Irene Adler is the beautiful opera singer who bested the best detective in the world, the only woman to ever outwit Sherlock Holmes. She has spent years in self-imposed exile in Europe, in an attempt to reinvent herself and create a new life, because she cannot remember the old one. But now circumstances have forced this diva-turned-detective to investigate a past she doesn't remember - on her home ground. Daredevil reporter Nelly Bly has lured Irene, her faithful chronicler and British parson's daughter Nell Huxleigh, and Holmes himself to America, offering information regarding Irene's parentage. New York City in 1889 proved to be both fascinating and perilous for Irene, and Nelly Bly's information was more harmful than helpful. Because now Irene and her allies - and enemies - must race to follow a deadly trail of hidden personal and political history back in time to the days of the California gold rush, thirty years earlier. They are pursuing the complex and contradictory life story of one of the most notorious women of the nineteenth century, and before the intrigue-ridden quest is over, Irene and Nell will uncover murderous international political conspiracies, lost treasure, and finally... the full, shocking secret of Irene's birth.