Before leaving London, Ima got mugged standing outside a famous auction house.
Along with Scotland Yard, she discovered that the accomplice to the mugger also
helped facilitate the murder in Imasode VIII. After recovering, Ima continues her
travels and invites Ginger, a young Romani gold-bender, to attend another
auction being held in the Palatine Forest at Baron SonneEntladen’s estate.
Though built in Medieval days, the baron’s castle remains an engineering marvel
with heat baffling systems and an old foundry in which smart serfs became
blacksmiths. For centuries, these metalworkers made swords, armor, and cannons
for soldiers. In modern times, they built a huge pipe organ for the castle and
tall cranes to lift guests’ cars across numerous moats.
For this Imasode, a strange cast of characters assembles to bid on ancient
artifacts that Lord Noblenose must unload to prevent losing his tea farm in
India. Involved in the auction weekend are a Punjabi royal family, a Romani
clan, a rock musician, a young art curator, a Macedonian manservant, a German
masseuse, a Hitler Youth member, a Manhattan jeweler, a Philadelphia missionary,
and a Texas corporate magnate named Roland N. Dough and his wife Spinda Dee
Dough. Although appreciating the baron’s interminable stories about serfs
becoming knights in the 1200s, German Anabaptists leaving for America in the
1500s, and Nazi officers lodging at the castle in the 1940s, the visitors have
mainly come to learn the history and value of the auction item called
The Sovereign’s Sunburst.