As a young boy, Tom Michael walked with his father, Alfred, along the streets of Michael's Harbor, Massachusetts, and gazed across the water at the stately mansions on Warning Hill. Imagining the lives of the families inside those majestic homes was an enjoyable distraction, a cherished bond between father and son. Years later, after the shocking tragedy of his father's suicide, Tom holds the memory of those walks dear.
Eager to escape his complicated past, Calvin Gates boards a train bound for Inner Mongolia, where he plans to join an archaeological dig. Also en route to the Gilbreth Expedition is Sylvia Dillaway, a beautiful young artist with a fierce independent streak. The two Americans become unwitting players in a high-stakes game of international intrigue when Sylvia's Australian guide gives her a silver inlaid cigarette case containing a coded message.
Wilson Hitchings is ready to assume his rightful place at Hitchings Brothers, one of the oldest mercantile banks in China. His first task takes him to Hawaii, where he must persuade his cousin Eva to close Hitchings Plantation, a gambling establishment started by her father, the black sheep of the family. The senior members of the bank believe that the casino is tarnishing the venerable Hitchings name. Little do they know how right they are.
November 1940: In Kingston Harbor, ex-navy pilot Bob Bolles lounges aboard his cutter. After months spent drifting from port to port, his only ironclad rule is no alcohol before noon. But when an American businessman named Malcolm Kingman, his gorgeous socialite wife, and their Swedish butler charter the Thistlewood for a trip to the remote Mercator Island, Bob's carefree life takes a dangerous and dramatic turn.
Stolen art, murder, and international intrigue - the second installment in John P. Marquand's popular espionage series is an evocative portrait of 1930s Peking. Tom Nelson, a jaded American expatriate, stumbles into a deadly conspiracy as tensions between Japan and China threaten to escalate into all-out war. When a British ex-army major trafficking in stolen goods is murdered, the beautiful American art dealer Eleanor Joyce is implicated in the crime.
After serving his country as a paratrooper in World War II, Jack Rhyce takes on an even more dangerous mission when he becomes a secret agent in the early years of the Cold War. Now he and fellow spy Ruth Bogart have been dispatched to Tokyo to foil an assassination attempt on a leading liberal politician. Murder is only the first part of this nefarious Communist plot; the ultimate objective is to stir up anti-American sentiment in a country that has formed close bonds with its former adversary in the West.
Capitalizing on his heroic career as a World War I flying ace, Casey Lee agrees to pilot a plane across the Pacific as a publicity stunt for an American tobacco company. But his future as a goodwill ambassador between East and West takes a nosedive when the flight is abruptly canceled. Stranded in Tokyo, his bank account rapidly dwindling, Casey is approached by Mr. Moto, a secret agent with a job to offer.