The Geographer's Library: A Novel

Jon Fasman

Penguin,  February 2006

When a reclusive scholar dies under obscure circumstances, reporter Paul Tomm is assigned to write his obituary. But when the coroner in the case is murdered, Tomm finds himself pursuing a story that began nine hundred years ago with the theft of alchemical instruments from the court geographer of Sicily. As Tomm investigates their present whereabouts, we are introduced to these charmed -- and sometimes cursed -- artifacts and the men and women who coveted them in ages past: a Genoese merchant, a Soviet engineer, an elderly Chinese father. For the objects in The Geographer's Library have powers that go well beyond the transmutation of lead into gold. 

paperback | ISBN: 9780143036623 | Publication Date: February 2006

"A brainy noir . . . [a] winningly cryptic tale . . . a cabinet of wonders written by a novelist whose surname and sensibility fit comfortably on the shelf between Umberto Eco and John Fowles."
--Los Angeles Times

"A real reader's book, magnetic and sharply written, with excellent history, a strong narrative, and a mind of its own."
--Alan Furst

"One of the year's most literate and absorbing entertainments."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Fasman's fast-paced tale is almost all plot . . . These characters are better drawn than those in The Da Vinci Code."