I enjoyed it. Not a great book, but a good book. The main story is that of a callow backwater journalist looking to write the obituary of a local professor. The suspicious lack of information he uncovers pushes him to dig deeper, until things start getting weird. Interleaved with this story are historical short-short-stories regarding the theft of unusual items of alchemical significance. Could it all be related? Will our journalist ever find out what's really going on? Yes and no.
Enjoyable, but it never quite gelled, and the climax is more of a pffft than a bang.