David Bajo’s debut novel features mathematician Philip Masryk, who, despite two marriages, has carried on a longtime love affair with book conservator Irma Arcuri. She vanishes, leaving him her library of 351 books, of which she has written five: Within these volumes lay the clues to Irma’s disappearance and her romantic connection to Philip. The plot thickens with the appearance of a mystery woman, the revelation of an ex-wife’s secret, and the flight of a teenage relative to North Africa. This hodge-podge threatens Philip’s equipoise as he puzzles out what the falling dominoes mean, as well as what the volumes of Irma’s library are telling him. Novelist George Singleton blurbs:
These characters live within a puzzle that’s inside a maze that’s inside a labyrinth all tied up in Möbius strips. It’s as if Stranger Than Fiction were co-directed by Gabriel García Márquez and Gottlob Frege. Smart, mystical, sexy, and lyrical: I’m convinced that The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri will not leave the reader, ever.