The Liverpool Mysteries

Murder, mystery, and intrigue are wrapped in historical fiction relevant to the struggles of working people. Set between Liverpool and Ireland these novels explore where we are today but also how we got here. The first book published was Under The Bridge in Feb 2021. Although set in Garston, that book had its roots in Wicklow, Ireland. Join the FB group for Under The Bridge here;

https://www.facebook.com/groups/522800758257136

Across The Water the second book was published in March 2022.

Everything and Nothing

I took part in a Liverpool Literary Festival, Writing on the Wall event recently, its title was ‘Writing Across Borders’. The title was mine, I had the idea of inviting Paddy Osborne who wrote Baxter’s Boys set in Dublin with a leading Scouse character. So ‘Writing Across Borders’ was to explore my Liverpool Irish charactersContinue reading “Everything and Nothing”

Boooo!

Peter Dwyer explains why he and other Liverpool FC fans booed the monarchy at the FA Cup final in Wembley This article was reprinted from Counterfire follow the link at the bottom to read more and support. When I returned home from Wembley on Saturday night the Daily Mail was running headlines about MPs condemning the ‘shameful abuse’Continue reading “Boooo!”

Why you should listen to The Irish Stew podcast.

https://www.irishstewpodcast.com/blog/why-you-should-listen-to-jack-byrne/ On Christmas Eve 2020,  Jack Byrne reached out to see if we’d be interested in doing an episode on his upcoming book. We had only launched the podcast in October and were chuffed that anyone would actually ask to come on the Stew. Things have changed 40 episodes later, much to our delight. AuthorsContinue reading “Why you should listen to The Irish Stew podcast.”

Confetti

An excerpt from Across The Water Available for pre order now Dublin May 17th, 1974 – 5.30 pm The train rattled and wobbled its way along the coast; Paddy looked at the sea. The ever-present sea, even inland, its waves were felt in the half-empty villages, in the faces of old men whose sons wereContinue reading “Confetti”

Celebrate St Patrick’s day with Liverpool writer Jack Byrne

Jack Byrne, born and raised in Speke of Irish parents and grandparents is charting the life and times of the city’s Irish community in his novels. His first book Under The Bridge set in Garston from the 1950’s to 2000s was called a ‘Love letter to Liverpool with a touch of Peaky Blinders’ by fellowContinue reading Celebrate St Patrick’s day with Liverpool writer Jack Byrne

Save Oglet Shore

Liverpool John Lennon Airport have published their Masterplan for the greenbelt land around their site. The Airport only received 190 responses and 138 people answered their very biased questionnaire. Our petition is asking both local councils to: * Oppose the expansion of Liverpool airport * Stop the closure of Dungeon Lane and Ashton’s Lane *Continue reading “Save Oglet Shore”

Giving Voice

I am a bit nervous about doing the online event as part of The Liverpool Irish Festival on Monday evening – it would be great to see you there, tickets are free and you can book through the link below. I will be joined by Liverpool historian Greg Quiery. I have done a few pressContinue reading “Giving Voice”

Being Irish- The Ghost In The Room

‘Being Irish’ will be published in two weeks, it is a collection of personal reflections on nationality by 101 figures from Ireland and abroad. My contribution is below- Can you support us by joining us for an online chat online on 25th Oct . Click the link to reserve your free ticket https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/jack-byrne-a-revolutionary-century-tickets-168966993827?aff=efbeventtix&fbclid=IwAR3wiQQfrokvyz0uO0g3cxBGtqF2UW0d1JVrPHrEifUnP75dEMVrh47e6EY My IrishnessContinue reading “Being Irish- The Ghost In The Room”

Liverpool Irish Festival

Join authors Greg Queiry and Jack Byrne for a conversation about the image -and reality- of the Irish Community in Liverpool. Using their publications as reference, they’ll discuss the myths and reality of the city nicknamed ‘Ireland’s second capital’. Greg’s history book, In Hardship and Hope (G&K Publishing, 2017), charts the earliest development of the Irish inContinue reading “Liverpool Irish Festival”

Far Foreign Land

Far Foreign Land is a memoir that reads like a novel. The author Tony Evans uses a dual narrative of events; the now legendary 2005 UEFA final in Istanbul and the decades of supporting Liverpool that preceded it. The book like the match contains all the highs and lows, the tension and drama of notContinue reading “Far Foreign Land”

Talking books

The link above is for my appearance on Litopia, a live Youtube show that looks at writers’ submissions.This is live so there is no preparation we see the texts as they appear on the screen and have to respond within seconds with words of wisdom or advice. This was my second appearance and altogether moreContinue reading “Talking books”

The Lads of Garston

Printed with permission from Greg Quiery His book In Hardship and Hope is available from News From Nowhere. These are the lads of Garston,Who once ruled here, Who stroll on now. Easy. Putting in the long day. Walking the dog.Minding kids<Talking out the past. Here was their summers out of school Their muddy riviera, WhereContinue reading “The Lads of Garston”

Crisis What Crisis

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, for a couple of reasons I’ve been quite busy writing and doing the advertising and promotion side of things. I was also trying to make progress on the first draft of the fourth book. There is lots of editing and redrafting ahead. Including new drafts of theContinue reading “Crisis What Crisis”

A bone or a tibia?

‘Awful. Stopped reading it after a few minutes. Very disappointed. I’d be interested in what other readers think or was it just me that was disappointed.’ This is my only one star review on Amazon….so far. There have been 31 ratings and the average is 4 star. Overall I don’t think I can complain atContinue reading “A bone or a tibia?”

The Real Crimes

I am booked to appear on a panel with two other ‘crime writers’ for the UK Crime Book Club on Facebook I will post a link when it comes around. But it got me thinking about UTB as crime novel, this might seem strange, but for me the book has always been primarily about theContinue reading “The Real Crimes”

How we got here…

The history of Liverpool never ceases to amaze and surprise me, there is always something more to find out. A few readers have commented that they learned something about their home city from reading Under The Bridge. This process is going on all the time for me, but for many, including Vinny in the book,Continue reading “How we got here…”

10 Questions With… Jack Byrne

Hi everyone, and this afternoon I’m delighted to welcome Jack Byrne to the blog. Jack is from Liverpool and has set his debut novel there. I was delighted when he agreed to an interview, and to find out about his writing journey. Details of how to contact hun are below the Q&A. Over to you,…

A Fairytale in …

One of everyone’s favourite Xmas songs has to be Fairytale in New York, but behind the song’s international fame is a story that will ring true for Irish descendants everywhere.. As many of you know Garston was home to a community of emigrants from Wicklow. My books follow some characters from that community through theContinue reading “A Fairytale in …”

A rose in the river

In 1945 the Labour government deported hundreds of Chinese seamen from Liverpool. Thousands had been brought to the UK to support the war effort and risked their lives on British ships. Many married and started families. Wives and children were left desperate as fathers and husbands were picked up by the police and deported. ThisContinue reading “A rose in the river”

Risen

Risen  Arthur John Dooley (17 January 1929 – 7 January 1994)  Worker and sculptor He coughed his way downstairs, tousled thinning hair, his heavy overcoat took the place of a dressing gown over his pyjamas. His wake up fag hung from his lip as he turned on the gas. His fumbling hands expertly struck aContinue reading “Risen”

The Black Christ

The sculptor Arthur Dooley was born in The Dingle, worked in Cammell Lairds, and travelled the world with the Irish Guards, at one point he was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. A well travelled man he eventually settled back in his native Liverpool. For a period he worked in Dunlops in Speke toContinue reading “The Black Christ”

Building Lives and Families Not Just Motorways

Wicklow, Rathnew and Garston in Liverpool have a long lasting connection, not one recognised by councils and authorities but one long know about among residents and families. The One Road is a collection of short stories you can download free here. https://jackbyrne.home.blog/ The stories set the scene for ‘Under The Bridge’ a novel that willContinue reading “Building Lives and Families Not Just Motorways”

Another Place

Another place…another time…another people…silent figures defying time and tide, looking out to the Mersey Estuary to the migrants who came and left and those who remain. I guess because I am from one of those migrants I feel the pull of these statues. If you haven’t seen them do yourself a favour and make theContinue reading “Another Place”

Norwegian Wood, and Rubber Dinghies (from Hindi dingi ‘small boat’ )

The Beatles song always struck me as strangely titled. Wikipedia informs me it refers to the wood panelling in a house in London, where John Lennon was conducting an affair. The novel I am working on at the moment ‘Fire Next Time’ has its final dramatic scenes in The Baltic Triangle. It is an areaContinue reading “Norwegian Wood, and Rubber Dinghies (from Hindi dingi ‘small boat’ )”

A Truly Irish and British Thriller

The headline above, and the quote below are both from reviews of my novel Under The Bridge “Written for adult audiences, this thrilling novel explores class distinctions, nationality, identity, and the dynamics of power by combining historical and contemporary content for its mystery plot.” You can read the full reviews here https://jackbyrne.home.blog/under-the-bridge/ They mark theContinue reading “A Truly Irish and British Thriller”

Another Crash?

Fifty-five years ago this week, on 20 July 1965 a there was an event that shocked the people of Speke and Garston. In a way, it was a foreshadowing of what the recession of the seventies would do to the industry in the area. In this case, it was a Cambrian Airlines plane that hadContinue reading “Another Crash?”

The Blue Union

Many from Garston will remember the blue union as a social club on Window Lane and a football team that played in the Sunday league, a team that was the starting point for some famous names like Jimmy Case. For decades it played a role in the social life of people Under The Bridge. ItContinue reading “The Blue Union”

Humanity Restored

Robert Burns poem called Man was made to mourn: A Dirge in 1784. ‘Man’s inhumanity to man’ The response to the murder of George Floyd for most people has been an overwhelming rejection of the racism that ended his life. The casual denial of his humanity, and as police knelt on his neck it brought back all theContinue reading “Humanity Restored”

Match and Bobbin girls

The Mersey Matchworks, was a scene of architectural progress and innovation, while being witness to the ruthless treatment of the women and girls of the Garston Bobbin works. Bryant & May had a reasonably good reputation in Liverpool, mainly because the industry had moved on by the time the Garston factory was built. Mechanisation andContinue reading “Match and Bobbin girls”

Reading Catherine Cookson- The making of a Scouse militant.

The question ‘What made you a socialist?’ Was recently discussed on his Facebook page by a political activist and writer who was active in Liverpool. I was in and out of Liverpool, Sheffield, Oxford and Nottingham in fact wherever the IMG or its successors wanted people to move, there I would be..But back to theContinue reading “Reading Catherine Cookson- The making of a Scouse militant.”

Above us only sky

Paul arriving back at Liverpool Airport, just a couple of miles down the road was one of Paul’s favourite spots as a child, Oggy shore. Anyone who grew up in Speke, Liverpool knew it as a place to escape from the streets. Above is the 1930s art deco building I remember. As kids, we wouldContinue reading “Above us only sky”

Fire Next Time

‘Fire Next Time’ is the title of my current work in progress. The first chapter starts when Charlie a young guy in Liverpool is going to work listening to the Anfield Wrap podcast. Liverpool FC have just beaten Everton in the fourth round of the FA cup, he is happy as can be. All isContinue reading “Fire Next Time”

All Together Now

Covid-19 All in it together – Wishful thinking or reality? The Beatles All Together now recorded in 1967 and released in 1972 is a feel-good tune, expressing peace and love for everyone. Help build the audience for this blog =leave your email- or tag a friend- like and share All Together Now released by LiverpoolContinue reading “All Together Now”

Give Ireland Back to The Irish-Fear and Loathing in Liverpool.

Paul McCartney’s first single with Wings in 1972 ‘Give Ireland Back to The Irish’ shortly after the Bloody Sunday shootings of innocent demonstrators in Derry in Northern Ireland, was an act of protest, and built on the musical legacy of Liverpool. https://jackbyrne.home.blog/2020/03/19/do-you-know-liverpool-lou/ Liverpool Lou written and performed by Dominic Behan is an expression of thisContinue reading “Give Ireland Back to The Irish-Fear and Loathing in Liverpool.”

Come Together – Covid19 Social Distancing and Social Solidarity?

John Lennon began the song for Timothy Leary a US liberal radical in an election against Ronald Reagan. The Reagan/Thatcher axis and neo-liberalism sought to minimise the state as a tool used to change society to help people, like building the NHS and education system etc to an instrument to maximise the conditions for profit.Continue reading “Come Together – Covid19 Social Distancing and Social Solidarity?”

The ebb and flow.

I’m back in Liverpool this week revisiting old friends and haunts. On the second day here I had to find the office of a publisher. It was cold and wet. I was walking the streets of the ‘Baltic Triangle’. This is a part of Liverpool between the town centre and The Dingle. Old warehouses andContinue reading “The ebb and flow.”

Run for your life.

Well, I’d rather see you dead, little girlThan to be with another man The first two lines of this Beatles song make clear the subject and the writer’s view. There can be no doubt that the song accepts violence against women as the norm. This is from a time when women and children were seenContinue reading “Run for your life.”

Walkways in The Sky

Walkways in the sky. Buurrr buurrr lips pursed, Harry blew out the trumpet sound of the last post. The wail of his voice was in mockery, not respect. The funeral was real, the death was real in Allerton cemetery grounds, the trumpet and tears were real. In the act of grieving for one of theirContinue reading “Walkways in The Sky”

Ring of Fire- The prince and the frog. Liverpool Style

Click to listen. Disclaimer- No actual frogs were harmed during this recording. This is one of the shorter pieces in The One Road.This is the UK link for the ebook at just 99p its a bargain.https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08BVVP9WB Want more goodies? Leave your email address below to subscribe- copy and share this link on your Facebook ansContinue reading “Ring of Fire- The prince and the frog. Liverpool Style”

Paperback Writer

Help me decide – does the cover match the storyline? A skeleton is unearthed on a building site close to the docks in Garston. Anne, a fledgling reporter, is assigned to what should be a routine story. Her friend Vinny, starting a postgrad degree, is plagued by nightmares and visions of death. As he strugglesContinue reading “Paperback Writer”

Chapter 8 Garston

Leave your email above, and enjoy below. Chapter 8 Garston from The Morning AfterJuly 3rd Friday 1981 Lunchtime “Does anyone know the way?” asked Macca “Yeah, I do, my nan lived here.” Vinny led the way as they scrambled up from the shore. The road in front of them was at the back of theContinue reading “Chapter 8 Garston”

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