April Hall, an eleven-year-old girl, has moved into her grandmother’s apartment building from Hollywood. She wants to be as glamorous as her actress mother, Dorothea, her mother usually fails to understand her. April meets her grandmother’s friends’ children- Melanie and Marshall. Melanie is about April’s age while Marshall is four.
Over the next few weeks, April and Melanie meet in the library and play with paper dolls. They get along together well because of they're amazing imaginations. They find a book about Egypt and they become lost in ancient Egypt- which causes them to read every single book about Egypt in the library.
Melanie notices a loose plank in the fence nearby her house. Without regard for trespassing consequences, April, Melanie, and Marshall enter through the fence to find several reproductions of Egyptian relics, including a large copy of the iconic bust of Nefertiti, the most beautiful of Egyptian queens. April believes it is an omen. They clean up the place and decorate it with more objects that remind them of Egypt. The bust of Nefertiti is used to commemorate the queen, and as a monument to the Goddess Isis, since the girls are aware that Pharaohs and their queens were believed to embody the gods to whom they were related. They also create an image of Set, the enemy of Isis and Osiris.
After the renovation, they begin to build their own story of Ancient Egypt where Marshall is a boy pharaoh and Melanie & April are alternately high priestesses of Set who offer Marshall, the young pharaoh, as a human sacrifice on the crocodile altar, and good priestesses who rescue him and resist the forces of evil.
A new and younger girl, Elizabeth Chung, moves into the neighborhood. Upon catching a glimpse of her exquisite profile, which resembles Nefertiti's, the children invite her to participate in the Egypt game where she plays a woman pharaoh, Neferbeth.
However, the Egypt game comes to an abrupt halt with the murder of a little...