About the Author
Theo Baker has had a lifelong fascination with sound. Wizened in Santa Barbara and toughened by New York, Theo has worked as a record producer, a music journalist, a sound designer, and a court reporter, amongst other odd jobs. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Read an Excerpt
We were in front of a dilapidated one-story factory building. On its roof was a giant sign with a picture of a half-eaten salami that said "Finkelstein Family Salami Factory, Established 1931." I was so busy staring at the place, thinking about all the disgusting things that must be going on in there, that I didn't notice our car had made a U-turn and pulled up in front of a filthy brick building that took up the rest of the block. It stretched seven stories into the sky with hundreds of windows that were so grimy they looked totally black. The only color at all came from a flock of ratty white seagulls perched in the crevices of the brick.Stump turned off the ignition and popped open the trunk.Hollis glared at me. “Leo, you said . . .” The rest of his sentence was drowned out by my own thoughts. Please, don't let this be the place. Please make this all go away. Please, Mom and Dad, come get us. Now! Hurry! Please . . . My mind was screaming but my face was still. The only movement I allowed myself was a sideways glance at the building. Painted in inconspicuous silver letters were the words, "Crane's Mysteries." Crane. Uncle Crane. Oh no.Stump got out and held the door open. "Out with you, kiddo. And get the little guy. The boss don't like to wait.”I took a deep breath. The smell of salami was everywhere. I held my hand out for Hollis and pulled him from the back of the limo.“Come on, chief,” I said to him, trying to sound reassuring. “We can do this.”This was it.This was home.