* The novel begins with a quote by Sir Thomas Browne.
* The first chapter, "Origins of an Obsession", introduces the character of Charles Latimer.
* Latimer was a university professor who became famous writing detective novels.
* The author flashes forward to the character of Dimitrios and Latimer's connection to him.
* The story flashes back to Latimer's history, as he quits the university to focus on his writing.
* Latimer wrote four detective novels and then decided to take a vacation.
* He goes to Turkey, where he lodges at Madame Chavez's villa.
* There, he meets a man named Colonel Haki.
* Colonel Haki is an officer, and loves Latimer's novels. He asks Latimer to join him for lunch, and Latimer accepts.
* As they lunch, the Colonel talks about his own ideas for a novel, and asks Latimer if he would like to see his notes.
* At the Colonel's...
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