An adventuresome portrait of secrecy and the pararmal in the Victorian heartland. Raised by werewolves in the backwoods of southern Indiana, Deandra Brown has chosen to follow in the footsteps of her father, a pararmal investigator for the mysterious Society of Asherah. Along the way she must deal with her controversial heritage, a suddenly uncertain love life, an adjustment to city living and the problematic friendship of Matthew Arktouros, an age-old immortal who has latched onto her family as a means of keeping his sanity. And w he has an adversary in the form of the elusive Grinning Man, a predatory Spirit with the power to stir minds into madness, murder, and suicide. The Grinning Man cant harm Matthew and Matthew cant harm him, yet the unchecked potential for collateral damage is more than the average amalist-and amalist's daughter-can contain. In the meantime, a troupe of actors who have been performing the same Shakespearean repertoire for several hundred years comes to a startling realization: that the Grinning Man is in the thrall of a man once charged with bringing them to justice. For fame was once a capital crime in the secretive world of the immortal Djinn-folk, and certain of these actors bore names of such significance that they dare t use them in public even w. A sweltering midsummer is the setting and stage for this steam and gaslight-drenched fantasy of dark humor, action, and suspense, where a vibrant cast of characters is illuminated by a clairvoyant narrator whose tenuous grasp over time and space makes for a unique reading experience.