In a small room, in a tenement, in Providence, Rhode Island, in November of 1848, a boy and his sister wait for their aunt to return from her latest trip into town to find their missing mother. This time, however, she has been gone three days.
When the boy finally has to leave to find food, he returns to find his sister missing, though he had locked the door from the outside. The next day, his aunt is found dead. The boy's only hope to find his sister and mother seems to lie with a man who seems to be living in two worlds, both being dark and demonic. Edmund and his companion are thrown into an adventure frought with murder, robbery, deceit, ghosts, and much, much more.
Avi paints a dark picture, but produces a great detective novel in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Auguste Dupin. I thought this was entertaining, as well as historically educational.