On a visit to her family's abandoned Santa Fe ranch, archaeologist Nora Kelly discovers an old letter, written from her father to her mother, now both dead. What perplexes Nora is the fact that the faded envelope was mailed and postmarked only a few weeks earlier. Her father had vanished into the remote canyon country of Utah 16 years before, searching for Quivira, the fabled Lost City of Gold, whose legend has captivated explorers since the days of Coronado. Upon reading the letter, Nora learns that her father believed he had, in fact, located the lost city. But what happened to her father, and who mailed the letter? In her quest for answers, Nora mounts a fresh expedition to follow her father's path and find Quivira. In doing so, she hopes not only to solve her own personal mysteries, but many of the mysteries of her profession as well. Will she discover the archaeological site of a lifetime-or risk her life and the deadly dangers of the desert for nothing?