Once again Alexander Key (The Forgotten Door) tries to blur the horizon between the real and fantasy worlds. Bits of exotica and a chunk of necromancy spark this mystery set in the superstitious Carolina hills. Cousins Odessa and Indonesian-American Timor are not only summer folk but foreigners, having been raised in Malaya, but oddly enough Nathaniel, a resident of this minute mountain town also speaks the recherche Malaysian tongue and it is Nat's stolen gem box which causes their friend Wiley's death and creates the mystery. Wiley, the family handyman and sometime herb wizard may be dead, but his spirit lingers and talks when sitting in the magical sassafras chair which he had carved for Timor. Only, Tim, with half his blood from the mystical East, can see Wiley in the chair, but his presence and words inspire a search for the missing box which uncovers the real thief. For a hitherto unheard of Mrs. Casey to turn up in time to save the day is not unlikely in a book which starts with the promise of Wiley giving up his ""glory crown"" in Heaven to spend five more days on earth. A fast-moving mystery with a slight over-dose of mystical contrivance.