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SubGenre: Historical
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9781483517667
Publisher: BookBaby
Publish date: 1/14/2014
Series title:
Edition number: 1
Pages: 358

Saint-Gaudens Cypher

by Meg Penfield Marker


"Intrigue, international mystery, and unrequited love mix together in Saint-Gaudens Cypher. A cross between The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure." -Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

"I was captivated from the start. The plot combining historical elements was wonderful. I could not help but marvel at the beauty of it all. I was mesmerized." -Lisa Jones for Readers' Favorite

Saint-Gaudens Cypher, a novel, spans the globe as two grad students embark on a journey to decipher the meaning of a mysterious old-world relic—a medallion that could be attributed to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, an Irish-born Beaux-Arts sculptor of the late nineteenth century. Known for his monuments, Saint-Gaudens was revered as embodying the ideals of the “American Renaissance” through his sculptures, most notably the heroic standing Abraham Lincoln (1884–1887), as well as the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial (1884–1897).   


In the nineteenth century, secret societies and covert communication were an integral part of sharing information and accomplishing political and religious missions. It was a critical time when certain friendships in America and Europe were perilous and correspondence was intertwined with cyphers, art, and cryptic codes to pass along necessary information. Following the American Civil War, spanning a generation from 1870–1910, the greatest mass immigration to the United States occurred with an estimated forty million people. Most fled from famines and war to start a new life in America. Approximately five million of this wave of immigrants made New York City their home where a new city emerged from their hard work and labor. They were mostly Catholic and were of European descent. Discrimination against them was widespread, and as a source of refuge, they congregated in the Catholic Church.


Saint-Gaudens Cypher teaches history in this tale, which tells the story of Gwen Young, an NYU art history graduate student, whose life is suddenly changed forever when her great-uncle Arthur, a former art historian, dies. Gwen inherits a rare family heirloom, and she soon discovers within its folds a mysterious treasure—a golden medallion. Arthur’s last wish was for Gwen to decipher its meaning, but she must proceed with caution. With the help of her former love interest, David, the two venture to Paris, Rome, and Washington D.C. where the world of art, history, religion, and politics converge. Little do they know that while they are in the depths of discovering one of America’s most best kept secrets involving a President of the United States, others are aware of the rare medallion and will stop at nothing to obtain it. 

About the author

Meg Penfield Marker attended Texas Christian University and the University of Colorado where she studied Broadcast/Journalism. She has worked for the past twenty years in Southern California in radio, entertainment, social media and philanthropy for Marker Broadcasting. She resides in Rancho Mirage, where she lives with her husband and two children. She has authored two screenplays and a children's book - this is her foray into a novel.