Geographer’s Library

The Geographer’s Library

by Jon Fasman

I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman. This novel has two big things going for it — it’s an intricately plotted murder mystery, and it’s also an intricately researched tale of alchemy, history and politics. Yeah, there’s a lot going on. It starts pretty simply — a very young reporter in the sticks of Connecticut is assigned to write an obituary for an eccentric college professor. But the circumstances of his death are more than a little mysterious, and the chase is on. The Geographer’s Library is set up with alternating chapters describe the 14 magical items stolen in the 14th century and wrecking havoc through the ages. It takes a while for the pieces to fall into place — I asked myself what anything had to do with anything else more than once, but by the end I couldn’t wait to find out who did what to whom, and learn what was in the professor’s secret room. The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman. This book is already being compared to The DaVinci Code, and it does have a murder mystery and secret magical objects, but I found it much more intricately plotted and detailed. It’s set up in alternating chapters, one thread following the misadventures of a young reporter following the murder of an eccentric college professor. That story has a mysterious woman, tweedy professors, small town cops and bars, and finally a whole lot of Cold War politics. Be prepared to learn a bunch of Estonian names. The second group of chapters describes 14 tools of alchemy stolen in the 14th century, and the unhappy fate of those who ran across them. It doesn’t sound like these two stories have much in common, but give it time: the two stories come together in a surprising way. Personally, I would have like more alchemy and less tromping around Eastern Europe, but you may disagree. The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman. I really enjoyed the unusual structure of this book — it’s divided in two. The first story starts as a straightforward murder mystery, told by a young reporter learning the ropes in rural Connecticut. The second is seemingly unrelated, a catalogue of strange and mystical objects stolen in the 14th century. Who made them? Who owned them? What do they have to do with each other and with the dead professor at the center of the mystery over on the other side? As the chapters in The Geographer’s Library alternate, they also start to intertwine, until it becomes clear what these magical objects are for and who has been using them. The characters in this book are more like those you’d expect to meet in a noir thriller than a fantasy novel, and the fantasy element is treated realistically if that makes sense. The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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