When a 150-year-old bulto—a religious icon purportedly destroyed in in the Smithsonian’s Great Fire in 1865—turns up not once but three times in Sotheby’s auction results, Interpol contacts the FBI’s Art Crimes Unit in Washington, D.C. to find out what’s afoot. Special Agent Jacques Pearce enlists the help of Micki Jaynes, an art appraiser who specializes in icons and monstrances. They meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the city prepares to celebrate Dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and find murder—a prostitute, bludgeoned by the bulto they seek, a shopkeeper killed in the same way, and a former lover of Micki’s done in as well. Why are the victims being silenced, each of them murdered by a holy relic? And is the murder weapon a copy of the elusive original or is it the real thing?