Although the Green Dolphin is a bar of ill repute, it is there that Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes, meets Willow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance.Read more...
Although the Green Dolphin is a bar of ill repute, it is there that Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes, meets Willow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance. Willow enlists Tancred to steal these objects from her siblings and solve the puzzle.
A Japanese screen, a painting that plays music, an aquavit bottle, a framed poem, and a model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: Tancred is lured in to this beguiling quest, and even though Willow dies before he can begin, he presses on.
As he tracks down the treasure, however, he must enlist the help of Alexander von Wurfel, esteemed copyist, and fend off Willow's heroin dealers, a young albino named "Nigger" Colby and his sidekick, Sigismund "Freud" Luxemburg, a club-footed psychopath, both of whom are eager to get their paws on this supposed pot of gold. And he must mislead Detective Daniel Mandelshtam, his most adored friend.
Based on a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, The Hidden Keys questions what it means to be honorable and what it means to be faithful.
Andre Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His most recent novel, Fifteen Dogs, won the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize, awarded annually to the best Canadian fiction book.
- ISBN-13: 9781552453254
- ISBN-10: 1552453251
- Publisher: Coach House Books
- Publish Date: October 2016
- Page Count: 232
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Giller Prizewinner Alexis (Fifteen Dogs, Childhood) brings sharp observation and emotional depth to the traditional quest narrative in this fine novel. Tancred Palmieri is a thief in present day Toronto with a chivalric code whose life is thrown out of whack when he meets rich, drug-addicted Willow Azarian. Willow quickly reveals the story of her fathers fortune and a secret puzzle left to his children. She then asks Tancred to help her steal the clues that her father bequeathed to each of her siblings so that they might find the treasure he has left behind. Tancred soon learns that not all quests are as simple as they seem at first. During his journey, he comes into contact with an assortment of strange but never unbelievable characters, including and an English taxidermist whos adopted a German persona. In helping Willow, however, Tancred might just find himself coming up against the person who is closest to himhis best friend, Det. Daniel Mandelstahm. This gorgeously written, funny adventure tale will keep readers up finishing it while also quietly breaking their hearts with Alexiss keen observations of people, kindness, and cruelty. (Oct.)