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The Donovan Twist

The Donovan Twist is designed to be a series of related stories, ideally to be published separately. Some will become part of and some will contribute to the full-length novel.

The Twist

Reporter Ned Donovan's life in mid-Victorian London was interesting enough before a series of impossible deaths involve him, and his (he hopes) fiancee, Susan Pickering, in a world of murder, myth, and ancient mayhem. The police are baffled, Donovan's editor wants to kill the story, and the ghost of an ancient priestess demands her ritual dues--in blood.

Our story takes place in London,1855. It is the foul-smelling, gas-lit, deeply foggy city of Charles Dickens and Ebeneezer Scrooge, but not yet of Sherlock Holmes or H.G. Wells. Dracula has yet to be written but Frankenstein was chillingly popular not so long ago.

Across the Thames in suburban Sydenham, assembled on the slopes of Sydenham Hill between two stands of an ancient wood, rises the Crystal Palace, the glass and iron monument to industry and commerce. Part trade exhibition, part theme park, it stands open to all regardless of class for the same thin silver shilling's admittance. 

On a sunny day, they say, the glow of sunshine on the crystalline panels can be seen two counties away in all directions. But what, one ought to ask, awaits the unwary when the lights go out?

The Stories

Just a Picture

  • the enchanted sketchbook

Bound in the Bones
(orig. A Ghost in Gaslight)

  • time slipping, paranormal (paraphysical) 
  • and a love story

The Cat and the Canary

  • Griffin's story
  • A cat curled on a cushion

Peregrine Devine, Ghost Hunter

  • Séance, flim-flam, redemption

The Yezidi Portent (The Assyrian workmen's story)

  • Restore a treasure to its rightful place back home before the hungry ghost

Shadows of Sher-Eterat

  • A spell is woven into the design of a rug.

[The Halliwells’ Story, a post script]

  • The highwayman came riding up to the old inn door.