THE BROKEN TEAGLASS
The mystery in this impressive debut is not your typical whodunit. Arsenault fabulously creates two intriguing stories
in one. First, there's an intricate secret history written as individual dictionary citations and scattered throughout the citation files. Then there are two appealing amateur sleuths searching within the files to piece that history together for the clues to a possible crime. It's fascinating to see where it all leads.
Mona Minot and Billy Webb, two lexicographers in training, are poring over new expressions and freshly coined words in the dictionary files. What originally seemed like an interesting job has turned out to be a bore.
Then Mona discovers some puzzling citations in the files. Long and cumbersome, they're not fit for placement in a dictionary. They read like a diary, with hints of a secret identity and a crime. Their boredom forgotten, Mona and Billy ransack the files trying to put all the citations in order. When they do, a chilling story emerges. (DELACORTE, Oct., 384 pp., $25.00)