|The Maze of Bones|
|Publication Date:||September 3, 2008|
|Followed By:||One False Note|
The Maze of Bones is the first book in The 39 Clues series. It was written by Rick Riordan, the award winning author of the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The book is the introduction to the rest of the series, introducing the main characters and the plotline for the first series.
This sets a tradition that continues until Book 10 of following famous historical Cahills, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister, Nannerl Mozart, Marie Antoinette,Toyotomi Hideyoshi,Katherine Cahill, The Romanovs,Robert Cahill Henderson, Winston Churchill, Shaka Zulu, Emperor Puyi, Anne Bonny and William Shakespeare.
The story begins with Grace Cahill laying on her deathbed requesting William McIntyre to change her will to the alternate version and dies soon after it is changed. After he is sure she is truly dead, the Man In Black steps out of the shadows and talks with McIntyre. The main characters, Amy and Dan Cahill, are then introduced. They are Grace's grandchildren going to her funeral at her mansion with Grace's sister and their guardian Aunt Beatrice. Right before the funeral Amy and Dan run into the Holts. The parents, Eisenhower and Mary-Todd, and their children, Hamilton (fifteen), Madison and Reagan (both eleven), turn Dan upside down. Then a non-random selection of Cahills, including Amy and Dan, are called away in private for the will reading. Also called away are the Holts, the Kabras (nicknamed Cobras to Amy and Dan) Natalie (eleven), and Ian (fourteen), Alistair Oh (inventor of microwaveable burritos, age 64), Irina Spasky (ex-KGB agent age 46), The Starlings triplets (Ned Starling, Ted Starling, and Sinead Starling, age 18), Jonah Wizard (famous rapper host of the reality TV show "Who Wants to be a Gangsta", 13), Uncle Jose, Cousin Ingrid, and Aunt Beatrice. It was not known until Rapid Fire Two that Astrid Rosenbloom was there also. William McIntyre shows them a video of Grace Cahill telling them there are on the brink of their greatest challenge yet. Mr. McIntyre then says they have a choice, one million dollars, or a chance to be the greatest Cahill in history and gives them five minutes to decide. Dan wants the money for baseball cards, while Amy wants the chance in order to make Grace proud. Aunt Beatrice then tries to prevent them from taking the 1st clue.Then the Kabras try to discourage them from taking the challenge. Then the people at the will reading are told by Mr. McIntyre that people like Abraham Lincoln, Harry Houdini and Lewis and Clark are Cahills. In the end Amy and Dan chose the chance and receive a sealed envelope that they are instructed not to open. Then the Holts, Alistair, Starlings, and Irina Spasky all accept the challenge. The envelope says:
As Amy and Dan think over what this means, the Starlings, Holts, Kabras, and Irina leave. Meanwhile William gives the kids Grace's last warning, "Beware the Madrigals." Amy then goes to the library but does not find anything there, but Dan opens a passageway into Grace's secret library where Alistair and them find a copy of Poor Richard's Almanack. They give to Alistair to look at, but just then the mansion burns down. They barely escape through the vents (Dan grabbing Grace's cat, Saladin and a box of jewels on the way out) and go home where they convince Nellie Gomez to be their chaperone for their trip. They then head to the Franklin Institute, and then France.
In France they reject the offer of Jonah Wizard and then follow Irina Spasky, who, due to a theft chain, now has the almanac. Irina lured them into a trap on an island, but they were later saved unpredictably by the Holts, a family who is also after the Clues. After their escape, Amy and Dan told Nellie all about the 39 Clues, and Nellie decides to help them.
With their information, the Cahills go to the Paris Catacombs. They find some bones which have numbers on them: a magic box number game, planted there by Franklin to give the coordinates to the next Clue. This leads them to a church where they find a room with a mural of the four original Cahills, after who the four Cahill branches are named.
Inside the vase in the room is a small vial, with scrambled words on it. Dan solves the anagram of RESOLUTION, which is Iron Solute, and they resolve to insert the vial into a lightning rod—one of Franklin's inventions—to charge it. Amy succeeds, but the vial is then stolen by the Kabras. However, Dan still has the original envelope, and solves the puzzle for the Clue: Iron Solute. Amy's Internet searches for Franklin also have led them to the probable location of the second Clue: Vienna, Austria, the home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Below is a list of all characters in The Maze of Bones in order of appearance.
- Grace Cahill
- William McIntyre
- Fiske Cahill (The Man in Black)
- Dan Cahill
- Amy Cahill
- Beatrice Cahill
- Madison Holt
- Reagan Holt
- Hamilton Holt
- Eisenhower Holt
- Mary-Todd Holt
- Ian Kabra
- Natalie Kabra
- Alistair Oh
- Irina Spasky
- Ned Starling
- Ted Starling
- Sinead Starling
- Jonah Wizard
- Broderick T. Wizard
- Cousin Ingrid
- Uncle José
- Nellie Gomez
- Pedro Gomez (on the phone)
The clue discovered in this book is Iron Solute.
There is a secret message hidden in every book. From page 129 to page 153, the page numbers are shaded with a white number, or sometimes a space, in the bubble. The letters are:
The secret message in this book uses a simple A=1, B=2, C=3 code.
The answer is: Anne Cahill did not drown.
On the front cover, there are roman numerals carved on the skulls: IX, XVIII, V, XII, I, XIV, IV. Use the 1=A, 2=B,... cipher and you will get the answer: IRELAND
To: The Cahill Family
If you are reading this, it means you are a long-lost member of the Cahill family - the most powerful family in the world. The source of the family's power has been lost, and can only be recovered by assembling 39 Clues scattered around the globe. Rumor has it that Amy and Dan Cahill have the best shot at finding all 39 Clues. But they haven't met their greatest competition... YOU!
There are over $100,000 in prizes up for grabs, so start your Clue hunt now.
START YOUR CLUE HUNT
1. Go to www.the39clues.com
2. Click on "create an account" and choose a username and password.
3. Discover what branch of the Cahill family you belong to.
4. Explore the Cahill world and track down Clues.
Read the Books. Collect the Cards. Play the Game. Win the Prizes.
The Maze of Bones comes with six cards.
- Card 1: Surveillance Camera
- Card 2: Dan Cahill
- Card 3: Catacombs
- Card 4: The Titanic
- Card 5: George McClain
- Card 6: Thomas Jefferson
- The sum of the magic square on page 173 is 39.
- There is also an alternate cover which features the cards in the front of the book instead of tucked inside the front cover.
- When the man in black says "They'll never have a clue" he could be referring to the Vespers.