Gerhard Behrens' Website
Gerhard Behrens' Website

Prof. Rietberg's Middle-East Crime Cases

Dina, an Egyptian lady working as the head of the Islamic art department in a well-known auction house in London, falls from the window of her flat in Chelsea. This is not the first time an Egyptian is pushed out of a window in London. The circumstances of her death remind police and tabloids of the so-called Egyptian balcony phantom as the unknown killer has been called. None of the previous cases was ever solved, but rumours and conspiracy theories persisted that a secret service was involved..

As Dina's death seemed to be one more unsolvable balcony murder, Scotland Yard were not inclined to pursue the matter much further..

An odd trio, composed of her ex-husband Alistair, her long-time admirer and friend Professor Rietberg and her last lover, the enigmatic Egyptian lawyer Ahmed, did not want to let her death unavenged.They set out to retrace Dina's steps during her last visit to Cairo. Together they managed finally to discover the motive for the crime and to have the murderer arrested.  



The Bible has made history, changed societies, created art and also caused murders - quite a lot of murders in fact. The latest one is the killing of Professor Karl Fehr of the University of London. He provided what he thought was the long missing archaeological proof for a daring theory published by Professor Kamal Salibi, a real (not fictional) Lebanese historian [see his book “The Bible came from Arabia”, 1985). Based on thorough linguistic and geographical studies he, and later also Fehr, became convinced that all locations and events mentioned in the Old Testament are connected to Asir, a southern province of today’s Saudi Arabia, and not to the region of modern Palestine/Israel. Of course hardly anyone is willing to see any truth in that theory. It is not conform with the age-old and commonly accepted interpretation of the Old Testament, and is therefore shocking. No wonder that Salibi in his lifetime and now Fehr with his archaeological proof faced a whole phalanx of enemies, among them Fehr’s murderer.- 
Of course, Professor Rietberg, Fehr's colleague, managed finally to solve this poiitically sensitive case as well.




A rare eleventh-century astrolabe from Toledo - an astronomical instrument - fetches a record price of 2.8 million Pounds Sterling in a London auction. A few days later, Dr Martin McKenna, an eccentric British expert of Islamic art and science, is murdered in his modest London flat. Only his former teacher, Professor Rietberg, is aware of a connection between McKenna and the astrolabe - in fact he was not only the owner of the alleged medieval instrument, but also its maker. Together with his Iranian friend, Daryoush, he had been in the forgery business for years, producing medieval Islamic artifacts to near-perfection in Isfahan. This astrolabe, their latest and ultimate forgery, was not only made for money, however. McKenna wanted to leave their imprint on historical research, even research based on a fake! Unaware of McKenna's complex motives and his shady business, the police limit their investigation to angry neighbours and male prostitutes. Professor Rietberg, who is proud of his detective talents already proven before, suspects the murderer to be among McKenna's forgery victims. He embarks on a long but ultimately rewarding journey to find the killer, which takes him through the London art market, to Iran and the Arab Gulf States.
In late 1982 a woman was found murdered in a ditch near a village in LowerEgypt. She was not the usual victim of some family feud or a crime of honour,but a well-known personality, and the subject of parliamentary debates and vitriolic attacks in the media. A formidable, if slightly arrogant, Turkish lawyer,she had been pursuing a ruthless campaign to acquire vast stretches of agricultural and urban land that had been turned into Islamic trusts centuries earlier by the Ottoman ruling class and were later dissolved by President Nasser.Thousands of Egyptians with genuine or alleged Turkish ancestors were lured into a scheme to get rich by cannibalising the age-old family trusts. Yet there were others with different motives - they wanted to get rid of a troublesome foreigner, who in their view was abusing the law and had become a danger to society.The fictitious plot unfolds against the real social and legal background of Egypt in the 1980s with the property campaign at its peak.This is a historical novel that will appeal to those who love a good detective story as well as to anyone interested in the Middle East, its history and its present.

Soest Krimi

Soest war Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts die einzige Stadt in Preußen, die noch alte vom früheren Landesherrn, dem Herzog von Kleve, übertragene Selbstverwaltungs-Rechte hatte, was dem König in Berlin überhaupt nicht passte. Deshalb beauftragte er den westfälischen Premierleutnant Christoph von Benkendorff aus Sassendorf bei Soest mit einer geheimen Mission, um Soest endlich ganz in seine Herrschaft einzugliedern. Seine Tätigkeit im Dienste des Königs vor dem und während des Siebenjährigen Krieges hat der fiktive von Benkendorff im fortgeschrittenen Alter als Oberst a.D. in einem Buch mit dem Titel „Die Beschreibung des Lebens eines preußischen Offiziers, genannt Christoph von Benkendorff“ aufgezeichnet. Dieser Bericht wird hier n modernisierter Sprache vorgestellt. Es ist eine Kriminalgeschichte mit Christoph von Benkendorff als Detektiv, der gleich zwei Morde in der verschlafenen Kleinstadt aufzudecken hatte. Und es ist der Bericht eines arroganten, manchmal rücksichtslosen, aber auch fairen und aufgeklärten Adligen, der mit seinem glühenden preußischen Patriotismus gut in sein Zeitalter passte – wenn auch mit Sicherheit weniger nach Soest. Fans spannender Lektüre mit Interesse für Geschichte wrd dieser Krimi sicher gefallen.




Calendar Conversion (Christian Gregorian and Julian,  Islamic Lunar and modern Solar (Iran), Jalali/Malikshah and Yezdegerd (Iran), Jewish, Coptic, Mali/Financial (Ottoman Turkey), Armenian and French Revolutionary calendars, Easter (Western) Church.

A MS-DOS programme that can be used in Windows by installing a DosBox


Database of cities/towns in the Islamic World with their ruling dynasties

(under construction)





"I do not always agree with myself."

Paul Valéry

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© Gerhard Behrens