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In what is said to be a complete coincidence (though my cynicism runneth over), March 28th saw the release in the U.S. of books by both Dan Brown and his court adversary Michael Baigent. Five million paperback copies of The Da Vinci Code were (finally) released to U.S. stores, which will no doubt add to the 12 million hardcovers already sold (and 40 million copies worldwide), in anticipation of the movie version of the novel which is due for release May 19th…and no doubt the current court publicity has played out nicely as well.

Meanwhile, Baigent’s embargoed book The Jesus Papers (Amazon US and UK) came dancing out of the shadows as well with an initial print run of 150000, to sit (at this moment) at #2 on Amazon.com’s charts:

As a religious historian and a leading expert in the field of arcane knowledge, Baigent has unequaled access to hidden archives, secret societies, Masonic records, and the private collections of antiquities traders and their moneyed clients…The evidence he has uncovered has lead him to make shocking new assertions that threaten the conventional account of Jesus’s life and death and shake the very foundation of Western thought, based as it is upon the assumption of Jesus’s divinity.

For full details about the book, visit the Harper Collins website which has a full synoposis and also a chapter excerpt.