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An Honest Man
Thomas A. Brown. Xlibris, $17.99 trade paper (206p) ISBN 978-1-664137-08-0
Brown’s entertaining debut riffs on the familiar trope of the discovery of a valuable ancient artifact. After Paddy, a single mother living in Anchorage, Alaska, who’s desperate for money to support herself and her six-year-old son, burglarizes a home, she takes the items she steals, which include first editions of classic books, to a pawnshop. Fortunately for Paddy, Jason, the pawnshop employee, is too scrupulous to conceal the potential worth of the items. Jason’s especially intrigued by an extremely old vellum manuscript written in Arabic, and even more so after he contacts Alfred, an archaeology grad student he knows. Alfred suggests that the manuscript may be “the world’s only known copy of Plato’s allegedly missing dialogue.” Paddy and Jason team up to try to learn the truth about it, and to make the most money possible from a buyer willing to ignore its dubious provenance. Flashbacks to different periods of history maximize suspense. Dan Brown fans will be pleased. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 04/30/2021

Release date 11/01/2020

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