Second in a series featuring aphorism-spouting Ben Franklin as detective, his 12-year-old illegitimate son Nicolas as his amanuensis, and London of the mid-1700's. Here, sweet Cassandra Fairbrass beseeches Mr. Franklin to rout the late-night ghost who has her father's face and who stalks the family house--and her father's not even dead! Is it an omen? A West Indian poison soon does Mr. Fairbrass in; someone drops a sprig of rosemary on the corpse; and the man's creditors--from a rigged gaming hall--promptly converge on the widow, who adamantly fends off Franklin's attempts to help her. Undaunted, Ben takes samples of everyone's fingerprints; chats up the family banker, the Jewish jewel merchant, the toy purveyor; beats off a passel of cutthroats; and solves the case when he unravels the relationship between a sea captain, a blackamoor, and Fairbrass's twin, Lemuel, supposedly off in the Caribbean. Overly simple and often cliched (that twin!) but filled with period color, including the prevailing racist attitudes.