"Stay away from tomb Twenty-A!" says an ominous message delivered by an unseen hand. The year is 1903, the place is Cairo, and with the new century, everything is changing for Amelia Peabody - except for her affinity for danger. Headed for an archaeological dig in the awesome Valley of the Kings, she hopes the desert will yield up its secrets. Instead it will produce a macabre puzzle of murder, passion, and cruel deceit.