In the depths of the U.S. Library of Congress toil thousands of researchers, chasing down obsessions, breakthroughs, and new contributions to human wisdom. But when amateur D.C. sleuth Annabel Reed-Smith enters this stately American institution, she discovers a hornet's nest of intrigue and murder.
After a renowned scholar is bludgeoned to death among the scholarly stacks, an ambitious TV reporter links the case to the heist of a Spanish painting from a Miami museum and a killing in Mexico City. Annabel suspects that buried in the Library are secrets some people will do anything to keep silent-the secret of a rich man's ambition, a researcher's disappearance, and a mysterious diary of Christopher Columbus's journey written five hundred years ago. . . .