Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff


Though he occasionally entertains thoughts of travel and adventure in the wider world Erdemoglu Selim abd al-Rahim, is perfectly content staying where he is brewing tea and fulfilling his duties as a lieutenant in the Ottoman Empire’s Janissary Corps, duties which are not exciting or even slightly interesting. That is until he comes in contact with Delilah Dirk.

Born to an aristocratic English father and a Greek mother (reputed to be one of the finest artisans in her homeland) Delilah Dirk has traveled the world learning marksmanship in France, survival techniques in the jungles of India, acrobatics in Indonesia, and has spent seven years studying fighting techniques in a Japanese monastery . A high-ranking member of at least three royal courts she is reputed to be able to fly and is the master of forty-seven different sword-fighting techniques which she has used to face down, twenty-nine Sikh swordsmen; thirty-two conquistadors; fifty-one Australian aboriginal warriors; a small pride of lions; and “one very large Mongolian man with a large sword, a small brain, and a bad temper.”

If Lieutenant Selim was looking for adventure he certainly has found it. Or perhaps it has found him, whether he wanted it to or not.