SoaP2: Snakes on Apollonius of Perga
However, I have now noticed that someone is coming out with a book called "The Machiavelli Covenant" later this year, in which the president of the United States flees a secret White House cabal that has ordered the assassination of some European heads of state. Regarding this cabal, it turns out that: The group’s origins go back 500 years. In the 16th century, the dying Machiavelli fashioned a sinister work entitled, The Covenant—an ominous plan for gaining true power and keeping it. For centuries this wealthy, despotic order has hidden the plan away, inspired and emboldened by its bloody insights and near-preternatural power. Bonded by vicious rites and ritual slaughter, dedicated to their vision of global rule, they have over the centuries prospered beyond dreams of greed and domination. Three people now stand between the Brotherhood and its final apocalyptic conquest.
Hmmm... It looks like I need to rework my whole paradigm here. I think I'm going to have to draw from The Great Books of the Western World to do what I really have in mind... It could be a series, and each volume in The Canon could hide a different conspiracy.
I haven't got all the details down yet, but it opens with a plays-by-his-own-rules Chicago homicide detective (his ex-wife has a Ph.D. in Humanities) pulling up to the scene, and finding Mortimer Adler with his throat cut, alone in a room locked from the inside. The rest writes itself.