In a Massachusetts town, an evil wizard is about to come back from the dead and a young hero must fight to stop him . . . In the days of the Salem witch trials, the sleepy hamlet of Duston Heights had just one practitioner of the dark arts: the notorious necromancer Esdrias Blackleach. As the fever for witch hunting reached its terrible peak, Blackleach was accused of using powerful black magic against his fellow townsfolk. But just before he could be brought to trial, he dropped dead, escaping justice forever. Or so it seemed . . . Fast forward to the 1950s, the inquisitive young sleuth Johnny Dixon and his mentor Professor Childermass are getting ready to donate a box of Blackleach artifacts to the local museum when a descendant of the sorcerer shows up and attempts to steal his ancestor’s wooden hand. He has a fiendish plan to raise the old necromancer from the dead, and only Johnny and the professor can stop him and make the town safe from black magic forever. The Johnny Dixon stories, from the award-winning author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls , have been acclaimed for their “believable and likable characters” ( The New York Times ) and “spine-tingling” supernatural adventure ( Publishers Weekly ).
About the Author
John Bellairs is beloved as a master of Gothic young adult novels and fantasies. His series about the adventures of Lewis Barnavelt and his uncle Jonathan, which includes The House with a Clock in Its Walls , is a classic. He also wrote a series of novels featuring the character Johnny Dixon. Among the titles in that series are The Curse of the Blue Figurine ; The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt ; and The Spell of the Sorcerer’s Skull. His stand-alone novel The Face in the Frost is also regarded as a fantasy classic, and among his earlier works are St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies and The Pedant and the Shuffly. Bellairs was a prolific writer, publishing more than a dozen novels before his untimely death in 1991.
Brad Strickland has written and cowritten forty-one novels, many of them for younger readers. He is the author of the fantasy trilogy Moon Dreams , Nul’s Quest , and Wizard’s Mole , and the creator of the popular horror novel Shadowshow. With his wife, Barbara, he has written for the Star Trek Young Adult book series, for Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? book series, and for Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (Pocket Books). Both solo and with Thomas E. Fuller, he has written several books about Wishbone, public TV’s literature-loving dog. When he's not writing, he teaches English at Gainesville College in Gainesville, Georgia. He and Barbara have two children, Amy and Jonathan, and a daughter-in-law, Rebecca. They live and work in Oakwood, Georgia.