‘Da Vinci’ writer’s next: ‘Solomon Key’

Fans of Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci Code,” have been obsessed with his next book since he revealed earlier this year that the “Da Vinci Code” cover contains clues about his next novel.

What it does not contain is the title, which will be “The Solomon Key,” a nugget Brown’s publisher, Stephen Rubin, let slip recently.

The book, whose release date has not been announced, is likely to be the most anticipated novel to hit stores in years, not least because “The Da Vinci Code,” published in March 2003, is still selling tens of thousands of copies a week.

Rubin, president and publisher of Doubleday, has continued to exploit the “Da Vinci Code” phenomenon. It recently passed 9 million copies, and a $35 illustrated version was just released.

Typically, new books are published in paperback within about a year.

But with the hardcover “Da Vinci Code” still regularly in the top five on every national best-seller list, Doubleday keeps pushing back the paperback date.

“The Solomon Key” will be the third novel by Brown to include the character Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of religious symbology.

The new book’s primary focus will be the Freemasons, the secretive fraternity that has included some of the nation’s founding fathers, and it will be set in Washington.

In first discussing the subject of the book last spring, Brown mentioned that the architecture of Washington is rich in symbolism, something that he is using in the novel. The author has been holed up at his residence in New Hampshire for months working on the new book.

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