Instead of getting better, the adventures of ""Mongo"" Frederickson--dwarf, detective, N.Y.C. professor--just get longer and more farfetched. This one takes Chesbro's interest in the supernatural (which was a nice nuance in City of Whispering Stone) to grandiose excess--as Mongo tries to figure out which witches killed his writer-neighbor with a chemical fire and zapped a coma spell on the neighbor's little daughter. During his endless investigation, Mongo gets bitten by a rabid bat; sleeps with a witch (""April was offering me her wholeness, her self""); has his tarot cards read; finds two gruesomely dead bodies; frees a genuine psychic healer from prison; and uncovers a ""super-coven"" with members everywhere he turns. Plus much, much more. Chesbro can be a niftily vivid storyteller, and Mongo's a dandy character--but only those who share these guys' fascination with the Occult will follow them down this long, gnarled, silly trail.