Volume three of Professor Simon Putnam's four-part biography of Igor Vasilikov, a major literary figure who died a mysterious death, is heading merrily down the path of pedantry—until Moreland University's reopening of the Vasilikov archives turns up the legendary lost Vasilikov manuscript. Now everyone wants a piece of Vasilikov, including Putnam's boss, Antonin Feodorov, who's put all of his other projects—intimidating junior scholars, raising his prodigy daughter, and firing off invectives about twelfth-century epic poems—on hiatus until he can produce the definitive annotated version of Vasilikov's
But Putnam begins to suspect that Vasilikov's novel, about the forgery of a disputed twelfth-century manuscript on a modern college campus, may contain clues about his death-by-Bentley twenty years before. The only trouble is that Feodorov, Vasilikov's literary executor, isn't letting the novel out of his gingerbread citadel of a faculty residence. Putnam's only shot at solving the literary mystery of the century before his rival now lies with Feodorov's daughter and her only friend, an unsophisticated freshman whom Putnam uses to smuggle copies of the manuscript away from Feodorov. Putnam's investigation leads him to a murky medieval forgery, a relationship that eerily echoes the subject of Vasilikov's most scandalous novel, and to someone who's done much worse than forge a manuscript.
A 98,000-word literary mystery, THE IGOR TALE masquerades as Simon Putnam's biography of Vasilikov—a biography that degenerates into an exploration of the present at a university where lives are, quite literally, ruined by literature.
The DaVinci Code meets The Name of the Rose.
You need to tighten this up a LOT: Igor Vasilikov's lost manuscript turns up just in time to thwart Simon Putnam's planned four volume definitive biography of the great man. Yadda yadda yadda.
You're also going to have something more than a missing manuscript and murder to catch my interest.