In between my Montalbano-Camilleri marathon [in which I am now on to Rounding the Mark] I have read James D. Tabor's The Jesus Dynasty.
Don't be fooled by the slightly hysterical blurbs on the front and back covers about "stunning new evidence" or "the greatest historical detective story ever told..." this is an erudite book by a distinguished scholar.
There is a criminal connection because Professor Tabor was chief historical consultant to novelist Kathy Reichs for Cross Bones. Formerly at the University of Notre Dame, Professor Tabor is now chair of the department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
There is no resemblance between this book and The Da Vinci Code, because despite its cover it is not sensationalist and Professor Tabor is a bibilical archaeologist not a thriller writer. Although in fact there are more real "intellectual thrills" in The Jesus Dynasty than in The Da Vinci Code.
I learned a tremendous amount about the historical Jesus and his time from this book, and can highly recommend it to anyone with an open enquiring mind.