Edmond Music, Catholic priest and director of Beale Hall research institute, has a secret: he doesn't believe in God. And that's not all. For the past forty years he has shared a bed with his housekeeper, Maude Moriarty from Donegal. In fact Edmond Music isn't even Edmond Music. He's Edmond Music, French child of Hungarian parents - and a Jew.
As he sees out his days in his Shropshire mansion, devoting his time to kabbalistic studies, his buried pasts threaten to end the charade. Fred Twombly, professor of English from Joliet, Illinois, and half-century-long enemy, has arrived, determined to destroy him. What may be Shakespeare's lost masterpiece has disappeared from the Hall's famous library. Edmond must be to blame.
Alan Isler was born in London in 1834. His first novel, The Prince of West End Avenue, was acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. In America it won the National Jewish Book Award and was one of the five fiction nominees for the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award. In Britain it won the Jewish Quarterly Fiction Award. He is also the author of another novel, Kraven Images, and a collection of novellas, The Bacon Fancier.