'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 ones. Is she a faker, motivated by the fact that the rom used to camp in the grounds of Buckshaw until Flavia's father turned them off, with tragic results? 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?