When the orphanage he called home burns to the ground, 14-year-old Leo and his three friends turn to larceny, using as their textbook Harry Houdini's The Right Way to Do Wrong: An Expose of Successful Criminals for survival. Leo proves to be a most gifted pickpocket, but when he is cruelly betrayed by his gang, he abandons the life of crime to become the apprentice of a has-been magician named Barzini. With Houdini s help, Barzini is staging a comeback, complete with an improved variation on the bullet catch trick made famous by his arch enemy, Chung Ling Soo. He wants more than to outshine his old rival; he is out for revenge. As Leo struggles to escape his dangerous past, he must confront the possibility that his new mentor may be even more dangerous. This spellbinding mystery chronicles the coming-of-age of a resourceful young man who must refashion his destiny amid murder and misadventure in the golden age of mystery."