When Artemus Ackerman, retired magician and mayor of Calendar, hears about the first fire on Sabbath Street, he sends his publicist, Maggie Wakeling, to the fire department to find out what caused it.
Artemus, who still performs conjuring tricks for his constituents, has his heart set on turning the shabbily elegant Baldwin Theater into a museum of magic. All he has to do is convince wealthy widow Claudette Goodwin to donate the Baldwin to his beloved town.
But the theater is located on Sabbath Street, where that first disastrous fire occurred. Then there is a second fire on Sabbath Street - and a third....
Certain Claudette will never invest money in such an incendiary location, Artemus orders Maggie to follow the trail of char, first to Fire Marshal George Copeland, then to the Boys of Sabbath Street, who had so valiantly saved occupants from two fires. And finally to…?
Add to the mix Mayor Ackerman's romantic attraction to Claudette, Maggie's determination not to be attracted to Fire Marshal Copeland, and the idiosyncratic residents of Calendar, and the result is a happy romp through the world of fire investigation and an introduction to people you will wish lived across the street instead of only in the pages of this enchanting book.