What is it about Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" that captivates the imagination?
Is it his vivid depiction of the moment Jesus tells his followers one of them will betray him?
The puzzling absence of the bread and chalice symbolizing his body and blood?
Or the startlingly feminine appearance of the disciple seated at his right hand?
Dan Brown turned his theories about "The Last Supper" into a taut thriller that topped best-seller lists and was snapped up by Hollywood. But he wasn't the only writer to see literary gold in da Vinci's peeling fresco.
Javier Sierra, a Spanish author who's written on the secrets of the Templars and the enigmas of lost civilizations, was researching clues the painter may have hidden in his masterpiece at the same time Brown was writing "The Da Vinci Code."
The result is "The Secret Supper," a best-selling novel in the Spanish-speaking world that captured one of Spain's top literary awards in 2004. It likely will ride "The Da Vinci Code's" coattails to popularity in the United States now that it's finally been published in English.
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