Isobel Sadler is dead broke. The only thing she's got that might bring in any money is a stupendously bad painting that's been in her family for generations. It's so ugly she can't imagine it would be worth much, but the other night someone tried to steal it. Mystified, she turns to art dealer Michael Whiting, who identifies the painting as a 16th-centurytreasure map, pointing the way to a cache of priceless religious artifacts that were hidden by monks when Henry VIII was dissolving the monasteries. If they can decipher the clues in the painting, Whiting reasons, Isobel's money troubles will be history. Whiting, however, isn't the only one who has figured out the painting's true identity. He and Isobel struggle to decode its arcane instructions-laced with references to everything from classical mythology to the Bible to Botticelli.-but a rival is one step ahead, and he'll stop at nothing-not even murder-to get his hands on the medieval treasure.