NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) - "Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown's new novel will be published on May 14, his publisher Doubleday said on Tuesday after a social media puzzle worthy of the writer helped reveal the title.
"Inferno" features the return of renowned Harvard symbologist and "Da Vinci Code" protagonist Robert Langdon, and is set in Italy, centering on the literary masterpiece "Dante's Inferno," Doubleday said. It will have a first printing of 4 million copies.
"Although I studied Dante's Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world," Brown said on his website.
"With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm ... a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways," he added.
Brown's religion-themed mystery novel "The Da Vinci Code," riddled with codes, keys, conspiracies and other puzzling symbols, was published in 2003 and was made into a hit film starring Tom Hanks. It spent more than a year atop the New York Times bestseller list.
"The Lost Symbol," his next book, followed in 2009.
In keeping with Brown's love of puzzles, the book's title was revealed on his website as fans and others posted items on social media which linked to a mosaic on the site. As posts were made, pieces of the mosaic were revealed, eventually uncovering the title.
"Inferno" will be published in Britain on the same date by Transworld Publishers, a division of The Random House Group. (Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Paul Casciato and Mohammad Zargham)