A suspicious riding accident in the West Country of England leads to adventures in 1830 Egypt.
Lord Ambrose Malfine has had little to do with the neighborhood gentry until Lilian Westmorland, the daughter of a childhood friend, is almost killed when her mare throws her. Lilian is an orphan whose estate is under the control of her uncle, Micah, and his sinister man of business, Casterman. The groom is dismissed and Lilian bundled off to Egypt with unseemly haste by her uncle, who claims that the mild winter will help her recover. Malfine must spur his own Arab mare to catch the steamship before it departs so that he can watch over Lilian. Once in Egypt, his charge almost takes a fatal tumble from a tower before she is rescued by a daring young friend of Malfine. Weeks later, Lilian disappears into a house rented by Casterman, a virtual prison in the mysterious depths of Cairo. In a series of hair-raising adventures, Lilian and Malfine escape repeated deathtraps and return to England to tie up loose ends and remove Micah from his tyrannical control.
Less a mystery than a Gothic romance with an all-too-familiar wicked uncle. But Malfine is an appealing hero, and history buffs will appreciate the evocative descriptions of England and Egypt and the information on the slave trade.