Holmes and Watson are invited by the Chinese Ambassador to the preview of an exhibition of Chinese antiquities. These are to be exhibited at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. The star exhibit is the Zhou bell, a 5th century B.C. bell made specifically for the Zhou king and the only one in existence.
A visit from a distressed Mr James Carlisle Scott, a stage magician, begins a case triggered by the disappearance on stage of his assistant. It is a case that will draw Holmes and Watson into the world of international intrigue where state secrets are bartered. A Prussian diplomat working as an aide to the Kaiser is enraged by Holmes's…
It is a priceless artifact and is a personal loan from the Chinese emperor himself. The ambassador is concerned about its safety and trouble looms as the bell is stolen from under Mycroft's nose
Holmes and Watson become involved in Imperial intrigue as they try to retrieve the bell. A murder is committed and is linked to criminal elements bent on embarassing the Chinese Emperor and financial gain.
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