A slyly humorous look at the trouble Notre Dame alumni get into when they cavort with non–South Bend types.
Boris Henry and Xavier Kittock, roommates from the class of ’74, once shared two interests: Father John Zahm’s 1914–15 letters and diary concerning his South American search for El Dorado, and Clare, Boris’s beautiful assistant. Then their interests diverged: Boris the gambler was intent on establishing a Zahm Institute at Notre Dame, whose centerpiece would be the diary the priest sold them. Xavier, known as Eggs, wanted to use the diary to mount a quest for the El Dorado gold. When the letters and diary disappear, Boris blames Eggs and relies on the Knight brothers—Roger, a Nero Wolfe–sized scholar, and Phil, a very selective private eye (Irish Coffee, 2003, etc.)—to deliver the goods. Everything points to Eggs until he slumps dead on a park bench in the middle of the night, perhaps from a heart attack but more likely from more sinister causes. Theories fly, including one accusing a jealous husband, and several others proposed by the old geezers at the university club. Eventually, Roger assembles the puzzle pieces, trumping the South Bend cops, campus security and even his brother, to the immense relief of the university archivist.
Droll and charming, with more romantic shenanigans than a French farce.