It is the winter of 1811.
With the excitement of her elder sister's weddingnow behind her, a restless Rebecca Lyon is thrilledto visit her dear friend Harriet Franks. But distressingevents are about to occur. At a fashionable picture gallery,Mrs. Franks faints while viewing a Rembrandt painting ofa groom putting a ruby ring on his bride's finger. Then asuspicious coded message is found in the Mayfair tailoringestablishment of Harriet's father, and Mr. Franks isaccused of spying for Napoleon.
As Mr. Franks languishes in prison, his distraughtwife and daughter seek out Mr. Ezra Melamed, the wealthywidower-turned-sleuth. To his dismay, the one person whocould shed light on the matter seems to have disappearedoff the face of the earth. With only a coded message, themysterious ruby ring, and a cryptic clue from a Chassidic Rebbe, will Mr. Melamed be able to save Mr. Franks fromthe hangman's noose?
The Disappearing Dowry, the first book in the EzraMelamed Mystery Series, won a 2010 Sydney Taylor Notable Book Award. In this second book, acclaimed author Libi Astaire has done it again, painting a vivid picture of Regency England that combines the charm of historical fiction with the intriguing twist of a Jewish mystery.