Nine-year-old Alfie Blackstack's parents have met a very unfortunate end. Now he's living in the dark and cobwebby Switherbroom Hall with his mad-haired Aunt Gertie and warty Aunt Zita, who would really like to pickle him. Before long, Alfie realises his aunts aren't just the weird local chemists, they're witches! And they travel by flying vacuum cleaner!Soon the Fagan Family Circus arrives in town and Alfie makes his first friend, the fearless Calypso Fagan. But when her sister Nova disappears, they must face the Head Witch and her terrifying assistant in a race to find Nova and stop the next Witch War. Can Alfie save his new friends with a dash of magic and a big dose of bravery?