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The Rosetta Key

by admin on March 3, 2011

The Rosetta KeyPublished April 2008

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In “Napoleon’s Pyramids,” American adventurer Ethan Gage learned that a secret book powerful enough to change world history had been spirited out of the Great Pyramid. In this sequel, set during Bonaparte’s 1799 invasion of the Holy Land, Ethan is back, pressed into an agent’s role for the British as he searches for the mysterious Book of Thoth and word of the final fate of his lover Astiza and his rival, Count Alessandro Silano.

Once again, a fascinating military episode of world history is combined with evocative scenery, vivid characters, and ancient puzzles to bring the story full-circle and satisfy fans of the historical thriller. Ranging from Jerusalem to Jaffa, the epic siege of Acre, the “City of Ghosts,” and finally to Paris, our gambler, electrician, and sharpshooter must use his skills and dogged perseverance to contest Napoleon’s ascension.

In 1799, Napoleon has triumphed in Egypt and decides to invade the Holy Land in hopes of toppling the Ottoman Empire and becoming a second Alexander the Great. Allying against the French general are the real-life British Captain Sir Sidney Smith, the Mameluke warlord “The Butcher,” and Louis-Edmond Phelipeaux, a one-time schoolmate of Bonaparte now fighting him as a royalist. Plus our inventive Ethan Gage. Can their stand at the old Crusader city of Acre stop the French army?

Ethan is pressed into exploring the hidden tunnels of Jerusalem in partnership with the lovely Miriam and her brother Jericho. Add a hulking British sailor named Big Ned, a native guide named Mohammad, a nasty nemesis named Najac, bold experiments with electricity, and jarring surprises from the past, and it’s no wonder Ethan finds himself in both the British and French camps, playing a critical role in history.

Battles, escapes, discoveries, villains, some wry humor, and speculation about ancient mysteries combine to bring to a thrilling climax a Napoleonic saga that has already sold (“Napoleon’s Pyramids”) into twenty-eight languages, and The Rosetta Key into seventeen. What is the Rosetta Key? Why is Bonaparte so anxious to carry it back to Paris? Can Ethan decipher the secret first?

Get ready for more high adventure!


“Last seen in Dietrich’s Napoleon’s Pyramids, fleeing the forces of evil in a runaway hot-air balloon over Egypt, Ethan Gage undergoes further life-threatening adventures in this rollicking sequel. . . .Ever the incorrigible gambler and all-around scamp, Gage makes an irresistible antihero. The ending promises more volumes in what one hopes will be a long series.”
Publishers Weekly

“Exciting and well-written . . .. Dietrich’s latest tale is ripe with rich detail of the Holy Land of the period and its disparate peoples. Fascinating historical and fictional characters and good dialog add to the mix. Offering high adventure and good history, it’s also great fun. Recommended for all popular fiction collections.”
Library Journal

“The Rosetta Key” creates a satisfying blend of military and ancient history, adventure and romance. New readers may search out Gage’s previous adventures as they join Dietrich’s fans in awaiting his next one.”
–Newark, NJ Star-Ledger

“Instead of reheating their 1980s Indian Jones formula in the imminent sequel, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas should’ve made a movie about a newer, smarter swashbuckler involved with a lost ark: Ethan Gage…An utterly captivating romp from the treacherous tunnels beneath Jerusalem to the lost City of Ghosts (Petra, Jordan) to the tumult of revolutionary Paris.”
Seattle Times

“If only all history lessons could be like this! . . .This is fic-history at it’s best. The battles of Jaffa and the subsequent massacre, the Siege of Acre and the battles at Mount Tabor are all historical record. Dietrich winds Ethan Gage into this world and makes it real for the reader. He also shows how the supposedly civilized French could be capable of such horrific atrocities and how war un-civilizes even the most cultural of races. A cracking read, I can’t wait to read Napoleon’s Pyramids — the first of the Gage books.”
Cool Books Blog Review

“Historical fiction meets thriller here, with plenty to interest fans of both genres. The action is nearly nonstop, the humor is plentiful, and the intrigue is more than enough to keep the pages turning.”
School Library Journal

hardcover / $25.95 / HarperCollins / 0061239550  / April 2008
paperback/ $7.99 / HarperCollins /ISBN-10: 0061239569 / ISBN-13: 978-0061239564 /February 2009

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