A boy with a black cloud over him, four evil siblings, a creepy girl who dresses up like an old lady and a humongous spider.
Orlando D’Eath is not a lucky boy. He has an ill-omened name and is unlucky in life. In his new foster home, he soon realizes misfortune has followed him, as the parents, Violet and Gustav Villin, and their four children, are not as perfect as they seem.
The only person who speaks to him at school is Rebecca McMuffle, a creepy girl who dresses like an old lady and has a Violin Spider as a pet. Rebecca lives deep in the forest, in a house she shares with her taxidermist mother and many stuffed animals.
Intrigued and scared by her in equal measure, Orlando still feels safe with Rebecca – until he comes across a ginormous, eight-legged hairy secret in her attic.