The Cistern Rose is historical fiction set primarily in Guelph. While the setting and time period begin close to the present, the story takes the reader on a mystery adventure into the time and environment of the 19th century, specifically around the U.S. Civil War both in the Confederacy and Upper Canada. The 21st century characters, Hermione and Euphemia meet on a porch because one searches for a possible family connection while the other may hold the key to that discovery. The 19th century characters, Margeurite and Maybelle meet on a plantation as master and slave. The relationship that develops between these two women from different centuries is as central to the story as the discovery of a treasure. There is historical speculation that the Confederacy divided its treasury and sent it to secret locations in the hope of retrieving it for future use. Upper Canada was one possible location.