Having embedded in Mexico, London, and Berlin in the years leading up to the first World War, journalist-turned-spy Christopher Marlowe Cobb has already lived many lives by the time he returns to Paris in 1922.
He's travelled there to work on his novel, so it's no surprise that he soon finds himself mixed up in the expatriate literary scene that famously convened at the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in post-war Paris, a crew that featured such authors as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and, of course, Ernest Hemingway, with whom Cobb quickly becomes friends.
Like Cobb, Hemingway is working on a novel, hoping to use his experiences in international conflicts to advance his career as a writer. Unlike Cobb, however, Hemingway's manuscript has just been stolen by foreign agents who suspect that it contains sensitive information. Never one to shy away from danger, Cobb volunteers to retrieve it – but he'll need all of his spycraft skills to infiltrate the compound where it's cached.
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Robert Olen Butler