Friday, June 4, 2010

The Club Dumas

The Club Dumas
by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Most books I've read about book dealers or antiquarian book hounds are non-fiction. I did attend the Antiquarian Book Fair in Boston where I briefly held some valuable first editions.

The Club Dumas has a bit of everything: a book dealer, Lucas Corso, investigating a rare book—The Book of the Nine Doors, a single Dumas chapter called The Anjou Wine,, a suicide, a cast of intriguing characters who become involved in Corso's investigation, and a story regarding The Book of Nine Doors which involves an author , Aristide Torchia, who was burned at the stake because his book reportedly gave formulas to summon Satan.

There's also a young woman whose name is Irene Adler, a character who appears in Sherlock Holmes stories.

Corso seeks out the owners of two copies of The Book of Nine Doors. The third copy belongs to the man who hired Corso to determine which copy is authentic. This involves a careful study of the illustrated plates of each book.

Almost every page of the book contains a literary reference, real and invented, and The Three Musketter’s plot is obvious if you're a Dumas reader.

While the plot can at times seem convoluted and the reader's attention strained, or at least I flagged,—it's all worth it.

Linda Frances

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