John A. Bonello

I write, therefore I am

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The Manduca Case

The Manduca Case

Aspiring private investigator Irvin Vella tries to figure out what's really happening inside Villa Manduca. Is the mansion really haunted or is it just a clever ploy to get the old ladies to move out?

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Irvin Vella

Virtual Investigator


Illustration by Lisa Falzon

The Baronesses Domenica & Rita Manduca

All illustrations and cover artwork for the Irvin Vella series published by Merlin Publishers were done by Lisa Falzon.

Illustrations for the English version of the series will be done by Spanish artist José Domingo

Il-Każ Manduca

The Manduca Case (Irvin Vella, #01)

The Manduca Case

Strange things are happening inside Villa Manduca. But is the mansion really haunted or is it just a clever ploy to get the old owners to move out? Let aspiring detective Irvin Vella figure it out with the help of his twin cousins, Luca and Laura.

Publisher: Merlin 2015

Price: €7.50

Il-Każ tas-Serqiet Strambi

The Case of the Strange Thefts(Irvin Vella, #02)

The Case of the Strange Thefts

Christmas time. The news are dominated by reports about a number of break-ins in different locations, from where nothing was stolen. An irresistible puzzle for Irvin Vella and his young assistants.

Publisher: Merlin 2016

Price: €7.50

Unus Mundus

The Books of the Seraph, a duology

Fil-Mergħat tal-Impossibbli

Fil-Mergħat tal-Impossibbli

The Pastures of Impossibility (Unus Mundus #01)

Steve Ebejer, the Seraph, has a gift. He can travel between dimensions. But he's lost, and he's afraid that he won't be able to go back to his previous life.

Publisher: Merlin 2013

Price: €13

Jien, Wieħed Minnhom

Jien, Wieħed Minnhom

I, One of Them (Unus Mundus #02)

Steve Ebejer's journeys continue. This time, he's intent on discovering a truth that will shatter his beliefs and remake him into a new being.

Publisher: Merlin 2015

Price: €12

Il-Logħba tal-Allat

The Game of the Gods, a trilogy

I - It-Tielet Qamar

It-Tielet Qamar

First Quarter, book I of The Game of the Gods

A world like our. But different. A people with an uncommon tale. That which was hidden, now begins to be revealed. Thus starts the journey of Sean, Mark and Rick…

Publisher: Merlin 2008

Price: €12

II - L-Aħħar Ħolma

L-Aħħar Ħolma

The Wise Man's Dream, book II of The Game of the Gods

The story of the Moon and the Angel, Saviour and Mikael. Sixty years before the events that took place in The First Quarter…

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Publisher: Merlin 2010

Price: €12

III - Is-Sitt Aħwa

Is-Sitt Aħwa

The Six, book III of The Game of the Gods

Under the rule of Baàl, King of Darkness and god of time, the Children of the Night are gathering on all the worlds to answer their master's call. The eclipse that will change history forever is drawing near.

Publisher: Merlin 2012

Price: €12

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My story
Ritratt meħud minn Kenneth Borg

Thank you for visiting this space. If you're here, most probably you love books. And books are also my passion. I write the stories I like to hear and read.

Fantasy is the genre I'm most passionate about, but I like to experiment and explore other literary styles as well.


The following are some of the awards I won:

  • The first book I ever published was It-Tielet Qamar (First Quarter), in 2008, and in that same year I was given the Ġieħ Ħad-Dingli award for my contribution to literature.
  • My second book, L-Aħħar Ħolma (The Wise Man's Dream), won the Prose for Young Adults category in the National Book Awards of 2010.
  • With my third book, Is-Sitt Aħwa (The Six), I won again the Prose for Young Adults category in the National Book Awards of 2012.
  • Fil-Mergħat tal-Impossibbli (In the Pastures of Impossiblity), was one of the four finalists in the Novels for Adults category in the National Book Awards of 2014.
  • My first book for children, Il-Każ Manduca (The Manduca Case, Virtual Investigator #01), (In the Pastures of Impossiblity), won the Books for Children 8 - 12 category in the National Book Awards of 2015.

Short stories

Apart from my novels, I have also written a number of short stories which have been included in various publications. These include:

  • The Transmissions - an online serial story published in 100 word episodes on Set in a distant future, the story is told in the voice of a man everyone calls ‘Left’. Here's a review by Ramona Depares #thetransmissions
  • Is-Saħħara t'Għajn Tuffieħa (The Witch of Għajn Tuffieħa)- a story published in the book Djamantini (Little Diamonds), a project created by the Maltese Department within Santa Klara College in aid of the children with the Rainbow Ward in Mater Dei Hospital.
  • Il-Ħabs tal-Mirja (The Prison of Mirrors) - a story about magic, deceit and love, published in issue 35 of Leħen il-Malti (The Maltese Voice)
  • Bint l-Irjieħ (Daughter of the Winds)- a story that appeared in issue 34 storja li dehret fil-ħarġa nru 34 tof Leħen il-Malti (The Maltese Voice)
  • It-Tifla li Qalbet il-Muntanja Rasha 'l Isfel (The Girl Who Turned the Mountain Upside Down) - a story for children 7 to 10, selected by MeStories, a student organisation forming part of Young Enterprise. The aim of the project was to publish a number of short stories in electronic and audio format in the form of an app for the iOS platform. This can be found here:
  • Karozza bħal tagħha (A Car Like Hers) - first published in Maltese in issue 33 of Leħen il-Malti (The Maltese Voice), later translated into English as part of the Meditterenean Festival of Literature.
  • Vjaġġ ta' Darba (One Way Trip)- a sci-fi short story published in 3.MT, a school book for junior students.
  • Sinna (Tooth) (14 June 2014) and Buffura Kliem (A Gust of Words) (11 October 2014) - 2 short stories publised on the Facebook page Għidli Mitejn (Tell me 200). The eBook is available for free download from this link:
  • QUA - one of 10 stories in the book Awguri Giovanni Bonello published Merlin Publishers in 2017. This is a fantasy tale about two historical figures that left their mark in Maltese history, Mattew 'The Wizard' Falzon and the French Bishop Nicolas Bonet.