When thirteen-year-old Josephine moves to Awkward Falls she can't help but snoop around the dilapidated mansion next door. She finds a little more than she bargained for when she is captured by the strange characters who live there: an ancient automaton who serves as a butler, a cat patched together with a few odd parts, and most surprising of all, a boy named Thaddeus Hibble. Meanwhile, the most feared patient in the Asylum for the Dangerously Insane is on the loose. Fetid Stenchley has escaped in the most dramatic fashion, and there is only one thing on his mind...revenge. Unfortunately for Thaddeus and Josephine, he's headed their way. Can these unlikely friends stop Stenchley before he destroys them all? Full of hilariously spooky details, surprising twists, and haunting black and white illustrations, Keith Graves delivers a suspenseful and engaging first novel. Inspired by the classic tales of Frankenstein and mad scientists, with a splash of contemporary technology, the wonderfully tense action and gory descriptions will hook boys from the start, while Josephine provides a clever and unique heroine that girls will adore.
Keith Graves is the author and/or illustrator of many picture books. His own children, thirteen-year-old twins (a boy and a girl) inspired this story.