SAMUEL SCHURKE suspects his grandfather, Leonhard Grundstein, a well-known novelist and a long-time friend of Ernest Hemingway, may have stolen Hemingway's early manuscripts that disappeared in Paris in 1922. Sam, a doctoral candidate, completed his dissertation on Grundstein's work and only needs to survive the oral defense to get his degree. While he aims to sit tight until his Ph.D. is conferred, he spends his nights with a circle of artists and writers, including Alexandria Lawrence -- an alluring, untethered painter -- and Montgomery Grudge -- a rival doctoral candidate and Hemingway scholar. When he stumbles upon a note written from Grundstein to Hemingway in an old copy of The Sun Also Rises at a public library, he finds himself hot on the trail for lost treasure with everyone he knows, it seems, on his heels -- including his elderly aunt, Grundstein's loyal daughter. As new discoveries emerge, Sam becomes increasingly fearful that the validity of his dissertation, the future of his career, and the reputation of his family hang on every decision he makes. To honor the untimely death of his good friend and writer, Johnny Lawrence, Sam builds his story upon numerous references to celebrated works of literature, continuing a game he and Johnny often played together.