Warner, Oct 2003, 25.95, 580 pp.
One of the legends associated with John Harvard is that the Bard, William Shakespeare, not only played matchmaker to his parents, but gifted them with an original manuscript of “Love's Labors Won” when their son was born. John inherited the work and other tomes from his father and took the entire collection to New England. Between his donation of his library and money to the university led to the honor of the school being named for him. For years, most people assumed that, if the manuscript existed, it was lost to the fire of 1764.
However, the Wedge family, generations of alumni of Harvard from the beginning until now, protected the surviving copy of “Love's Labors Won" starting with Isaac, concerned that the Puritans would burn the manuscript. As antiquities dealer Peter Fallon beats the bush (sorry – bad pun and wrong school) by playing his university political connections to gain entrance for his son, a modern day Wedge implies that his family saved a valuable Shakespeare play. Suddenly the chase to find the tome is on with Fallon in the lead, but organized crime is just on his heels.
The sequel to BACK BAY is an entertaining look at the history of Harvard University inside an amateur sleuth mystery. The story line never takes itself too seriously yet provides a taste of the school over the centuries and an intriguing comparative analysis of alumni from various eras. Except for Eli who will not accept that all's well that ends well in HARVARD YARD, fans of fun frolics with a strong history bent will appreciate William Martin's homage to the Ivy League school.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner