Annie Van Lew was a real child, living with her aunt in Richmond during the Civil War. The family were Union sympathizers, and were scorned by their Confederate neighbors. Local children were not allowed to play with Annie, and she was lonely. As time passed, she became aware of strange happenings in and around the house. There were papers hidden in a fireplace column, curious noises in the attic, and secret messages pin-pricked through letters in books in the family library! And why was her aunt, Elizabeth Van Lew, called "Crazy Bett, " and why did she act so strangely when she went out of the house? Why was a strange man hiding in the bushes across the street? What did it all mean? As the war drew to a close, Annie began to find answers -- answers that were very frightening!