Jackson admits that he at least considered placing this story in a fictional environment. His decision to place it in history improves the story and the fun. That he did such a good job of evoking 1768 Boston helped, too.
Thieftaker is a eerie blend of the mundane (If historical) and the fantastic. In this case several characters are conjurers, not to be confused with witches—which confusion one would definitely wish to avoid given Province of Massachusetts Bay’s history for dealing with witches; real or imaginary.
Ethan Kaille is the eponymous thieftaker, but he gets involved in murder, high crimes and misdemeanors, Boston’s upper crust and underworld—mostly against his will. While he has a shady past he is a man of principles and little money. His ability to conjure contributes to his risks as well as his livelihood.
Like a salty potato chip, one leaves you wanting more.