Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor — ktieb ġdid fis-sensiela Irvin Vella, Investigatur Virtwali 

Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor

Jew kif Irvin Vella ltaqa’ ma’ Guybrush Threepwood u Long John Silver

Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor

Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor (April, 2018) huwa t-3 ktieb fis-sensiela tal-Investigatur Virtwali. Il-ktieb huwa pubblikazzjoni ta’ Merlin Publishers u għal darb’oħra għandu illustrazzjonijiet ta’ Lisa Falzon.

Min hu dan Irvin Vella u x’jiġri f’dan l-aktar każ riċenti tiegħu?

Irvin Vella huwa żagħżugħ ta’ dsatax-il sena li joħlom li xi darba jsir investigatur privat. Il-każijiet strambi u ġrajjiet mhux tas-soltu jikolhom bil-ħobż. Hu nnifsu ma jaqax fin-norma ta’ żgħażagħ tamparu. Mhuwiex moħħu fis-social media, fil-ħruġ u t-tbaħrit, u lanqas jimpurtah wisq mill-isports jew minn attivitá fiżika. Iżda imbagħad fejn jidħlu investigazzjonijiet ma tiċċajtalux. Jagħmel l-almu tiegħu biex isolvi kull każ li jiġi quddiemu, jiġri wara kull ħjiel bla heda sakemm jasal biex isib tarf tal-kobba mħabbla. U jgħinuh f’kull każ li jsolvi, ibqa’ ċert li se ssib lil kuġinietu, it-tewmin Luca and Laura.

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F’dan it-tielet każ, Irvin jintalab jinvestiga ċ-ċirkustanzi misterjużi li wasslu għall-mewt ta’ avukat Malti. Dan l-avukat, għażeb minn Ħal Balzan, imut lejlet l-ewwel tas-sena, f’inċident fatali waqt btala f’Għawdex. Oħt il-vittma tagħmel kuntatt m’Irvin u titolbu jitkixxef dwar l-aħħar ftit sigħat qabel miet ħuha sabiex tkun tista’ sserraħ moħħha li fl-inċident ta’ ħuha ma kien hemm xejn barra minn postu. Irvin jidħol għal dan il-każ b’ruħu u ġismu, u malajr jiskopri xi ħaġa tal-għaġeb dwar il-vittma u dwar ir-raġuni għaliex mar iqatta’ tmiem is-sena fil-gżira Għawdxija.

Għal min hu dan il-ktieb?

Bħaż-żewġ kotba ta’ qablu fis-sensiela tal-Investigatur Virtwali (Il-Każ Manduca, 2013 u Il-Każ tas-Serqiet Strambi, 2015), Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor  huwa ktieb immirat għal tfal minn 10 snin ‘il fuq. Iżda kemm-il darba waqqfuni nies kbar u qaluli kemm ħadu gost jaqraw dawn il-kotba investigattivi li huma mexxeja u miktubin b’mod sempliċi.

Minn fejn ġie Irvin Vella … u kif nibtet it-3 storja

Għalkemm ħafna drabi l-karattri fl-istejjer tiegħi ikunu ispirati minn nies li naf, kultant karattru jitwieled minn nies fittizji li ‘niltaqa’ magħhom fil-kotba li naqra jew f’xi film li nara. Hekk ġrali b’Irvin Vella. L-investigatur mibrum mhuwiex ispirat minn persuna waħda, iżda minn għadd ta’ karattri li ltqajt magħhom. Għandu ftit minn Columbo ta’ Peter Falk,  tikka minn Frederick ‘Fatty’ Trotteville, protagonist fl-istejjer tal-Five Find-outers ta’ Enid Blyton, kif ukoll ftit minn investigaturi oħrajn fid-dinja tal-letteratura. L-imħabba li għandu għall-żaqqu iżda, dik kollha kemm hi tiegħu.

Iż-żerriegħa li wasslitni nikteb Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor inżergħet fi tfuliti. L-influwenzi ewlenin ġew minn ġiex t’ibnadi: ktieb favorit ta’ tfuliti u logħba tal-kompjuter tad-disgħinijiet.

Il-ktieb tal-1883 ta’ Robert Louis Stevenson, Il-Gżira tat-Teżor, jibqa’ wieħed mill-kotba favoriti tiegħi. Ommi u missieri kienu xtrawli edizzjoni bil-Malti meta kelli madwar seba’ snin. Minn dakinhar qrajt l-istorja għadd ta’ drabi, anki f’edizzjonijiet differenti. Ftit ilu, qrajt l-istess ktieb lit-tfal tiegħi u stagħġibt kif din l-istorja tibqa’ taffaxxina lit-tfal ta’ kull ġenerazzjoni. Naħseb li dik kienet l-ewwel żerriegħa biex nikteb storja b’tema ta’ kaċċa għat-teżor.

Aktar tard, meta bdejt nesplora l-idea li kelli, stajt indaħħal tifkiriet tas-sigħat twal li qattajt spalla ma’ spalla ma’ ħija, nilgħabu The Secret of Monkey Island. Kien fl-1990 u din il-video game kienet ġennet lil kulħadd. Fil-logħba, inti ssir Guybrush Threepwood, żagħżugħ li jixtieq isir furban. Il-logħba tieħdok minn post għall-ieħor u trid issolvi ħafna taħbiliet biex timxi ‘l quddiem.

Jekk tixtieq tixtri l-ktieb

Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor  jinsab għall-bejgħ mill-ħwienet tal-kotba kollha f’Malta u Għawdex.

Tista’ ssibu wkoll online minn dawn is-siti:

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Każ ġdid fjamant għall-Investigatur Virtwali–Irvin Vella #03

Każ ġdid għal Irvin Vella

 

Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor (Irvin Vella, Investigatur Virtwali #03)

Pubblikazzjoni, Merlin Publishers, 2018

Każ ġdid għal Irvin Vella

Is-sensiela tal-Investigatur Virtwali bdiet b’Il-Każ Manduca, fejn Irvin Vella jinvestiga d-dehriet ta’ ħares ġewwa villa fir-Rabat. Fit-tieni ktieb tas-serje, Il-Każ tas-Serqiet Strambi, grupp ta’ ħallelin jidħlu f’għadd ta’ ħwienet u ma jisirqu xejn. Fit-tielet każ tal-Investigatur Virtwali, din id-darba se mmorru Għawdex fil-bard u l-ksieħ ta’ Jannar għal investigazzjoni daqsxejn differenti.

Lejlet l-ewwel tas-sena, Kevin Piscopo, avukat Malti, tilef ħajtu f’inċident fatali. Oħtu, li għandha xi dubji dwar x’seta’ wassal għall-inċident ta’ ħuha, tqabbad lil Irvin jitkixxef x’kien qed jagħmel Kevin fl-aħħar sigħat qabel miet. Dak li jirnexxilhom jiskopru Irvin, Luca u Laura jgħaġġeb mhux biss lilhom, iżda lill-pajjiż sħiħ…

Illustrazzjonijiet ta’ Lisa Falzon

Għal darb’oħra, il-qoxra u l-illustrazzjonijiet ta’ ġewwa tal-ktieb huma xogħol Lisa Falzon. Bl-istess stil li wżat għall-kotba ta’ qabel, Lisa tat ħajja lil xeni importanti fl-istorja, b’illustrazzjonijiet mżewqin b’dik id-daqsxejn inkejja kif taf tagħmel hi.

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Għan-naħa ta’ quddiem tal-qoxra, din id-darba Lisa użat l-ilwien tal-għabex li xerqu tassew mal-atmosfera tal-istorja. Għal fuq wara, għażlet l-isfond ta’ qiegħ il-baħar li jgħin biex jinħoloq il-kuntrast li hemm bżonn biex jinqara l-kliem tal-blurb. Fuq ġewwa tal-ktieb hemm għaxar illustrazzjonijiet ġodda fuq l-istess stil ta’ qabel, b’daqqiet donnhom tal-lapes li joħolqu moviment u effetti sbieħ.

Għall-bejgħ mill-ħwienet tal-kotba u online

Irvin Vella 3 - Il-Każ tal-Gżejjer tat-Teżor

Il-ktieb jinsab għall-bejgħ mill-ħwienet tal-kotba lokali, kif ukoll online, mis-sit ta’ Merlin Publishers jew mill-ħanut virtwali tiegħi.

A children’s detective story unravelling in the heart of the Mediterranean

There’s this old Baroque villa in a small town called Rabat. It has haunted me almost every day since my childhood–and not just me, but countless others.

Perhaps it’s the way it stands within the heart of the town, yet detached from time and everday life. Perhaps because it’s been neglected for so long that everything around it has moved on, while this old mansion stayed rooted in a past that is no more.

The mansion I’m writing about is called Villa Luginsland, once the residence of the German consul Baron Max Von Tucker. He served in Malta in the early 20th century and during that time Von Tucker commissioned the architect Francesco Zammit to build the amazing villa.

For years, I had been thinking about writing a story based within the confines of this fascinating yet peculiar setting. I was pregnant with ideas about a young detective, about a mystery for children, possibly involving ghosts. What better place to give birth to this budding adventure?

In the story, I renamed the mansion to Villa Manduca, property of two old Baronesses, the Manduca sisters Rita and Domenica. Their house was built by their late Grandfather Richard. They have a small entourage of workers who help maintain the place, a gardener, a housekeeper, a maid and a handyman. I restored the delapitaed mansion for the purpose of my novel, keeping its original location and features.

Within the story, the mansion takes up a life of its own, becoming one of the main protagonists of the novel. Irvin Vella, the young wannabe sleuth and his twin 11-year old cousins Luca and Laura, explore every nook and cranny in Villa Manduca, slowly uncovering its deepest, most hidden secrets.

The magic of Villa Manduca seeped through the pages and somehow put a spell even on the illustrators. In the Maltese edition, published as ‘Il-Każ Manduca’ by Merlin Publishers in 2015, the brilliant Lisa Falzon created a most amazing cover with the villa’s exterior as backdrop.

IrvinVella Illustration Only 150dpi
The illustration for the English edition of the book by artist José Domingo

For the English edition, which is currently available in eBook format, talented award-winning Spanish artist José Domingo took inspiration from my descriptions of the basement of the mansion and painted a gorgeous front cover for Irvin Vella’s first case. The exterior of the villa still appears on the back cover of the print-on-demand format that will be released soon on Amazon.

New cover art for The Manduca Case

The brand new cover for The Manduca Case is a truly amazing work of art by Spanish artist and friend José Domingo.

The cover marks a new life for the Virtual Investigator as for the first time in my writing career I venture into the world of eBook publishing. Actually, there are a lot of firsts for me here. First eBook, first English novel to see the light of day, first publication on Amazon, first collaboration with a foreign artist…

José was born in Galicia, Spain. He has authored and illustrated several comic books and won many important awards. Nowadays he works in Malta, where he continues to create amazing illustrations. His latest publication is No me hables de política, a collaborative work for children that explain a bit how politics work.

The collaboration with José has been truly excellent. Being so close to the action, seeing his sketches as he did the character studies and experimented with different perspective was truly fascinating.

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I made the decision to ask him to create a new cover for various reasons. There was nothing wrong with Lisa Falzon’s artwork for the Maltese edition of the book which was a massive hit in Malta–in fact I loved it and still do. But I wanted to be totally free to experiment and not tied down with royalties. So I decided to commission the work to José. I also wanted to give the book a more international feel, since my intention is to continue experimenting . . . the next project will be a Spanish version of The Manduca Case.

So who better than my award-winning friend José Domingo to come up with the cover that will launch Irvin Vella into a multi-lingo future?


The Manduca Case is a translation of ‘Il-Każ Manduca’, a detective novel set in Malta. It was awarded the National Book Award in 2015. I translated it into English and the novel is currently available in eBook format from the Amazon Kindle stores.