Mira, Sep 2004, 6.50, 464 pp.
In 1835 Malcolm Ramsey watches a stranger kill his father and uncle. Malcolm, his mom, his aunt and his two cousins escape. The family splits up to keep the children safe with his mom and aunt each taking a special crucifix with them. Elizabeth and Marcus travel to London where they change their name to Blackfriers.
In 1848 junior journeyman mapmaker Marcus sells three maps of the Castle Dundragon area. He mentions to his mom what he sold and she says that the current owner killed his father and uncle thirteen years ago over a lost scarab stolen from Egypt by a late seventeenth century ancestor. She gives him her crucifix as a key to finding the lost scarab.
In London, Marcus saves Ariana Levesque from a runaway coach. They like each other, but he has no title except the dangerous Ramsey link and that seems futile. Still Ariana and Marcus begin meeting in a nearby park. As they fall in love, their pasts, which intersected until 1835 surfaces. Both know something must be done to unravel the secrets behind the NINEFOLD KEY and its scarab that has destroyed Marcus' ancestors since Viscount Ramsey took the scarab in 1669 Egypt.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner