Natalie Minks lives in rural Arcane, Missouri in 1913. Natalie’s dad owns a bicycle repair shop. Natalie loves to go there and tinker with mechanical things. Natalie and her Dad have even built a custom bicylce out of hand picked parts.
Arcane is located near a country crossroads that is the setting of some mysterious local legends. When a travelling medicine show passes through, one of their wagons loses a wheel at the crossroads so Jake Limberleg’s Nostrum Fair and Technological Medicine Show comes to town.
At any other time the town would be skeptical of the medicines sold by the show, but since a neighboring town has been struck hard by the flu, Arcane is willing to give Jake Limberleg the benefit of the dought. Natalie, being a mechanical, logical kind of person, is determined to find out whether Jake is for real. Natalie is determined because her Mother is sick and if there is hope that Jake can help, she wants to know.
By concealing herself and observing Dr. Jake and his helpers in action, Natalie discovers some odd things about Dr. Jake, including the set of miniature mechanical toys he owns that are tiny replicas of the people appearing in his show…tiny mechanical machines that do not have a wind-up key – the creepy little toys move with power Natalie can’t figure out. The more Natalie observes, the more she realizes that Dr. Jake’s methods & cures have some very creepy, sinister strings attached. If Natalie can’t find a way to expose who Dr. Jake really is, her town is in terrible danger. Some cures just aren’t worth the price. Author Kate Milford
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