'Da Vinci Code' war of words begins
December 22, 2006 3:31am CST
WHETHER you like the book or not, you have to admit that the mega-selling "The Da Vinci Code" is a ripping page-turner of a thriller. The same could not be said of the opening day of a hearing Monday to determine whether, and how much, its author had lifted his plot from another book. The lawsuit against the book's publisher for breach of copyright is the latest twist for the zillion-selling conspiracy thriller. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of the 1982 nonfiction book "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" (published in the United States as "Holy Blood, Holy Grail"), are suing the Random House over the allegation that parts of their work formed the basis of Dan Brown's novel, which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and remains high on bestseller lists nearly three years after publication.