Has English professor Lee Ann Downing been sexually harassing married literary star Josh Golden? Or has Josh been harassing Lee Ann, as she claims? To find out, IT workers hack her email account, opening a world of illicit intrigue. Lee Ann has been discussing Josh with her best friend, neuroscientist Becky Fass, who is struggling to run a lab despite a depressed grad student seduced and rejected by the department chair, a postdoc stalked by a jealous ex-husband, and Becky’s own love for married physicist Owen Bauer, who turns suicidal when his wife leaves him after discovering his affair with Becky. As Lee Ann’s and Josh’s email flirtation veers toward a deadly encounter, Becky fights to save Owen, and violence erupts in her lab. Set in the 1990s during the first reckless years of email, The Tantalus Letters follows two working women’s struggles for emotional fulfillment as they conduct their love lives through tantalizing messages.