This adventure transports Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson to Amarna, the desert site where the two archaeologists first met. For the first time in many years, Ramses chooses not to accompany his parents on their yearly excavation. At the tender age of 11, Ramses has fallen in love with 13-year-old Nefret, the auburn-haired beauty the Emersons rescued from the ancient city of Napata. Ramses' new obsession does not deter him from putting in his two cents worth, however, in a series of lengthy epistles to Egypt. Her son's budding affaire de coeur reminds Amelia of her once-tumultuous romance with Emerson. She is hopeful that their time alone together will rekindle old flames. But every confidence meets with disaster when Emerson is ambushed, kidnapped, and severely wounded on the road to Luxor. Rescued, and squirming under Amelia's gentle ministrations, Emerson wastes little time in recovering his irascible nature, but to Amelia's dismay, he seems to have no recollection of who she is! Now, both past and future are in jeopardy as Amelia attempts to locate Emerson's attackers; prevent his disclosure of an important artifact relating to Nefret's security; and renew feelings in him that appear as remote as a Pharaoah's tomb.