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.