Gregory Maguire went out on a limb with this story, creating a completely original character for the focus of the story. It is centered around an American writer, Winifred Rudge, who makes her way to London to visit a distant cousin. After publishing a best-selling story, she is ready to begin her next novel; a story about a woman who is haunted by the spirit of Jack the Ripper.
Her cousin, John Comestor, has disappeared in thin air, his apartment in the middle of being renovated. His girlfriend proves useless in the search for John, and the downstairs neighbor is not much more of a help. The apartment is haunted by someone who resembles Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge himself. There are many other quick appearances of characters of literary history.
There are also subplots going on that I did not find necessary to the story. Instead of adding to it, they seemed to make it more difficult to enjoy.
I liked this story well enough, but it was not one of my favorites by Mr. Maguire. I have read all of his stories but one, and I find that they tend to be hit-or-miss for me. This could have been well beyond “good”, but I guess it’s like they say, “You can’t win them all!”