Monday, January 3, 2011

Requiems for the Departed, edited by Gerard Brennan and Mike Stone

I don't really want to look at how long ago I mentioned this book on another blog, hoping to give the project a friendly plug. But it took me to December to finally settle in and read it, and right into the new year to finish it. That's not because it's boring. But especially with story anthologies, I really don't like reading too many at one time. It can be a bit jarring to move from voice to voice to voice.

I really think this is a terrific compendium of many of the people writing Irish crime fiction today. A few of the authors, like Stuart Neville and Adrian McKinty I had read before,  and others, like Ken Bruen were names well known to me just by virtue of shelving the mystery section at the bookstore on a fairly consistent basis. And then there were the writers I already had a sense of from interviews they'd done over at Brennan's CSNI site, or Declan Burke's Crime Always Pays blog.

The premise of asking writers for crime fiction that had some connection to the world of Irish mythology was a brilliant one. Readers from other lands such as myself get a kind of double or triple introduction to the myths, the culture and the crime scene all in one. It gives the authors enough scope to do pretty much whatever they want, and it was interesting to see what tales drew which writers. The writing level was consistently high, and I was impressed that although the stories drew on the Troubles at times, there was a decidedly unsectarian cast to the collection.     

I'm not sure I really want to do the 'stand out' stuff, as I think the collection actually reads best as a whole, not picking out individual parts. I know that I'll be checking out the Brian McGilloway Inspector Devlin series now, as well as some long overdue Bruen. But I'll be checking out any of these writers whose books happen to cross my path in the future.

Great job, Mike and gb! 


  1. Thanks, Seanna! Glad you enjoyed it.



  2. I miss you around the blogosphere, Gerard. I hope the family are all doing well.

  3. Seanna
    God bless your warm heart.
    May the New Year be wondrous for you
    Mike and Gerard were a true joy to work with.
    I pray they will get another inspired idea for a collection

  4. Ken,

    Thank you! I'm betting that barring time commitments, it wouldn't take too awfully much for inspiration to strike again. Here's hoping, anyway.

  5. Seanna

    Family doing great, thanks. Keeping me very busy at the minute. Hoping to find more time for blogosphere activities this year, though.

    Wishing you the best for 2011.

    Ken - Great to see you here. I'm reading Her Last Call to Louis MacNeice at the moment. Classic Bruen. Also saw London Boulevard over the Christmas break. Was delighted to see your name so boldly displayed in the credits. Looking forward to Blitz!