Caimh McDonnell’s series of comic Irish mysteries, most featuring big, drunken detective Bunny McGarry, has been one of the delights of my recent reading life. Bloody Christmas, which fits into the series, is a special edition novella, available only until Christmas. Its sales support an Irish charity for the homeless.
Bloody Christmas is set way back near the start, just after the end of A Man With One of Those Faces. Bunny has been undergoing psychological evaluation after throwing a senior officer off a building, something he finds annoying and unreasonable. But now he’s managed to get his sanity officially verified, and is celebrating in his favorite pub, when a man tries to assassinate him in the men’s room.
Instead of beating the man bloody, however, Bunny listens to his tale of woe. The man (who’s there with his pregnant wife, named Mary [very subtle]), is the victim of criminals who’ve kidnapped their son. Well, it’s Christmas, a time for good works. Bunny has a few ideas on how to find the boy, and he puts a plan into motion.
It’s all completely implausible, and completely hilarious. Bunny is at his profane, selectively brutal best, and I laughed out loud more than once as he cuts a swathe through the underworld he understands so well. I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to tell you that it all turns out more perfectly than anything has a right to in this naughty world.
Highly recommended, with cautions for adult themes and profanity.