In 2011 D.J. McIntosh took the book world by storm with her debut novel, The Witch of Babylon. Praised for its "stellar research" and "superb writing," it introduced readers to John Madison, a rakish New York art dealer with a past, who uncovered a fabulous treasure trove of antiquities in the hills outside Baghdad and the truth behind a famous story long believed to be a myth. In this highly anticipated sequel, John Madison travels to London to purchase at auction a rare seventeenth century Italian book of fairy tales for an anonymous client. Madison is warned about the book's malevolent history. Before he can deliver it to the buyer, he is robbed by a mysterious man claiming to be the book's author. When his client disappears and the book's provenance is questioned, Madison must immerse himself in the world of European artistocracy and rare book collectors. As the dark origins of certain fairy tales appear to come to life, Madison discovers that a well-loved children's story contains a necromancer's spell and points to the source of a deadly Mespotamian plague.