When Ludlow Fitch's parents cruelly betray him, he steals away on the back of a carriage and leaves behind the stinking City. He arrives in the dead of night at a remote village, where he crosses paths with the tall and limping figure of Joe Zabbidou - a pawnbroker with a difference. For Joe trades secrets, not goods, for cash. Ludlow is employed to record the villagers' fiendish confessions in The Black Book of Secrets. Bodysnatching; thievery; murder. The people of Pagus Parvus have much to hide. But is Ludlow Fitch ready to release his own skeletons? And will he ever learn to trust his mysterious master?