I believe this is my first Diana Wynne Jones book and it definitely will not be my last.
Howard lives with his parents, his younger sister, and a girl named Fifi. His dad is well known writer and his mother a fantastic musician. And his younger sister goes by the nickname Awful - which is very much suitable for her.
Things are as normal as can be in a household with such dynamic personalities, until a huge goon shows up. Quentin, the father, has been writing two thousand words quarterly to a fellow named Mr. Mountjoy, but this last set has gone missing. Things start to go awry when he writes a sub-par set of words and then refuses to write anymore after visiting with Archer, the person who has supposedly been receiving these words.
What this family then finds out is that their town is being run by Archer and six of his siblings, each interesting in their own way and each wanting the two thousand words for themselves. But why?
There's more to this story than meets the eye. A whole underlying plot turns up at random times, surprising the reader and making everything all the more curiouser. I enjoyed the characters of this book and really the whole crazy world that surrounded the town.