The international best-selling writer Dan Brown has hinted he may set a new novel in Ireland.

The author of The Da Vinci Code was in the capital on Monday as part of the Dublin Writers Festival.

It was his first time to visit Ireland.

On Monday night, he addressed an audience at the National Concert Hall, which was not a sell-out.

He told the crowd that his interest in science and religion stemmed from being the son of a mathematician and a church organist.

The 48-year-old New Hampshire native has sold hundreds of millions of books worldwide.

He has incurred the wrath of the Vatican for his views on the Church and Christianity.

Brown says his latest offering Inferno may also spark some controversy.

Based on Dante's Inferno, the book is set in Florence, Italy and follows Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. It is Langdon's fourth adventure in the crime series.

But the critics have not been kind. Brown said the reviews in the United States were ''wonderful'' but they were ''less wonderful here - the way it always is''. He said he is used to the criticism now.

The book is in top spot on the Irish book sales chart.

Fifteen fans met the author at an intimate book signing in Eason on O'Connell Street last night.

Brown was also presented with a copy of the Book of Kells, hinting that Professor Langdon should visit the Celtic manuscript soon.

Brown is widely credited for boosting tourism in Paris and Rome following the success of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, and he hopes Robert Langdon will ''one day walk the streets of Dublin".