In Vienna in 1770 Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen unveils his astonishing invention: the Mechanical Turk, an unbeatable chess-playing machine. But von Kempelen is no mechanical genius. Rather, he’s a conman, as Tibor, the dwarf locked inside the device, will attest.
As the pair tour Europe and become involved in a host of picaresque adventures, barely keeping the secret as they beat all comers, they at last come unstuck when a beautiful countess dies in the presence of the Turk.
Suddenly von Kempelen, Tibor and his Turk are the objects of suspicion and the targets of persecution and espionage. And that is before more unexplained deaths further complicate matters .