Unusual Mysteries

Sahlan Diver's novels and stage plays, presenting mystery stories like never before.

Unusual settings. Unusual characters. Unusual plotlines.

“...unlike any other mystery novel I have ever read.”
Readers’ Favorite

“… very different from the countless other crime/thriller books that I have read.”

The mysteries can be read in any order, each set in a different time and place,
the first in the recent past in south west Ireland, the second in the present
on the English canal network, and the third in the near future back in Ireland.

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indie-books-we-love            5-star review

Mike Denning thinks he's secured a perfect job. Step by step the perfect job becomes his worst nightmare.


Twenty-two year old graduate, Mike Denning, takes employment in an experimental town on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. Fascinating location, excellent wages, food and accommodation all paid for, fine seaside summer weather, and a gorgeous young lady boss who happens to be unattached. If only the place weren't so strange. As Mike begins to investigate, he realises he too is being watched. Can he find out what's really going on without putting his life in danger? One thing he does know – he’s stuck on this island with no way of escape.

Shades of the mysterious 1960s British television show, The Prisoner, come to mind.
Neil A White for Readers' Favorite (5-star review)

Gripping from the first to the last page!
Alexandra Williams for LoveReading.co.uk (Indie-Books-We-Love)

A breath of fresh air in the mystery genre ... unlike any other mystery novel I have ever read … kept me on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out what was going to happen next.
Sefina Hawke for Readers’ Favorite (5-star review)

...the ending is absolutely unexpected. The Secret Resort Of Nostalgia is a perfectly conceived entry in the mystery genre...
Jennifer Jackson for Indies Today (5-star review)

The reader feels suspended on a thread, hanging between dream and waking, absorbed by the creepiness of the story... I enjoyed the compelling cast of characters, the well-imagined and masterfully constructed plot, and the awesome handling of conflict. This book is a great read.
Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite (5-star review)


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Indies Today Award Winner    Book Sales

5-star review            indie-books-we-love              Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Journalist, David Buckley, walks into a murder scene. Only one problem — the murderer doesn't exist, so now Buckley's the chief suspect, and he's on the run. Can he prove his innocence – and his sanity?


David Buckley’s obsession with fellow student, Alison Tindell, led to hospitalisation for mental illness. Thirty years on, Buckley, now a successful journalist, receives a phone call from Alison, inviting him to visit. That same evening a murder occurs; Buckley is accused, and Alison, his only alibi, vanishes. The police don’t believe she ever existed. Buckley escapes, travelling the country in a desperate search to find her before the law catches up. But someone intends to find Buckley first, a person he fears more than anyone.

Had me hooked from the very first chapter on and it just kept giving ... A wonderful read! You know you are onto something fantastic when you feel sad upon reaching the last page!
Alexandra Williams for LoveReading.co.uk (Indie-Books-We-Love)

Diver deftly weaves past and present in this work, making this psychological tour de force more akin to a deeply felt experience than merely reading a novel...most highly recommended.
Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite (5 star review)

The writing is ridiculously compelling. Short chapters each with critical plot points advance the story at a harrowing pace. ... The story is smart and well thought out with each clue or new bit of evidence more clever than the last.
Jennifer Jackson for Indies Today (5-star review)

Immediately captivating and consistently engrossing, with plot twists in every chapter that kept me on the edge of my seat, always guessing, judging, and flipping pages.
Thomas Anderson at Literary Titan (4 star review)

The plot is constantly moving forward with many surprising actions and revelations from the characters, which provided great twists and excitement to the story...The ending was brilliant and one I definitely did not see coming.
Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite (5 star review)



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Indies Today Awards Finalist    Book Sales

Literary Titan Gold Book Award            indie-books-we-love

Charlie Gibbs’ new job comes with these perks: mountain scenery, sunshine, and sex with an older woman. And murder.


In the year 2050, twenty-something IT worker, Charlie Gibbs, has a problem – several problems, in fact. His boss has just been killed in mysterious circumstances. Replacement boss, fifty-year-old Dutch cougar, Ilse Teuling, is writing a sex manual and wants Charlie to help with “the practical work”. Populists have declared a coup; people are seeing visions; the clock is counting down to environmental disaster, and a murderer is on the loose, providing Charlie with the biggest problem of the lot – he’s the intended next victim and he doesn’t know why.

Can Charlie simultaneously solve crime, survive political chaos, save the environment, expose a hoaxer and foil a murderer, not forgetting to service the needs of Ilse? Can he keep all his balls juggling and still come out alive?

. . . unexpectedly delightful . . . filled with interesting characters, beautiful settings, and lots of steamy bedroom scenes. The prose is playful, easy to follow, and even verges on the poetic . . .the settings of the book are spectacular, and the worldbuilding is quaint . . . a compelling near-future that thoughtfully integrates climate change. This will likely be the first murder mystery/climate thriller/love story/erotic romance novel that many readers will have encountered.
Quarter Finals reviewer report for the 2022 BookLife Prize.

What begins as an untimely death in a small town evolves into an impassioned political movement, a greedy murder plot, and some cross-country sexcapades that will make even the most libertine blush ... But make no mistake, the plot is juicy and the tension is palpable.
Jennifer Jackson, Indies Today 5-star review.

The story flowed well, with humour and comic characters throughout to give a light-hearted feel despite a murder mystery … an entertaining, satirical story, with mystery, intrigue and plenty of steam.
LoveReading (Indie Books We Love)

Do you like sex? The future? Political shenanigans? Murder? Mayhem? Then you will enjoy Sixty Positions with Pleasure.
Tess Quinn, Reedsy Discovery reviews

The writing is light yet informative, sometimes even humorous, making the book easy to read. Ultimately, considering its level of complexity, it was executed beautifully ... a provocative and thrilling novel that will leave you with plenty to ponder.
Literary Titan (5-star review)

It’s a fun read, which rattles along at great speed with an enormous cast of characters, most of whom are not what we think they are ... it will take a long time to forget Charlie and Ilse and their interesting antics … Very enjoyable.
Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite

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The Chapel In The Middle Of Nowhere
(Mystery Thriller, 3M / 4F, 3 acts, 1hr 45mins)

Members of a fading and obscure minor cult hold a party in an isolated location. None of them are prepared for the disruption that will be caused by three uninvited guests, one of whom may be hiding a dark secret.

Don't Be A Fool, Dorothy!
(One Act Comedy, 3M / 4F, 1 act, 30mins)

Companion play to follow The Chapel In The Middle Of Nowhere. Two interval bar openings on the same night can't be bad for business! Exact same number, gender and age mix of cast for each play. Same set, with some simple modifications. A special feature is that the actors hectically double or triple roles - it’s part of the joke.

There’s No ‘i’ In ‘Ducks’
(Comedy, 1M / 1F, A 10minute play)

Ninety–one annoying business clichés turned into the script of a parody crime drama.

The Arrangement
(Drama, 2M / 3F or 3M / 2F, 2 acts, 2hr)

A married woman in her mid-fifties and a married man, twenty years her junior, meet for sex in an hotel. Their idyllic tryst is threatened first by a sleazy tabloid journalist, then by a sinister religious fanatic.

About the author and Unusual Mysteries