Diffident Arthur Prescott, the endearing hero of this thoroughly enjoyable novel from bestseller Lovett (The Bookman’s Tale), has chosen to teach at the University of Barchester, a backwater institution, because he grew up in Barchester (yes, Anthony Trollope’s cathedral city, as Lovett admits in an author’s note). A junior lecturer who’s fond of P.G. Wodehouse, Arthur finds his values at odds with those of many of his colleagues, who prefer teaching seminars on J.K. Rowling rather than Shakespeare. His life is upended by the arrival of an attractive American, Bethany Davis, who has the job of digitizing the local cathedral’s ancient manuscripts, and whom he fears threatens his own private quest for the location of the Holy Grail. Bethany gradually brings Arthur out of his emotional shell, and the two become research partners. The light tone (at one point, Arthur, Bethany, and some allies are described as having read enough classic mysteries “that they had no trouble concocting an unnecessarily complicated plan” for a well-intentioned theft) blends well with the clever academic sleuthing. Agent: Anna Worrall, Gernert Co. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2017 Release date: 02/28/2017 Genre: Fiction
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