When Captain Robert Surtees of Falaise found he had lost his livelihood and his beloved ship the Lady Jane after a downturn in the coasting trade, his only recourse was to an inheritance left him years earlier by a maiden aunt. That inheritance was Hooting Grange, a rambling old wilderness of a country manse in the Tillington Road, on the far outskirts of Market Snailsby in Fenshire. With its vast, walled perimeter, steep roofs and clumps of twisted chimneys, the Grange was a sight to behold. And "Ramshackle Great Place" -- the captain's name for the house in his youth -- had a reputation to match. Workmen refused to work in it, housekeepers disliked keeping house in it, because, as people whispered, "there was something wrong with the place" -- despite their affection for the captain's kindly aunt, Miss Belle Normand, who lived there.
Five years now have passed since the captain's aunt mysteriously vanished on the road, while traveling to a nearby town to consult a medical specialist for her condition. Her nephew has moved into the Grange, and already trouble has reared its head. Worse yet, according to a provision of his aunt's will, Captain Surtees is prohibited from selling the Grange or any part of it or its acres, and so has no practical means of recovering his former life.
In this new, eleventh volume in his acclaimed Western Lights series of fantasy-mysteries, author Jeffrey E. Barlough returns to the scene and times of Bertram of Butter Cross, in a whimsical tale of the captain who had lost a ship but gained a . . .?