The Harvard Skull Fiasco


Nothing is going to stop Shea from becoming the world’s greatest jewel thief, not even his pathological inability to lie.

By day, Shea works as the IT guy for Harvard’s medical library, home of the famous skull of Phineas Gage. Shea knows that stealing such an illustrious artifact would be the perfect first step in his criminal career. Even better, he has an ingenious plan that he’s shared with only 37 of his most trusted colleagues.

Unfortunately, one of those colleagues is Wendell. As co-founder of the newly-formed ‘Skull Recovery Committee’, Wendell knows that retrieving the stolen relic might result in him receiving a bigger office. That is unless his boss, Octavia, gets to Shea first. Octavia wants to use the skull’s theft to discredit the library’s new director, a distracted scientist who is apparently determined to convert an entire floor of the building into a Starbucks café.

To their relief, Shea is ready to make a deal; he’ll return the skull to the Recovery Committee if they’ll first listen to the story of how he stole it. With the institution already straining under the weight of bureaucratic mismanagement and on the brink of collapse, what choice do the librarians have?

What begins as an account of daily life inside the world’s most eminent medical library, however, soon devolves into a tale of magic, ghosts and bureaucrats of the direst variety.

What is really going on in this building, they soon wonder, and why does it feel as if the Skull Recovery Committee has fallen into some kind of metaphysical trap?

The Harvard Skull Fiasco is a magic realist caper novel, presenting a satirical look behind-the-curtains at Harvard University. Set on the last work day before Christmas, the story is told from the perspective of Shea, a fledgling antiquities thief who is somehow convinced that the librarians would support his decision to steal the skull of Phineas Gage if they would only stop plotting against each other and listen!

Read the first few chapters!

Note: the cover design that can be found at this blog is not the final art; websites look better with pictures, so I designed a book cover for fun. I’m a graphic designer, I can’t help myself.

I am currently preoccupied with writing my next book, but will be looking for a literary agent in early 2018.