It seems the Boston Irish mob has a new racket - writing and publishing books. Three convicted Boston gangsters have hit best-seller lists, to go along with a fourth Boston Irish mob book penned by a veteran observer of the beantown criminal scene. All four authors have been involved in verbal slugfests lately. Kevin Weeks has written "Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob," ($25.95 / 304 pages / Regan Books) and recently blasted - verbally - John (Red) Shea, author of "Rat Bastards: The Life and Times of South Boston's Most Honorable Irish Mobster." ($24.95 / 304 pages William Morrow) "He's exaggerating his role," Weeks recently said of Shea in The New York Times. Shea, who spent over a decade in jail on drug charges, responded by blasting Weeks, whose own jail sentence was lightened because he cooperated with authorities. "I don't think a rat deserves any publicity," said Shea. Also published recently is "The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century" ($25.95 / 352 pages / Warner Books) by Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr, exploring Bulger and his brother Billy, a former state senator and University of Massachusetts president. Though not an underworld member, Carr was still drawn into the slugfest. Weeks told 60 Minutes that he planned to shoot Mr. Carr, but did not pull the trigger because the journalist came out of his home with his daughter. Carr, meanwhile, said Weeks "didn't have the stones" to kill him. The final entry in all of this is Patrick Nee's "A Criminal and an Irishman: The Inside Story of the Boston Mob-I.R.A. Connection." ($24.95 / 240 pages / Steerforth) Carr recently had Nee as well as Shea on a radio show he hosts. Understandably, Weeks was not invited.