The Da Vinci Code, a novel by Dan Brown, is topping the best-seller lists. This fast-paced thriller about an international murder mystery and secret religious societies presents an alternative and unorthodox view of religion, art, and the role of women in Biblical history.
If you liked The Da Vinci Code, you might enjoy other novels of intrigue, conspiracy, and the art world. You may also want to explore the real stories behind Leonardo da Vinci, the Knights Templar, Mary Magdalene, and the meaning of religious symbols.
Bibliography prepared by UCLA student Arpita Bose, FILL intern (From Intern to Library Leader), 9/04.
The Amber Room
An intricately carved room of glowing light was stolen from Russia by the Nazis. It is the subject of legend and scandal, and Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler is determined to track it down before more people die.
Crafted by four authors and published anonymously in Italy, this literary thriller became a European best seller. In 1517 Germany, as the Reformation gets underway, a fired-up young Anabaptist plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with a papal spy known only as Q.
The Sixth Lamentation
A suspected Nazi war criminal seeks sanctuary in a French monastery. A woman who was a member of a secret group once engaged in smuggling Jewish children to safety is dying. How are these two people related, and why has the Vatican ordered Father Anselm to investigate?
Angels and Demons
Dan Brown first introduces the character of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, hero of The Da Vinci Code, in this tale set in Rome that pits scientific terrorists against the cardinals of Vatican City. Langdon investigates the murder of an Italian physicist and finds ties to the Illuminati, a secret society dedicated, since the time of Galileo, to promoting the interests of science.
NASA personnel make a startling discovery: an ancient meteorite found buried within an Arctic glacier contains fossils of life forms not seen on Earth. Could this discovery be proof of extraterrestrial life? When one of the investigators dies under mysterious circumstances, the remaining scientists quickly realize that all is not what it appears to be as they struggle to separate truth from deceit.
Caldwell, Ian & Dustin Thomason
The Rule of Four
When a long-lost diary surfaces, it seems Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris have found the key to a secret labyrinth. However, when a fellow researcher is murdered only hours after their find, the friends suddenly realize that they are caught in a web of great danger.
The Genesis Code
A woman and her young son are gruesomely murdered. Her brother sets out to discover why. He soon uncovers other similar crimes and a conspiracy involving a powerful, secret religious fraternity.
The Eighth Day
Danny Cray thought he could make some quick money, but he winds up way over his head when clues in the Vatican Library reveal a global conspiracy involving a religious cult and a city lost in the sands of time.
The Brotherhood of the Tomb
A suspenseful, violent tale in which the tomb of Jesus, Mary, and "brother" James is uncovered, and a religious cult dating back to the twelfth century plans to kill the pope and rewrite the history and doctrines of the Catholic Church.
In this complex psychological thriller, the narrator, Casaubon, an expert on the medieval Knights Templar, and two editors working in a branch of a vanity press publishing house in Milan are told about a purported coded message revealing a secret plan set in motion centuries ago by the Knights Templar when the society was forced underground.
Recently divorced Englishwoman Charlotte Penton travels to tiny San Rocco, Italy to restore a Raphael portrait called La Muta, “the mute woman.” When the painting is viciously gouged by a mute cleaning woman, Charlotte finds herself embroiled in a plot involving deadly secrets in the history of San Rocco, a village whose destruction during World War II hides another sordid secret protected by powerful men.
The murder of an activist nun sends her brother, a lawyer, on a deadly quest for her killer, leading to the Assassini, a secret order of killers that the Catholic Church has deployed for centuries at times of grave threats.
Mary, Called Magdalene
This novel presents a picture of strong women. Drawing on the Bible and secular historical research, it presents a fictional portrait of Mary of Magdala as she becomes part of Jesus' circle of disciples and comes into a realization of her faith.
When a fast-track investment banker becomes involved in organizing a rare books collection, he begins a search for a mysterious medieval manuscript that strangely parallels an intricate computer game.
During World War II, a troubled mathematical genius is called upon to help decipher the German’s sophisticated code, Enigma. Somewhere lurks a spy who is tipping off the enemy.
The Sixteen Pleasures
American librarian Margot Harrington travels to Florence, Italy, to help restore its priceless treasures after the flooding of the River Arno in 1966. Her quest to save a rare volume of Renaissance erotica bound with a book of prayers leads her to England, Switzerland-and romance.
Footprints of God
Science and spirituality collide as an experiment in Artificial Intelligence goes terribly awry, with one ethical man holding the key to prevent a massive international disaster. Pursued by National Security operatives and foreign governments, Dr. David Tennant and his psychologist pursue the truth, exploring Jesus' final days in Jerusalem, before finding the answer.
The Last Templar *Mystery*
When a rash of burnings occurs in a quiet Devon village, Bailiff Simon Puttock is grateful for the help of the astute yet strangely reticent Sir Baldwin, who has recently come to live nearby. Are the deaths linked, and will the murderer strike again? Other titles in the series include Belladonna at Belstone and The Traitor of St. Giles.
Dante’s Equation *Science Fiction*
Physicist Jill Talcott discovers an equation that coincides with the Kabbalist writings of Talmudic scholar and Holocaust victim Yosef Kobinski, who claimed to have identified a physical law of good and evil. Talcott crosses paths with an Orthodox rabbi and a tabloid journalist also on Kobinski’s trail, and they soon find themselves on the run from intelligence agents who think the document may contain a code for a powerful weapon.
Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton
Long before Sherlock Holmes, Sir Isaac Newton focuses his exceptional intellect on a series of bizarre murders, ferreting out a murky plot to undermine the coin of the realm and overpower the British throne.
Kidd, Sue Monk
The Secret Life of Bees
A feminist fable celebrating the company of women and the ties between mothers and daughters, this novel centers on the sisterhood of the Black Madonna, known as Our Lady of Chains, as well as the lives and keeping of bees.
King, Laurie R.
A Letter of Mary: A Mary Russell Novel *Mystery*
In the continuing adventures of Sherlock Holmes, archaeologist Dorothy Ruskin brings Holmes and his wife, Mary Russell, an ancient letter apparently written by an apostle named Mary to her sister in Magdala. Shortly afterwards, the Holmes' house is ransacked, and Ruskin is found dead under suspicious circumstances.
A cryptic summons to a remote country house launches a London bookseller on an odyssey through seventeenth century Europe. Given the task of restoring a magnificent library that has been pillaged during the English Civil War, Isaac Inchbold finds himself slipping into an underworld of spies, smugglers, ciphers, and forgeries.
The Last Day
A TV journalist investigates the mysterious destruction of a secret Israel Defense Force lab in the Negev Desert. The sole survivor is an ethereal young woman called Jeza, whom millenarian groups hail as their long-awaited redeemer. As the prophetess’s popularity grows, the world teeters on the brink of anarchy, torn between pro- and anti-Jeza forces.
The Grand Complication
New York Public Library employee Alexander Short comes to the aid of bibliophile Henry James Jesson, who is searching for an eighteenth century timepiece made for Marie Antoinette and nicknamed "The Grand Complication" for its technical superiority. But is Jesson really interested in the rare watch missing from his cabinet of curiosities, or is it Short himself who is the object of the collector's passion?
A vast cavern discovered high in the Himalayas turns out to be the gateway to a subterranean world known through the ages as Hell. A nun and a commando retrace Dante's steps in search of Satan himself.
The Gemini Contenders
A clandestine order of monks desperately hides a mysterious vault high in the Italian Alps to save it from the Nazis. The manuscripts inside, concealed for centuries, could destroy the Christian world.
The Gospel of Judas
Father Leo Newman, an earnest biblical scholar who has spent his life decoding the dusty detritus of the past, comes across a first century papyrus that threatens to undermine his own faith and shock the world.
Eyes of the Virgin
A sliver of stained glass depicting the eyes of the Madonna is believed to possess supernatural powers. This artifact has long been held safely within the Vatican by its secret society of defenders, the Elder Knights of Malta, but it is stolen by the Guild, a shadowy international cabal.
A computer expert gets caught up in a search for a legendary chess set once owned by Charlemagne. The chess service, buried for 1000 years in a French abbey, supplies the key to a magic formula tied to numerology, alchemy, the Druids, Freemasonry, and cosmic powers.
Plots hide within plots, and secrets have their own secrets, in this vast, atmospheric Victorian labyrinth of a novel which revolves around a will, a codicil, and a heraldic figure.
The Dante Club
In this richly-detailed, diabolical shocker, a trio of great American authors searches for a scholarly serial killer creating his own grisly interpretation of the Inferno in the streets of nineteenth century Boston.
The Raphael Affair *Mystery*
British art historian Jonathan Argyll believes the altarpiece in a Roman Church may conceal a portrait of Raphael. Set in the art world, this mystery also introduces Flavia di Stefano and Generale Bottando of Italy's National Art Theft Squad. Other titles in the series include The Titian Committee and The Last Judgement.
The Flanders Panel *Mystery*
An art-restoration expert discovers a strange inscription beneath layers of paint on a fifteenth century Flemish painting depicting a chess game. As she searches for an answer to the riddle of the painting, she uncovers a dangerous contemporary mystery.
Daughter of God
Evidence of a female messiah named Sophia, who was executed by the Church in the fourth century, is discovered by a young art expert among art works stolen by the Nazis. This long-kept secret threatens modern religion and world political stability.
A coded message draws Professor Andrew Hale back into Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1963. Operatives from his past are gathering in Beirut and rushing toward a deadly confrontation on Mt. Ararat, where a covert Soviet expedition is closing in on the Biblical Ark.
In this archaeological thriller, a hippie, a veterinarian, and a professor search for a hidden tomb that holds the ancient wisdom and treasure of the Mayas. Other books by the same author include The Relic and Reliquary.
Preston, Douglas and Lincoln Child
The body of a notorious art critic is found in his Hamptons mansion, completely burned, with a cloven hoof print nearby and the smell of brimstone in the air. According to rumor, Jeremy made a Faustian pact with Satan in his youth-did the Dark Lord finally demand payment? Similar killings ensue among a group of maleficent bigwigs who, as college students, once gathered in Florence for a mysterious reason.
The Book of Q
When a monk friend asks him to protect an ancient scroll unearthed in an old church, a young priest uncovers a sixth century conspiracy that threatens to re-awaken in the present.
A document containing a master plan for world domination falls into the hands of a ruthless society called the Overseer, who launch a campaign of world terror. A beautiful government agent joins forces with a brilliant young political theorist to stop them.
An academic, working on an exposé about the Vatican's collaboration with the Nazis, has been assassinated. Mossad agent Gabriel Allon suspects that the gunman was working for a secret Vatican society known as Crux Vera, and he embarks on a dangerous journey that reveals long-buried secrets.
The Kill Artist
Art restorer Gabriel Allon left Israeli intelligence after the murders of his wife and child at the hands of Tariq, a Palestinian assassin. When Tariq's activities threaten the Mideast Peace Talks, Gabriel returns to his old life-and every move he makes brings him closer to a death trap set by Tariq.
The descendent of a World War II code breaker tries to track down the secrets of the Third Reich's cryptographers-secrets that may liberate or ruin the cybertech world of the present day. He uncovers evidence of a long-dormant, top-secret conspiracy.
The Da Vinci Deception *Mystery*
In this mystery involving art forgeries, Scotland Yard's Jack Oxby must find some less-than-genuine early sketches of the Mona Lisa.
The School of Night *Mystery*
Editor Sean Tallow steals two Elizabethan-era tomes from a university library. In the enciphered Hariot Notebooks, he hopes to find reference to the enigmatic School of Night, a group of Elizabethan intellectuals possibly including the real author of Shakespeare’s plays.
The Medici Dagger
Everyone had thought the secret was lost to the flames, but now daredevil Reb Barnett races against the clock and some nasty arms dealers to find an unbreakable weapon, forged by Leonardo da Vinci.
Catherine Alexander discovers six ancient papyrus scrolls in the Sinai desert that profoundly challenge the patriarchal order of the Catholic Church, but a seventh scroll, containing unimaginable power, is missing, and Catherine must dodge government agents, Vatican operatives, and more to locate it.
Last Kabbalist of Lisbon *Mystery*
In this atmospheric mystery set in 16th century Portugal, Berekiah Zarco searches the mysteries of scripture and streets ablaze with anti-Semitic fervor, seeking justice for his slain uncle Abraham.
The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code: A Challenging Response to the Best-Selling Novel
Call number: 813 BROWN, D ABA
Abanes attempts to answer some of the questions raised by The Da Vinci Code: Are Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings really full of clues about an alternative religion? Has the church suppressed the truth about the Lost Gospels? What is the real nature of the Holy Grail?
Baigent, Michael, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Call number: 944 BAI
This book tells the story of the Knights Templar and a secret society called the Priory of Sion, including their involvement in reinstating descendants of the Merovingian family into political power. Why? The authors present a controversial alternate history, which theorizes that Jesus may not have died on the cross, but lived to marry and father children whose bloodline continues today.
Bock, Daniel L. and Francis J. Moloney
Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answering the Questions Everybody's Asking
Call number: 813 BROWN, D BOC
A theologian explores the ideas of The Da Vinci Code and separates fictitious entertainment from historical elements of Christian faith.
Bradford, Ernle Dusgate Selby
The Shield and the Sword: The Knights of St. John, Jerusalem, Rhodes, and Malta
Call number: 271.7 BRA
Founded during the Crusades, the order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem continued to grow in wealth, power, and territory long after they left the Holy Land. This book explores the history of the Knights of St. John, their skills as master mariners and builders, and their legacy in providing medical aid around the world.
Burstein, Dan and Arne de Keiizer, editors
Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries behind the Da Vinci Code
Call number: 813 BROWN, D SEC
Critical essays by historians, scientists, theologians, archaeologists, philosophers, and art historians address the controversial themes in The Da Vinci Code.
Cracking the Da Vinci Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Facts Behind Dan Brown's Bestselling
Call number: 813 BROWN, D COX
This guide to The Da Vinci Code unveils the historical facts behind the story, background information on the key figures, reproductions of the symbols encoded in the paintings, and “insider knowledge” such as the riddles hidden in the characters’ names.
Eisler, Riane Tennenhaus
The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future
Call number: 305.309 EIS
Women played leading roles in the first Christian communities, egalitarian societies devoted to nurturance that eventually gave way to male domination and doctrines of hierarchy, power, and aggression. Eisler envisions a new society based on the recovery of more humane values based on the divine feminine.
City of Secrets: The Truth Behind the Murders at the Vatican
Call number: 364.1523 FOL
This true-crime story goes behind the walls of Vatican City to probe its inner workings. In 1998 the Swiss Guards, the Vatican force that protects the Pope, were stunned when their commander, Colonel Alois Estermann, and his wife were murdered by Corporal Cedric Tornay, a young guard who promptly committed suicide. Journalist Follain investigates the Vatican’s official explanation for the crimes and finds links to the conservative group Opus Dei, an affair between Estermann and Tornay, and more.
Gelb, Michael J.
Da Vinci Decoded: Discovering the Spiritual Secrets of Leonardo’s Seven Principles
Call number: 158.1 GEL
Chapter by chapter, this book explains the Seven Da Vincian Principles as they apply to spiritual development, including how they worked in Leonardo’s life and how to put them into practice today.
Solving the Da Vinci Code Mystery
Call number: ON ORDER
A religious scholar delves into the issues raised by The Da Vinci Code, including the loss of the sacred feminine in mainline Christianity, the importance of non-canonical gospels in early Christian communities, and the debates at Nicea and other early ecumenical councils.
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
Call number: 229.8 EVA
This volume contains English translations of Leloup's French version of the original Gnostic Gospels, found in 1945 at Nag Hammadi in the Egyptian desert and said to be the voice of Mary Magdalene.
Da Vinci Code Decoded: The Truth Behind the New York Times #1 Bestseller
Call number 813.54 BROWN, D LUN
This illustrated guide to The Da Vinci Code offers a historian’s perspective on the controversial theories described in the novel.
The Gnostic Gospels
Call number: 273.1 PAG
Self-described as a provocative study of the Gnostic gospels and the world of early Christianity as revealed through the Nag Hammadi texts, this book offers new ideas for those seeking a broader perspective on the early development of Christianity.
Robinson, John J.
Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry
Call number: 366.109 ROB
Banned and persecuted in the fourteenth century, the once-powerful Knights Templar were forced to form an underground society. Robinson maintains that this holy order became the modern Freemasons, a worldwide political, religious, economic and social organization dedicated to self-improvement and charity while governed by secret rituals and symbols.
Robinson, John J.
Dungeon, Fire, and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades
Call number: 909.07 ROB Pasadena only
Robinson tells the story of the Knights Templar, a medieval Christian order that amassed great wealth and power in the time of the Crusades, only to be suppressed and virtually extinguished at the hands of King Philip IV of France in the early fourteenth century.
Becoming Mona Lisa: The Making of a Global Icon
Call number: 759.5 Leonardo SAS
This book offers a lively, critical account of how the Mona Lisa became the icon it is today, including how the painting was created, who the subject was, why it achieved unrivaled status in the art world, and the role that museums, art critics, mass media, and commerce played in the painting's increasing cultural importance.
The Code Book: The Evolution of Secrecy from Mary Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography
Call number: 652.809 SIN
A Cambridge-educated physicist explores the history of code, the way in which humans hide the inherent meanings of messages by substituting words and or characters in a text. From Julius Caesar's secret military writing to encoded diplomatic messages in feuding Renaissance Italy city-states, from the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone to the ingenuity of modern security experts, Singh clarifies the techniques and tricks of code makers and code breakers alike.
The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island Mystery
Call number: 971.623 SOR
When the Knights Templar were destroyed in 1307, the secret society supposedly left behind a vast treasury. Sora theorizes that the lost treasure of the Knights Templar is connected to a legendary vault on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, that has baffled treasure hunters for two centuries.
Secret Societies of America’s Elite: From the Knights Templar to Skull and Bones
Call number: 366 SOR
This speculative book explores the connections between the Knights Templar and eighteenth-century pirates, Revolutionary heroes such as Benjamin Franklin, and the Skull and Bones fraternity at Yale University.
Magdalene's Lost Legacy: Symbolic Numbers and the Sacred Union in Christianity
Call number: 232.9 STA
Exploring the ideas introduced in The Da Vinci Code, this book reveals the symbolic numerology (gematria) of the New Testament, attempting to prove that the Sacred Union (hieros gamos) of Jesus and his bride Mary Magdalene was the cornerstone of the earliest Christian community.
Turner, A. Richard
Call number: 759.5 Leonardo TUR
Turner explores Leonardo da Vinci's reputation throughout the past four centuries, chronicling his evolution from little-known and misunderstood theoretician to revered icon. This critical work explores da Vinci’s roles as artist, scientist, and Renaissance man.