(urth) Help needed in identifying an author and his books

Pedro Pereira domus_artemis at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 22 13:03:20 PDT 2008

In a totally unrelated way to Wolfe I would like to ask for some help from the good people of this list.
I remember reading, a long time ago, about a series of books about which I don't remember the names or the author. I know that the editions in print at the moment at Amazon.com have ilustrations of playing cards in the cover and if I remember correctly they have a grayish background. These novels are somewhat similar to Pynchon's stories. I don't remember details very well, so I may be wrong about what I'm going to say, but if I remember correctly some of them are part of a series and contain some of the following elements:
- a series of characters are playing a card game of which the outcome (if I remember correctly) will have great repercussions in the world
- one of those characters is immortal (wandering jew?)
- the card play is taking place somewhere in Jerusalem (or at least part of the book is)
- lots of historical curiosities, conspiracies, "pynchonesc" stuff, etc
- they are part of a series of books, me thinks
If I remember correctly, the author also has at least one book (I don't know if its part of the same series) that has a circus in it (chinese?), and ends with a bizarre, graphical description of the lions getting loose and a lot of spectators dying. 
Can someaone help me? Thanks in advance!
Explore the seven wonders of the world
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