The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana reads on several levels: an intriguing mystery, a cultural and social study, and a semiotician’s search for the attachment of meaning to words and symbols. Yambo, a rare book-dealer, wakes from a coma. Words, dates, books, history — all information unconnected to the personal self — remain accessible to Yambo post-coma. Yet he does not recognize family members, nor does he remember his own personal history and identity. As health returns, he retreats to the country home of his childhood to sort through personal belongings, especially books, in hopes of reconnecting with his former life. Evocative images, words, and sounds are “mysterious flames” that light the fog of his present existence. More than one surprise twist in the plot will leave you guessing about his complete recovery until the very end, while some revelations will surely give you pause for thought.