A couple of years back when I was writing for BSC Review I was a part of a review project where each reviewer read and wrote on one story in a collection/anthology. It was a great way to cover a collection and a lot of fun to be a part of. Recently Akashic Books has started a similar project for Joe Meno’s short story collection Demons in the Spring with the reviews of the individual stories spread out over multiple sites.
Today, Spinetingler will be doing something similar with the anthology Requiems for the Departed that was edited by Gerard Brennan and Mike Stone. Requiems for the Departed is an anthology of Irish writers writing supernaturally tinged crime stories. We asked some friends of ours, including reviewers and writers, to take on a single story from the collection. All day today, every hour, we will be posting a new review of one of the stories from Requiems.
After the jump check out the synopsis, the table of contents and an exclusive introduction by one of the editor’s Gerard Brennan.
Irish Crime. Irish Myths.
Requiems for the Departed contains seventeen short stories, inspired by Irish mythology, from some of the finest contemporary writers in the business.
Watch the children of Conchobar return to their mischievous ways, meet ancient Celtic royalty, and follow druids and banshees as they are set loose in the new Irish underbelly, murder and mayhem on their minds.
It’s stacked and packed with some great writers, including Spinetingler favorites like Ken Bruen, Stuart Neville and Adrian McKinty.
Queen of the Hill – Stuart Neville
Hound of Culann – Tony Black
Hats off to Mary – Garry Kilworth
Sliabh Ban – Arlene Hunt
Red Hand of Ulster – Sam Millar
She Wails Through the Fair – Ken Bruen
A Price to Pay – Maxim Jakubowski
Red Milk – T. A. Moore
Bog Man – John McAllister
The Sea is Not Full – Una McCormack
The Druid’s Dance – Tony Bailie
Children of Gear – Neville Thompson
Diarmid and Grainne – Adrian McKinty
The Fortunate Isles – Dave Hutchinson
First to Score – Garbhan Downey
Fisherman’s Blues – Brian McGilloway
The Life Business – John Grant
I asked Requiems for the Departed editor Gerard Brennan to tell us a little about the anthology and how it came about. Here’s what he had to say.
If I could compare my blog, Crime Scene NI, to a mistress, then Requiems for the Departed is the bastard love-child from our unholy union. But he/she is a bastard that I’m proud of. To me, Requiems for the Departed, a collection of crime fiction inspired by Irish Mythology, is the culmination of all the effort I put into tracking down and interviewing the creme of the Irish crime fiction crop. It is a hat-tip to every book I’ve reviewed on CSNI. It is a tangible memento of the hours I invested in the site.
The idea first came about when I was approached by Mark Deniz of Morrigan Books. He wanted to put together a crime anthology and he knew me through some short stories I’d submitted to various anthologies he’d edited and/or published. He didn’t accept all of the stuff I sent him, but he liked enough of my writing to take an interest. And he knew I was passionate about Irish crime fiction. He also knew I was good friends with Mike Stone, my co-editor on the anthology, and before that, my long-time first reader and writing mentor. And anybody who’s dealt with Mike knows what a pro and a gent he is, so that didn’t hurt my rep at Morrigan either. So, of course, I had to ask him on board.
Though excited by the idea of co-editing an anthology, our initial concern was how to set this collection apart from Ken Bruen’s recent (and excellent) Dublin Noir. Setting the stories in Belfast wouldn’t do because we’d had heard rumours that Colin Bateman was working on a similar idea tentatively titled Belfast Nights. What to do?
We knew that most of the collection’s to come out from the Morrigan Books house were of a dark and speculative nature so we considered pitching a collection of crime stories with supernatural elements, but it seemed too broad and unruly. Then we realised that Morrigan was the name of a great and powerful figure in Irish mythology, most of the writers we talked about approaching with our begging caps in hand were indeed Irish crime writers, we wanted the stories to have an Irish theme… the rest is synergy.