This paraquel to The Black Book of Secrets, takes place in Urbs Umida and centers on the life of one boy, Pin Carpue. As Pin awakens from a drug-induced stupor, he is gripped with fear. He is in his usual place of work, but before his eyes a corpse is coming to life and speaking. Pin works for the local undertaker and ensures that the deceased is actually deceased by poking it with various sharp objects. An odd lot of characters gathers as the story progresses. We begin with Benedict Pantagus, a Bone Magician and Juno, his young assistant, who can awaken the dead. Then, there is Aluph Bincombe who is a cranial topographer - he studies the lumps and bumps of the head. There is Deodonatas Snoad, a hideously ugly man, who writes for the "Chronicle" about the "Silver Apple Killer" who is murdering at random in the city and about the various odd creatures who show up at the Nimble Finger to entertain the patrons. The latest is The Gluttonous Beast. Who will be the next victim of the Silver Apple Killer? Where is Pin's father? Did he kill Uncle Fabian? Ahh, it was a dark and stormy and, in this case, creepy night....
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