Introducing quote-happy (Aeschylus, Mencken, Shakespeare, Emerson, et al.) p.i. Chess (for Chester) Hanrahan, hired by the Granville Foundation to find author Gregory Compton, who hasn't been heard from since the announcement that his novel Walk Around the Sun won their tax-free $25,000 literary prize (and gold-plated inkwell). His agent, editor, and fiancÃ‰e haven't seen him, but his friend Sayres confides that Compton has mailed a letter turning down the prize. Did he? Why? And where is he now? These are the questions that absorb Hanrahan, if not the reader, for the length of this satirically heavy-handed book, which takes potshots at publishers, reviewers, awards-committees and extols lofty authors--such as Compton--who are above all of them. Meanwhile, Compton's disappearance/murder involves a car hood ornament, a gold cigarette lighter, a real-estate deal, a chair at a university, a bigger paycheck, and much summarizing from the author's novel, which can't stack up to Aeschylus, Mencken, et al. Distasteful, and more pretentious than the targets it attempts to skewer.