Faye Longchamp is once again in Florida, at Joyeuse, the family plantation she labors so lovingly to restore. She’s doing archaeological work for pay, excavating a site once owned by her family. Her joy abruptly ends when thieves break into the home of her beloved mentor Douglass Everett and kill him while inexplicably ignoring not just the impressive display of artifacts in his mansion, but its valuable art work. All that’s missing are Faye’s field notes.
But the thieves left, on Douglass’ body, a magnificent emerald; a gem Faye had just unearthed and brought to him that fateful evening. Surely this fabulous jewel has a romantic history. Then another murder quickly furnishes a clue that only Faye is likely to interpret. It launches her on a treasure hunt connected to Marie Antoinette and to the history of the Confederacy.
Faye’s research rubs a number of people wrong, including some Civil War souvenir seekers. And her quest to solve the murders forces Faye to look hard at the people close to her, friends and lovers, in a journey paralleled by that of a Civil War-era neighbor to Joyeuse.
The killers have shown they will stop at nothing to get the information in Faye’s notes. It’s only a matter of time before they come for Faye.