May 1904. Coney Island's newest amusement park, Dreamland, has just opened. Its many spectacles are expected to attract crowds by the thousands, paying back investors many times over.
Kitty Hayward and her mother arrive by steamer from South Africa. When Kitty's mother takes ill, the hotel doctor sends Kitty to Manhattan to fetch some special medicine. But when she returns, Kitty's mother has vanished. The desk clerk tells Kitty that she is at the wrong hotel. The doctor says he's never seen her before, although Kitty notices he is unable to look her in the eye.
Alone in a strange country, Kitty meets the denizens of Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet. A relic of a darker, dirtier, era, Magruder's is home to a forlorn flea circus, a handful of disgruntled Unusuals, and a mad Uzbek scientist. Magruder's Unusuals take Kitty under their wing and resolve to find out what happened to her mother.
But as a plague spreads, Coney Island is placed under quarantine. The gang at Magruder's finds that a missing mother is the least of their problems, as the once-glamorous resort is abandoned to the freaks, anarchists, and madmen.
MAGRUDER'S will be released by Sourcebooks Landmark on June 7, 2016.
“It's a rare novel that manages to combine humor, tragedy, powerful friendships, outcasts, insiders, detached satire, and deeply felt emotion all in one, but HP Wood's Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet manages to pull off the trick--just don't ask how it's performed! Fascinating and deeply compelling…compulsively readable.”
--Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Daughter