'The Hermit is dead but his guilt lives on in his children – guilt which stems from the ivory box he found in India during WW2 and the orphan he gave it to.
'Does the ivory box hold the power to send mad whoever owns it? Or, if they are too strong, send mad their most loved one? Most people think that’s nonsense, but they hold an element of doubt.
'The ever-practical Dee also thinks it’s nonsense, but even she wavers at times. The only person who has no doubt is the artist Alice and her insistence that Dee solve the mystery follows a thread of family fortune starting with the birth of Thomas, in 1730, and ending in a surprising conclusion nearly three centuries on.
'In The Hermit and the Ivory Box, Penny Blackwell creates a mysterious back story for one of the early characters featured in her first book, Loki’s Joke.' (Publication summary)