A zesty, stylish story about astrophysics, archeology and academic rivalries at Harvard that will remind readers of Margaret Truman at her best. Here's the puzzle: What was brilliant young Harvard physics professor Tom Jacobs doing on an archeological site out in the Nevada desert and how, exactly, did he come to die of a snakebite there? Was he murdered? If so, did Peter Gardiner, ambitious young archeologist, do him in to prevent him from using his homemade invention, the ""time slicer,"" to prove Gardiner's archeological discoveries forgeries? Or did the murder have something more sinister about it--something to do with Tom's antinuclear activism? When Peter Gardiner dies of a snakebite a year after Tom's death, spunky Calista Jacobs, Tom's young widow, and her scientific son Charles set out to learn the truth--and almost lose their lives in a plot hatched by the CIA in concert with a disenchanted old curator of Harvard's archeological collections. Of course, Calista prevails. She also falls in love. Sprinkled with lots of intellectual and academic spice and served up on good china--all in all: lively and provocative.