East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Occult investigators

I am sure I wrote in the past about how much I would have liked to write a series about a paranormal detective or an occult investigator. The sub-genre has a long and well-established tradition, and there’s a few excellent books out there, and quite a few series worth checking out.

Of all the collections out there, one of my favorite is probably Mark Valentine’s The Black Veil & Other Tales of Supernatural Sleuths, that Wordsworth Classics published in their line Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural. The stories in the volume are old – most of them are Victorian or Edwardian – and from lesser-known authors, but that’s part of the fun. A quick check on Amazon reveals that the book is no longer in print, and a copy can be had for 268,99 euro, plus postage. And to think my copy is here on a chair, under a tin of cookies…

But as luck would have it, in the end I did write not one, not two, but three (hopefully) series about supernatural detection.

Continue reading


The Occult Detectives are back

I am passing this along because it’s great news – the new issue of Occult Detective Magazine (formerly Occult Detective Quarterly) is currently available in print on Amazon. An ebook edition is forthcoming.
This is a big fat mag filled with supernatural thrills, and it’s just what the doctor ordered to have some fun for the end of the year.

And no, there is no work of mine on this one – but hopefully I’ll be able to sell some more stories to this fine magazine in 2020.


Good news on a September day

Two bits of news about today.
Three actually. Good news, and that’s good.

The first: as of today, September 2018 is the most successful month for this blog, ever. Lots of visits, lots of comments and shares.
Thank you to all comers, to the old timers and the new readers. Thank you, and welcome.
Karavansara has been slowly but steadily growing these last six years,and I will try and improve the offer of this blog, because… because I like blogging, and I want to do more for more readers.

And talking about readers… Continue reading


Occult Detective Quarterly #4

I am proud to announce that my story Black Frog and Black Scarab is included, side by side with many excellent horror detection stories, in the fourth issue of Occult Detective Quarterly, the finest occult detective magazine out there.


In Black Frog and Black Scarab we’ll meet again centurion Nennius Britannicus and his contubernium, last seen fighting a giant stuffed crocodile in The Hand of Isfet.
It was high time the guys got their own series – and I hope this is the first of many stories.



A new song for old faces

Talk about never throwing away anything.

It was August 2014, my life was pretty different, I was about to publish a new collection of Aculeo & Amunet stories and I mused about doing a spin-off of the series, focusing on the character of Centurion Nennius Britannicus and his contubernium.

connollyFor the uninitiated, the contubernium is the smallest unit of the Roman army – a band of eight men, led by a decanus, with two auxiliaries, and maybe a mule. The guys, called contubernales,  lived together and fought side by side. It was a very tightly knit sort of military unit, and probably one of the (many) reasons why the Roman Legions were so awesome in the field.
So back in the summer of 2014 I decided I’d do a spin-off series, and call it Contubernium. I said I would be…

Something like Hill Street Blues, but set in Alexandria, in the Third Century.
A city filled with zealots, fanatics, weirdos and loose women.
With Lovecraftian creatures.
It would be fun.

But then the project went nowhere.
I had my Scrivener file with all its odds and ends and stuff, but quite clearly there was not a good story in there. So I filed the lot away.
Fast forward 30 months. Continue reading