Who Killed Jerusalem?

A Rollicking Literary Murder Mystery Based On William Blake's Characters & Ideas Updated To 1970s San Francisco

Narrated by Patrick Lawlor
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Pub Date 06 Feb 2023 | Archive Date Not set

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A seamless melding of the intricate plotting of Umberto Eco in The Name of the Rose; the side-splitting humor of John Kennedy Toole in A Confederacy of Dunces; and the fabulous world of William Blake.

​In 1977, Ickey Jerusalem, San Francisco’s golden-boy poet laureate, is found dead in a locked first-class toilet on an arriving red-eye flight.

Ded Smith, a desperately unhappy, intelligent philistine with a highly developed philosophy to match, is called in to investigate the poet’s death. Thus begins a series of hilarious encounters with the members of Jerusalem’s coterie.

Ded soon realizes that to find out what happened, he must not only collect his usual detective’s clues but also, despite his own poetically challenged outlook, get into the dead poet’s mind. Fighting his way through blasphemous funerals, drug-induced dreams, poetry-charged lovemaking, offbeat philosophical discussions, and much, much more, he begins to piece together Jerusalem’s seductive, all-encompassing metaphysics.

But by then, the attempts to kill Ded and the others have begun.

Before Ded’s death-dodging luck runs out, will he be able to solve the case and perhaps, in the process, develop a new way of looking at the world that might allow him to replace his unhappiness with joy?

A tour-de-force narration by the multi-award-winning Patrick Lawlor, who uses his uncompromising talent to bring every character to life with an astonishing vocal range.

A seamless melding of the intricate plotting of Umberto Eco in The Name of the Rose; the side-splitting humor of John Kennedy Toole in A Confederacy of Dunces; and the fabulous world of William...

Advance Praise

"[A] big, joyous book, worth reading simply for the fun of it." 

--Blue Ink Review

"A zany, inventive, and multilayered fever dream of murder and mayhem"

--Kirkus Reviews

"In George Albert Brown’s philosophical mystery novel Who Killed Jerusalem?, a modern man’s metamorphosis evokes Greco-Roman epics. [...] the narrative’s primary problematiques—the state of beauty, the creation of the universe, and the nature of reality—are ably revealed through the artistry of Jerusalem’s life and Ded’s surreal experiences."

--Foreword Reviews

"[A] big, joyous book, worth reading simply for the fun of it." 

--Blue Ink Review

"A zany, inventive, and multilayered fever dream of murder and mayhem"

--Kirkus Reviews

"In George Albert Brown’s...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook
ISBN 9781737774433
PRICE $21.83 (USD)
DURATION 19 Hours, 54 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 34 members

Featured Reviews

OK “Who Killed Jerusalem?” This book is a laxadaisical journey into craziness! Vic Jerusalem was flying to California because if I’m understanding it right he was on a book tour for his poetry anthology. Some of this people are also on the plane with them like his blind secretary his agent, his chauffeur and another man who is recently divorced bored and lonely. When Vic is found suffocated to death in the plain bathroom they don’t know if it’s suicide or murder? The police are called and this is what brings detective Otter to the case he is also friends with the lonely divorce New Yorker and this is why that gets involved with the case also. Now I’m not going to give a brief summary about details I’m going to give you an overall glimpse of the craziness that is this book from the funeral his slutty sister The inheritance people turning into insects have parts of the book that are not steeped in reality at all but what I will say this book as long as hell almost 20 hours long but once you start listening you will find it hard to stop. They also have parts of the book that feel like it’s going into sta nation but stick with it because the LOL moments are so worth it this book is based on William Blake and characters from his book if you’ve ever read one of his books then you can see the influence while listening to “who killed Jerusalem“ even when I pause the book things I read made me laugh out loud this is a crazy piece of work and one I highly recommend. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book by George Albert Brown before but I would absolutely read another. This book is very funny especially the funeral and his sister that made me laugh so much but I digress let me stop so you can get the book and enjoy it too I loved it! I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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* I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. *

A comical tale of "whodunit" set in San Francisco in the '70s with a heavy splash of metaphysics that will have you confused, disturbed, laughing, pondering the universe, and trying to solve the murder of Ickey Jerusalem.

With the difficult-to-pronounce names and the many quirky characters, I felt that the audiobook was the best way to get through this tale as the narrator does a great job of differentiating who is who and bringing them to life. I wanted to love this book but I only somewhat liked it. I love the idea of a "whodunit" story with lots of twists and turns but this story left me scratching my head and relistening to some passages to make sure I heard things correctly. With the story modeled after the work of William Blake, I should have spent some time looking into Blake's work because there are several instances in which I had to look up a connection or reach out to my Blake-loving friends for some insight just to make sure I was understanding the plot correctly.

Maybe I'll spend some time reading Blake and then re-read this novel and see if my thoughts change.

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historical-fiction, historical-research, insurance-investigator, law-enforcement, mystery, puntastic, read, situational-humor, sly-humor, verbal-humor****

The largest collection of improbably named characters I've seen in a while. The length is a bit daunting (not to be read continuously on a long car trip), but perfect for diving into at intervals (subway and such). Also, I did not find the humor to be of the rolling on floor variety but the inelegant snorts and giggles sort. I really enjoyed this trip uphill and down in the investigative sense which is filled with twists and red herrings.
I was lucky to get the audio narrated by the incomparable Patrick Lawlor.
I requested and received a free temporary audio copy from Galbraith Literary Publishers Incorporated via NetGalley. Thank you!

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This is an amazing mix of high and low-brow -- with wild, wacky characters who surrounded a poet that may or may not have been on to a mystical reality. When he winds up dead in an airplane bathroom (a locked room within a locked room!), our narrator, and insurance adjuster, investigates the supposed suicide with such skill and aplomb that the actual police detective is basically his research assistant.

We meet the various eccentric hangers-on surrounding the poet, many of whom had motive and potential opportunity (being on the plane) -- and in fact 1 may have beaten multiple to the punch in doing the deed. These include his assistant/lover, who met him after being blinded by staring at one of his works in a park; his doctor, who is mainly a plastic surgeon and is himself a hack job of various attempts at looking perfect (capped teeth that come loose, bad fake tan, etc.); his lawyer, a massive giant; and others. Many of these also have ridiculous pun names that adds to the farcical tone.

This is an interesting romp about the web of interconnected relationships that develop around any charismatic person, but some of the repetition of the high/low plane of existence and objectifying descriptions can be a bit much.

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I haven't read any of William Blake's works, so I wasn't sure if I would get this one, but let me just say it was entertaining! It reflects on his poetic oeuvre, but becomes strangely wrapped into surreal moments. When I wasn't paying attention and allowing the abnormal mystery play out, a jolt would hit me and the characters became farm animals. You might recall Plato and Socrates experiencing some of this drug induced sightings...LOL. Besides the uncanny metamorphose, some of the scenes are laugh-out-loud although crude humor! This mystery to solve is a little different than what I normally read, but I did enjoy it! It was crazy at its best! Loved it...NO.... but I listened to it on audio over a period of two weeks since the audio is 20 hours. I saw it on Instagram and suckered into it. Plus, they are giving away a free trip to San Francisco to meet some of the poets.

The time period is the 70's and the mystery to solve is in the title Who Killed Jerusalem? Ickey is found on a flight to California dead on a toilet. With a bag around his head, hands tied and the door locked. He is a famous poet laureate, so who would possibly kill him or was it self-inflicted? He was not alone! There are people he knows traveling with him.

When Det O'Nadir calls Ded Smith to investigate, it was a compliment to his intelligence and philosophical views. Several clues are dropped, but not before staking out all of Jerusalem's past indulges which some are far fetched. When Ded gets into Jerusalem's mind-set, it reveals some strange dreams, a sister's funeral and some hilarious encounters. Depending on how close Ded will get on the case, his life may also be on the line.
Ded is the protagonist with a strange sense of humor, but very intelligent. He accepts the challenge but it also requires him to investigate his own life and his disastrous marriage.
Thank you NetGalley, Galbraith Literary Publishers, and Mindbuck Media Book for sending me this audio to review.

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I really enjoyed the characters and humor of this book, which had me laughing out loud. If you are a fan of "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole then I highly recommend "Who Killed Jerusalem?"

I love reading books set in the Bay Area, where I live, and Brown's depictions of 1977 San Francisco paint a picture of an unhinged and libertine era here that is certainly bygone, and I'm intrigued to investigate the local history more.

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I wasn't sure where the book was heading when I first started reading. The text begins with Ded on a plane trapped between some jerks, his job has him traveling with no real place to call home. I made the assumption that he was "Death" and his job was going place to place to take the lives of a specific set of people. Then there is a death on the plane, but he was no where near him. Maybe his job was to take the souls of those who die to the afterlife? No, wrong again. The story that ensued was even better. Ded, short for Daedalus, is an investigator for an insurance company and really good at his job. He is called to investigate the death on the plane he was just on.

The deceased is a poet, Icky Jerusalem, (it didn't escape me that Icky is short for Icarus, the son of Daedalus in the ancient story of Icarus flying too close to the sun his father, Daedalus, builds to escape capture). There are only so many people in the plane with Jerusalem. The police have written it off as a self inflicted and Ded has to determine if the death was self inflicted.

I enjoyed the twists and turns. I liked most of the descriptions of the characters but thought the description of Beulah Vala. I get she's hot, but the descriptions were a little much. The other characters descriptions I thought were funny, they included: his chauffeur, Adam Ghostflea; Tharmas Luvah, his business manager; Bacon Urizon, his lawyer; Dr.Bromion Ulro, a physician; Robert N. William, the flight purser. I also appreciated the awe the detective O'Nadir at watching Ded do his thing and find out exactly what happened.

I liked the book and look forward to reading more by the author. I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Certainly a different take on a whodunit book; with a mix of comedy, sarcasm, and a band of eccentric characters like no other. Plus the book switches from satire to deep philosophical discussions (often resulting in comedic conclusions). Basically, the book takes you on a journey to determine who killed Jerusalem, a self-proclaimed poet laureate. Somehow, an insurance adjuster, Ded Smith, becomes the primary investigator on the case, and the rest is twists and turns taken while working and spending time with the group of characters that Jerusalem surrounded himself with while alive.

Although this was a comedic and interesting story there were some over the top, cringe worthy scenes involving too much detail of sexual (bizarre) encounters for me. Additionally, the narrator was very easy to understand, but I had a difficult time listening to some of the voices done for the support characters (again over the top).

Finally, the way this book was written and narrated I could not stop myself from imagining all of the characters and scenes in terms of cartoons... think 'South Park'... not to mention a number of the situations Ded finds himself in, could certainly have been South Park plots.

If you find yourself looking for a book where there is witty commentary, and over the top comedy, while still trying to be a sarcastic whodunit book, then this is for you. I myself am not sure I would choose to listen to this again knowing what I know now, however, that is personal preference.

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I found this book really, really difficult to review but I’m going to try my best here. This book is strange, intelligent, and often very confusing but I really did enjoy it. I’ll start by saying that this book is highly philosophical, and if that doesn’t interest you, you may not like this.

Honestly, I struggled with the beginning of this book. It is quite long (even though I listened to it at 2x speed), and the first quarter was a little hard to get to as I was introduced to the more abstract concepts the book explores. Be prepared for some really weird descriptions and events.

In saying this, once I passed this point I found myself really enjoying and finding an interest in the psychological and philosophical concepts and discussions, as well as following on with the murder mystery. I think this book serves well in both of these instances, as I genuinely had no clue who was responsible until the very last pages.

This was a strange, interesting read that did drag on a bit. I’d recommend it to lovers of philosophy and literature. Make sure to check trigger warnings, I gave it 3/5 stars.

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Marvelously narrated, morbid, humorous, and exceptionally odd. Who Killed Jerusalem is an interesting read full of uniquely extraordinary, and at times grotesque, caricatures who fall just short of charming. Enjoyment of the novel unfortunately somewhat hinges on one’s understanding of the source material, at least in recognizing the exceptional nature of the references and characters. It is also particularly long, and should not be undertaken by the faint of heart.

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This story is interesting and very special. It is full twist but sometimes a bit difficult to follow because of the different characters. The tone abs way of writing is fast paced.

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But who killed Jerusalem?! This book is awesome adventure and a pleasure to listen to! I will absolutely purchase the hardcopy to re-read. The investigation keeps you on your toes. Strange characters with interesting back stories. If you are looking for. Good mystery thriller this is for you!

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If you feel uninspired by trope laden books woth interchangeable characters and aee looking for something different, Who Killed Jerusalem might be for you.

This unique and trippy mystery is a refreshing change from more formulaic or predictable works.

However, it's worth noting that uniqueness alone is not enough to make a novel good. A novel also needs to be well-crafted, engaging, and meaningful in order to resonate with readers. Strong, effective characterization bonds the reader to the plot, and here it is in the incarnation of protagonist, Ded Smith, insurance adjuster. I would say more but the fun is in the blind ride, not unlike Space Mountain.

I've seen it written that "Who Killed Jerusalem" reads like a book Agatha Christie could have written while stoned. There are no words more accurate than that, so I won't even try.

Happy reading!

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Interesting murder mystery with some funny twists. The funniest part was the naming of the characters

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