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Synopsis

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

The Edgar Award nominated classic-"intelligent, unpredictable...and extraordinarily funny" (San Francisco Chronicle)

Dedicated to the study of toddlers and their development of verbal skills, the Wabash Institute should be staffed by kind, gentle scholars-instead, the center is home to a nest of supremely cranky academics. When one of them is bludgeoned to death, Jeremy Cook-the Institute's premier scholar and the novel's socially clueless hero-becomes the prime suspect. To clear his name, Cook resolves to solve the case, even if it means taking time off from his hobby of teaching imaginary words to the Institute's tiny "subjects."

While gleefully skewering academia, Carkeet-a professor of linguistics-also provides a spectacularly ingenious puzzle. "Mystery stories that have a really original solution to the crime are very rare," said the New York Times Book Review, "but Dr. Carkeet has found one."

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