Tip of the ice pick Ross King's innovative Ex-Libris wins the coveted Tip of the Ice Pick Award as mystery of the month, as well as honorable mention for the least likely sleuth in recent memory: an asthmatic, nearsighted, middle-aged 17th century bookseller with a club foot. Summoned to stately Pontifex Hall, our curmudgeonly hero finds himself on the trail of an arcane manuscript of alchemy, probably the only copy in existence. Set against the backdrop of Cromwell's English Civil War, the sacking of Constantinople and the Inquisition, Ex-Libris offers a highly original, and exceptionally entertaining, variation from standard mystery fare. The writing is erudite, yet not stilted in the least. If you loved Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, this book will have your reading light burning until the wee hours.

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