Jonathan Cooke and his wife Olivia both work for the antiquities division of Yale. Jonathan is an expert on ancient languages and Olivia works with ancient artifacts. Their expertise has now seen them recruited to conduct a study of Ethiopian artifacts at the British National Museum in London.
The relics have been in the museum ever since they were seized after the Ethiopian despot Tewodros II was deposed by the British in 1868, yet their very presence is regarded as a dishonor for many Ethiopians who now demand they be returned.
On arrival in London, Jonathan and Olivia are forced to abandon their first visit to the museum due to the protests outside and when they do arrive the following day, with curator Wilfred Stevens, it is to discover that the most valuable exhibit, a solid gold crown known as the crown of an Ethiopian King, has been stolen.
Now the race is on to find the thief and return the artefact to its pride of place.
Before long a suspect is revealed in the form of Ethiopian security guard Tesfaye Ghebreyesus, but Jonathan and Olivia aren’t so sure it was him and together they set out to prove his innocence and find the true culprit.
But will their investigations uncover the real villain? Can they absolve Tesfaye of blame? And how will Wilfred Stevens react when his world is about to come crashing down?