'You frighten me,' the Gypsy said. 'Never have I seen my crystal ball so filled with darkness.' So begins eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce's third adventure through the charming but deceptively dark byways of the village of Bishop's Lacey. What the fortune teller in fact claimed to see was a vision of Flavia's mother, Harriet, who died on a mountainside in Tibet when Flavia was less than a year old.
'She's trying to come home,' the old woman intones. 'And she needs your help.' For Flavia, the old gypsy's words open up old wounds and new possibilities - not all of them nice. Is she a faker, or is there some truth to her powers, and the message she brings back from the other side? And when the village is rocked by another ghastly murder, how will a growing fascination with gypsy lore help Flavia to solve it?