The Maze of Bones is the first book in The 39 Clues series. It was written by Rick Riordan. The book is the introduction to the rest of the series, introducing the main characters and the plot line for the first series. A prequel story to the book, Midnight Ride, was released in 2013.
Grace Cahill, lying on her deathbed, requests William McIntyre to change her will to an alternate version, and dies soon after. Once she is dead, the Man In Black steps out of the shadows and talks with McIntyre.
Amy and Dan Cahill, Grace's grandchildren, go to Grace's funeral at her mansion, in the care of their guardian, Grace's sister 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 by 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 (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. 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:
The fine print to guess,
Seek out Richard S___
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 Almanac. They give it 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 Amy grabbing a box of jewels on the way out), realize that Alistair has stolen the book, and go home where they convince their Au pair Nellie Gomez to be their chaperone for their trip. They then head to the Franklin Institute, where they encounter the Starling triplets. Dan and Amy try to warn them about a man in black who is going to get them but they don't listen and an explosion occurs and they are left in the hospital for weeks. Nellie is furious and Amy convincingly lies a bit and Nelly is convinced to continue their journey. Once they discover a clue Benjamin Franklin left behind and leave the Starlings at the Institute, Amy and Dan head to France.
In France, they reject Jonah Wizard's offer of an alliance and tail Irina Spasky, who, due to a theft chain, now has the almanac. Irina lured them all the way into the Lucian stronghold, and afterwards onto a trap on the Ille St-Louis Island on the Seine, 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 Roman Numerals on them; a magic box number game, planted there by Franklin to give the coordinates to the next Clue. However, the Kabras arrive and they threaten to hurt Amy and Dan but are saved by Alistair. The coordinates lead them to St. Pierre-de-Monmarte church where they find a room with a mural of the four original Cahills, after who the four Cahill branches were named.
Within the room, there is a pedestal with sheet music engraved upon it, holding a vase with a small vial inside, with scrambled words on it. Jonah Wizard then arrives and tells them to give him the vial. Dan solves the anagram on the vial and they resolve to insert the vial into a lightning rod—one of Franklin's inventions—to charge it. The Holt family arrive in a van and attempt to steal it. Alistair and Irina are revealed to have made an alliance and the Kabras arrive. Amy succeeds, but the vial is then stolen by the Kabras, when they trick Amy and Dan to give them the vial. However, Dan still has the original envelope, and solves the anagram of RESOLUTION to the Clue: Iron Solute. Amy's Internet searches for Franklin, coupled with music, led them to the possible 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
- 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 Jose
- 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 that are also part of a combo. The cards come with a code at the bottom of all of the cards, and the code is the same for each card
- 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.
|v • d • e The 39 Clues Books|
|The Clue Hunt||The Maze of Bones • One False Note • The Sword Thief • Beyond the Grave • The Black Circle • In Too Deep • The Viper's Nest • The Emperor's Code • Storm Warning • Into the Gauntlet • Vespers Rising|
|Cahills vs. Vespers||The Medusa Plot • A King's Ransom • The Dead Of Night • Shatterproof • Trust No One • Day Of Doom|
|Unstoppable||Nowhere to Run • Breakaway • Countdown • Flashpoint|
|Doublecross||Mission Titanic • Mission Hindenburg • Mission Hurricane • Mission Atomic|
|The Cahill Files||Operation Trinity • The Submarine Job • The Redcoat Chase • The Houdini Escape • Silent Night • Spymasters|
|Rapid Fire||Legacy • Ignition • Hunted • Crushed • Turbulence • Invasion • Fireworks|
|Additional Books||The Black Book of Buried Secrets • Agent Handbook • Midnight Ride • Worlds Collide|