It is the winter of 1811.
With the excitement of her elder sister’s wedding now behind her, a restless Rebecca Lyon is thrilled to visit her dear friend Harriet Franks. But distressing events are about to occur. At a fashionable picture gallery, Mrs. Franks faints while viewing a Rembrandt painting of a groom putting a ruby ring on his bride’s finger. Then a suspicious coded message is found in the Mayfair tailoring establishment of Harriet’s father, and Mr. Franks is accused of spying for Napoleon. <> As Mr. Franks languishes in prison, his distraught wife and daughter seek out Mr. Ezra Melamed, the wealthy widower-turned-sleuth. To his dismay, the one person who could shed light on the matter seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. With only a coded message, the mysterious ruby ring, and a cryptic clue from a Chassidic Rebbe, will Mr. Melamed be able to save Mr. Franks from the hangman’s noose?