What’s a lexicographer? Well, the American Heritage Dictionary says it’s “one who writes, compiles, or edits a dictionary.” So I’m going to the dictionary to find out about who writes a dictionary. That is just so meta.
Lexicographers are the heroes of The Broken Teaglass, a quirky mystery novel by Emily Arsenault. Word nerds will enjoy the somewhat cerebral adventures of two twenty-something dictionary editors as they attempt to track down the source of mysterious and troubling citations in the office files.
Keep in mind that in this case, “mystery” does not equal “suspense.” The pacing is deliberate as we get to know the characters better and new mysteries unfold. Those of us who like to grin over clever dialogue will love to listen in on the conversations, especially the secret ones, as Mona and Billy unravel the mystery.
Also, you’ll find out what a teaglass is if you read this quietly funny mystery. And if that’s not an incentive, then I don’t know what is.
If this whets your appetite to find out more about how dictionaries are made, try The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester.
If you’d like another literary hunt into the past, try The Hundred-Year House, by Rebecca Makkai.
The word games are afoot!