In autumn 1921, with the world at peace, Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family are enjoying a busy period of excavation in Egypt. But their digging soon turns to detecting when they hear a lurid tale of a man's mysterious death.
The widow is convinced her husband was the victim of a curse, and implores the Emersons to return the small 'deadly' statue that killed him to the tomb from which it was stolen before it claims another victim. Having finally been given permission to return to the Valley of the Kings after being banned for many years, the Emersons know it would be a serious mistake to start chasing tomb robbers.
But Amelia and company soon realize that the curse may be more real than they ever imagined... and unless they find the truth, they may be its next victims.