Gentleman of Misfortune by Sarah Angleton
“Quality fiction and real history make a great match, and Sarah Angleton's Gentleman of Misfortune offers the best of both. This is an engaging story with surprises on every page”. -- Jeff Guinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Gunfight and Manson.
Gentleman swindler Lyman Moreau is accustomed to changing his identity to suit his schemes. A new opportunity arrives when a collection of eleven mummies and several papyri covered in indecipherable hieroglyphs are due to arrive in New York’s South Street Seaport direct from the Valley of the Kings. Enlisting the help of a crooked customs agent and a black market antiquities dealer, he assumes the identity of Michael Chandler, nephew of deceased Egyptologist Antonio Lebolo, and lays claim to the shipment. The showman’s plan to amass his fortune displaying the stolen artifacts across the country becomes more complicated when one of his accomplices dies a suspicious death, causing Lyman and the man’s beautiful widow to make a hasty escape from the city. Through four states, along the Erie Canal, and eventually to the doorstep of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, Lyman exhibits his dusty companions before a curious public. Rarely more than a few breaths ahead of his enemies, Lyman struggles to keep his prize from slipping away as he tangles with grief, love, betrayal, and a growing sense of his own mortality.