Joe Barley, full-time English professor and part-time private detective, is given a simple case: to track Jason Tyler and find proof of his adultery. But as he's investigating, Barley stumbles across the story of a missing manuscript containing writings by a young Ernest Hemingway.
What is Tyler's connection to the Hemingway papers? And why does Tyler's wife insist that Barley stay on the case, long after he's come up with the required evidence of Tyler's infidelity?
While these questions hang over Barley, his own life is complicated by academic politics, and challenges to his monogamous relationship with his longtime partner, Carole.