The Broken Teaglass
By Emily Arsenault
(Bantam, Paperback, 9780553386530, 384pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR
In the maze of cubicles at Samuelson Company, editorial assistant Billy Webb struggles to focus while helping to prepare the next edition of a dictionary. But there are distractions. He senses that something suspicious is going on beneath this company’s academic façade. What’s more, his (possibly) flirtatious co-worker Mona Minot has just made a startling discovery: a trove of puzzling citations, all taken from the same book, The Broken Teaglass. Billy and Mona soon learn that no such book exists. And the quotations read like a confession, coyly hinting at a hidden identity, a secret liaison, a crime. As Billy and Mona try to unearth the truth, the puzzle begins to take on bigger meaning for both of them, compelling them to redefine their notions of themselves and each other.
The Broken Teaglass is at once a literary mystery, a cautious love story, and an ingenious suspense novel that will delight fans of brilliantly inventive fiction.
Emily Arsenault has worked as a lexicographer, an English teacher, a children’s librarian, and a Peace Corps volunteer. She wrote The Broken Teaglass while living in rural South Africa, to pass the long, quiet evenings in her mud brick house. She now lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with her husband.
“A fascinating secret history is hidden within the pages of The Broken Teaglass.”—Christopher Barzak, author of One for Sorrow
“A beautifully written, engaging mystery.”—Dorothy Allison
“A literary gem.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Winningly unique.”—The Boston Globe
“A delight.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Quirky and inventive.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Written with both wit and grace . . . a rare find on today’s bookshelves.”—The Roanoke Times
“A delightful, quietly humorous, and offbeat mystery.”—Library Journal
“Compelling . . . an accomplished work.”—Hartford Courant
“The very definition of a promising debut.”—Booklist