If it weren't for the pallid presence of Inspector Septimus Finch, more faceless than ever, this tale of seances (a murdered medium), black magic, and a dark suitor (named Dominic, no less) could qualify as an out-and-out, second-rate contemporary Gothic. Louise Winter is the terrified London lass, who--while Dad is abroad--answers an invitation to visit the two aunts she's never seen. . . or known about. Elegant Aunt Meg is a-tremble because her foul felon husband has just been released from prison; mannish Aunt Grace has her own problems. And bow exactly did Meg's never-talked-about daughter really die? The aunts' secret motive for luring Louise to Hook Street is viable (just barely), but the extra baggage--creepy family retainers, faces and hands at the window--will mean a speedy evacuation by anyone who prefers to keep one small toe perched in reality while murderous fancies ensue.