History and mystery will converge once again in the third Crime Cats children's book by Clintonville author Wolfgang Parker.

History and mystery will converge once again in the third Crime Cats children's book by Clintonville author Wolfgang Parker.

For Crime Cats: The Deadly Scarab, Parker turns to his Columbus neighborhood's contribution to a famous discovery in Egypt's Valley of the Kings nearly a century ago.

"This one explores Columbus' real connection to the unearthing of King Tut's tomb," Parker said. "It's very obscure history."

Parker, who also an independent recording artist, said he learned from Clintonville Historical Society president Mary Rodgers that a couple who once lived in the neighborhood were involved in the expedition, led by British Egyptologist Howard Carter, that found the tomb Nov. 4, 1922, and entered Tutankhamun's burial chamber Feb. 16, 1923.

Edgar Aldrich, who became wealthy as an electrical engineer and retired at a relatively young age, and his wife, Helen, were friends of Lord Carnarvon, the British citizen who financed the expedition, according to Rodgers. Photos the couple took during the excavation were later used in National Geographic, she said.

"That's how we know that they were truly there," Rodgers said. "The story has it that (Helen Aldrich) had a ring that Lord Carnarvon gave her from the spoils and that she and her husband died in an automobile accident. To this day, nobody in the family wears that ring."

Parker tracked down a descendant of the couple and interviewed him for The Deadly Scarab, which is to be released Nov. 28.

"I don't want to give it away," Parker said. "I will say that the couple, a man and woman who were on site when the crypt was discovered and unearthed, were the first Americans in the crypt and they were from here. Most children seem to go through a fascination with Egyptology. It's one of those things like ninjas and knights and medieval times.

"It's such an interesting piece of history because it's so obscure. It's not like the Tut crypt isn't still relative. It still tours. The fascination never dies."

The Deadly Scarab marks the return of 8-year-old Jonas Shurmann and his crime-solving feline friends, CatBob and Neil Higgins, first introduced in Missing, which Parker initially wrote for his 19 nieces and nephews scattered around the country. He printed a few extra copies and the book, with its many Clintonville references, became a hit in the neighborhood and beyond.

Parker followed that up a year ago with Crime Cats: The Dusenbury Curse, which he began writing immediately after the first volume came out.

"I wanted to make sure I wasn't a one-trick pony, and I also didn't want to think about anyone else's expectations," he said.

Ben Sostrom, an actor, teacher and prop designer for CATCO, has been Parker's editor for the children's book series.

"He just comes up with a lot of really interesting directions to take his characters," the freelance editor said. "Not to mention they're so much fun to read."

The first book in the series has sold 3,300 copies, according to Parker. He added that he sells the Crime Cats novels, with illustrations also by the author, only through locally owned small businesses in the area -- about a dozen of them at the moment.

"It seems once people do find out about it, they really do get excited," Parker said. "They want to share it. Kids are actually recommending the books to one another. I don't recall that happening when I was a kid, at least not in my little world.

"It's incredibly gratifying."

Fans of the series need not fear the books have run their course with the third volume.

"Book four is definitely happening," Parker said. "I'll probably start writing that in December for release in early 2016.

"I foresee Crime Cats going on for a while. I really do. I found so many interesting pieces of Columbus history that I want to explore through Crime Cats. There's a lot of fodder there for a lot of books, and I love writing them. It's not anything where the process is wearing me down. I like to think with each book I'm getting better as a writer."