Eleven-year-old Stanley Buggle, happily anticipating a long summer vacation in the house he inherits from his great-uncle, discovers, soon after arriving in the seemingly peaceful village of Crampton Rock, that along with the house he has also inherited some sinister neighbors, a talking stuffed fish, and a host of mysteries surrounding his great-uncle's death.
Spending the winter at Candlestick Hall, the home he inherited from his great-uncle Bartholomew, young Stanley encounters a headless ghost, a talking fish, and a female companion who joins Stanley in a battle against "deadly" pirates bent on stealing a magical family heirloom.
"A new kind of evil has darkened the doorstep of Stanley Buggles. It's the Darkling Family and they bring threats of evicting Stanley and his friends from their beloved Candlestick Hall. Could it be true? How could this strange family be the rightful owners of the old and mysterious house."--P.  of cover.
With a werewolf on the loose, a pirate doing anything he can to capitalize on the nearby gold mine, and the pike that lives in the glass case in his house is speaking to him in riddles, Stanley Buggles is nervous.