Northern Ireland crime writer Gerard Brennan kindly sent me a hard copy of Requiems For the Departed, which he co-edited with Mike Stone. This is an anthology of seventeen short stories by some of the biggest names in Irish crime fiction inspired by myth and legend. [See my previous post]
Each time I have dipped into this collection I have come up with a gem. This time it was Red Hand of Ulster by Sam Millar which starts:
Disposing of early morning rubbish, Karl Kane was clad in nothing but a small pink bathrobe when he discovered the severed hand in the back alley of his Belfast office/apartment.
And only a Irish author would have the chuztpah to write:
"You want me to do you a favour by making sure that everything is kosher with Cohen."
When it has already been explained that Tev Cohen is a Jewish butcher.
"It says here that some Jewish scholars believe the O'Neill's were the actual descendants of the Biblical Jeremiah. According to the story, Jeremiah fled from Palestine and travelled via Egypt and Spain to Ireland."
Watching television reruns of the superb self deprecatory comedy "Father Ted" I could almost believe that the Irish were one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.