. Get ready for The Lord of the Rings written by Mickey Spillane! Poking fun at the hard-boiled detective novel, Fantasy mainstays, and even the legend of Chicago's 1920 underworld!

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Dragon Moon Press (Oct. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896944183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896944180
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.1 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,367,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rollicking ragtime romp which doesn't come up short... Dec 6 2004
By Jonathan Jett-Parmer - Published on Amazon.com
Tee Morris' second published venture is a blistering read. The premise of a transported warrior dwarf from a Tolkienesque realm into Chicago of the roaring twenties is well executed and entertaining. The hero, titlesake Billibub Baddings, makes his way into the heart of Chicago's seamy underside encountering a wide range of noble immigrants, brutal mobsters and dazzling women. Tee supports his tale with regular intersections from Billibub's fantastical home. What starts out as a Sam Spade mystery converts into a fantasy / horror / world threatening quest, with just a hint of X-files thrown in to boot!

Morris has done his homework. The feel of the city really comes across strongly and the language is authentic and not overdone. Some of Billibub's comments (written from the first person) may seem like throwaway lines, but they serve to flesh out his persona. Mystery, Fantasy and humor fans (ala Robert Asprin) will all enjoy this book.

Morris' second work is a pleasant departure from his debut work, Morevi. He is demonstrating a nice maturity as a contemporary author of fantasy. Take a chance and pick up this title, you won't be disappointed!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read indeed July 22 2005
By jamie b - Published on Amazon.com
I picked up a copy of this tale at a booksigning at my local fantasy bookstore. I asked Mr. Morris to recommend which of his products I should start with and this one fit my tastes a bit better.

The story itself is a lot of fun. You can feel the atmosphere of the 1930's Chicago that our protagonist is living in. The decriptions are wonderful, right down to the heat of Billibub's favorite bowl of chili.

The "mystery" and the identity of whodunnit is so predictable that I am giving the author the benefit of the doubt and state that he did a great job capturing the spirit of the gumshoe detective novels of days gone by.

My biggest complaint would have to be in the flashback scenes and the inappropriate use of too much "Stranger in a Strange Land" made up words. There were multiple times that I was enjoying the story when we would go back to Billibub's homeland for no other reason than to reminice. This jarred my enjoyment more than once. Also, and Mr. Morris is far from the only author guilty of this, a person who has learned a language down to the colloquisms of the region is probably not going to drop back into either:

a. Words or phrases those around him do not understand (except in extreme duress)


b. Made up words to identify "magic" items in our society. If I never hear the term "boom dagger" again, I will be a much happier individual.

Overall, I found it a good story and would recommend it without reservation. I hope that the next adventure is as much fun, with just a bit less of what I thought detracted.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tolkien meets Marlowe Dec 20 2004
By Dennis C. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Philip Marlowe and J. R. R. Tolkien have had a love child and his name is Tee Morris.

I literally could not put this hysterical book down. Imagine a dwarf from a Tolkienesque/Dungeons and Dragons type world is transported to Chicago in the 1920s, complete with prohibition, flappers and Al Capone!

A nonstop fun ride, this book hits the ground running and never looks back until you reach the last page. Morris makes the roaring 20s come to life through the eyes of the 4 foot one inch detective from another dimension. He seconds in blending the genres of noir and fantasy into a seamless package that does not fail to satisfy.

Well worth the cover price.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed dwarf April 3 2005
By Carrie S Priestley - Published on Amazon.com
I had my reservations about this book at first, but when I heard Tee Morris do a reading of the first chapter at a sci-fi convention, I was hooked. Billibub is quite a unique character, which only adds to what I call the "spiciness" of the story--it moves at a bristling pace and does suprise one at times. I can't wait to see whose business Billibub will get into next. Tee Morris has also got his timelines and culture right--three cheers! All I can say is...read..and enjoy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two small thumbs up for Billi! Sept. 22 2008
By Erk @ the Erk Pod - Published on Amazon.com
This is a combined book review for two books by author and podcaster Tee Morris. The first book published in 2004 is called "Billibub Baddings & the Case of the Singing Sword". The second book is a sequel called "Case of the Pitcher's Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Mystery" which was first published in 2008. I purchased both books after being involved in the Double Trouble promotion and interviewing the author as a part of the promotion.

Both books follow the story of Billibub Baddings, who you will come to know as Billi. In the opening of Singing Sword, it is revealed that Billi is a dwarf from a mystical place who goes through a vortex and ends up in a public library in downtown Chicago in 1929. After learning about his environment through reading books in the library and remaining hidden while trying to live in the library undetected, Billi decides to put his skills from his previous life to good use and become a Private Investigator. He soon gets a case investigating a death and the first book follows Billi's adventures including encounters with the law and also the underground of Chicago.

The Case of the Pitcher's Pendant is set in the following year where Billi gets another case investigating the success of an unknown baseball team. You will not need a detailed knowledge of baseball to follow the action. The further Billi investigates, the deeper he gets involved in the case. And the deeper Billi digs, he finds himself investigating a very different type of crime.

While the books are classified as fantasy, you can read the majority of the book as you would if it was not a fantasy book. While the fantasy element is there, the environments that Billi finds himself in are totally real and totally believable. While it could be easy to base the entire book in a fantasy world, author Morris combines real life happenings with a fantasy element and he does it well. For the majority of both books, you would read on not even thinking that Billi is from another world. While the stories depend somewhat on the fantasy element, the blend would please both fantasy & mystery fans. Both books are very much a mystery just as much as they are fantasies.

While there is a 4 year gap between each book being published, there is a 12 month gap between the two stories. You do not need to read one book to understand the other but if you do read both books, be sure to read Singing Sword first. There are some Singing Sword references and characters in Pitcher's Pendant. Once you start reading this book, don't think that you will only be able to read 1 chapter at a time. Soon enough, you will feel like you are walking with Billi and you will want to read on to find out what happens next. The plot is ever changing so it does not become predictable and before you know it, you would have read 5 chapters or more. Once you have finished reading Singing Sword, you will want to read Pitcher's Pendant as soon as you can.

To me, it does not matter if you are a fantasy, true crime or mystery fan. If you enjoy any one of these genres, you will enjoy both of these books. They are well written, have touches of humour but also have a lot of realism which might seem strange for a fantasy book but it works well. Both books are well worth buying and for the full effect, read both of them! I give both books 9/10.

If you enjoy reading both books, you may also enjoy the Billi podcast as well. I have not done this yet because I wanted to read the books first.

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