Scholarly, literarily inclined Piper Dickerson inherits her grandmother's Victorian cottage, an acre of land, and a large library. While the library looks to her as an opening into a career as a fantasy writer, the backyard actually is an opening into the realm of Faerie. One of Piper's first Faerie encounters is with Aerlvarim, a compellingly attractive elf, and later she meets urban-fantastical dwarves, wizards, and so forth. Yet as Piper's grandmother's death begins to look mysterious and then sinister, Faerie comes to seem not wholly benign. Without knowing exactly who are friends and who foes, and possessed of only the magical knowledge she can scrape up out of the library, Piper has to unravel the mystery, preserve her and her friends' lives against unseen enemies, and struggle for peace between the human and fairy worlds.
Eccentric Circles is a novel by Rebecca Lickiss, in which Piper inherits a house whose back door opens to the Magical Land of Fairy and has to figure out what her late grandmother had to do with this land... and how it might have led to her death.
- The Butler Did It: Brought up in a discussion of murder. Malraux says it's the butler or husband; Aelverim counters that Grandma was a widow and had no butler.
- Commonality Connection: Africa, Piper's blue-eyed blond cousin, and Sherlock, her black husband actually got to Meet Cute over this. He invoked trope on their Ironic Names, explaining that "Sherlock" means "the blond one."
- Dream Weaver: Figwort uses dust on Piper to trap her in an obviously symbolic dream. He appears too, but she can scare him off with the dust that still is in the dream room of her house.
- Honorary Uncle: "Grandmother Dickerson" even to Aelverim.
- Ironic Name: Africa, Piper's blue-eyed blond cousin, and Sherlock, her black husband actually got to Meet Cute over this. He invoked Commonality Connection on their anti-meaningful names, explaining that "Sherlock" means "the blond one."
- Mage Tower: The wizard Larkingtower lives in one. After reality has been rewritten, Blendingstone lives there — and has for years.
- Magical Land: Fairy.
- Meet Cute: Africa, Piper's blue-eyed blond cousin, and Sherlock, her black husband. He invoked Commonality Connection on their anti-Meaningful Names, explaining that "Sherlock" means "the blond one."
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Malraux is friendly and hospitable but gruff. He later explains that he's caught in the fantasy cliche and doesn't even like mining but he's a dwarf and that's what they do.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Little winged humanoids.
- Pinch Me: Malraux, unasked, pinches Piper to establish that it's not a dream.
- Portal Door: The back door of the cottage. All you have to do is open it.
- Ret-Gone: Whatever falls into the rifts.
- Rewriting Reality: fantasy writers affect Fairy. In particular, J. R. R. Tolkien created the current elves.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: After rewriting reality, or the rift is Ret-Gone, some people remember.
- Rule of Three: Malraux cheerfully explains why there are three of them — the youth, the father figure, the old geezer.
- Unexpected Inheritance: At the will reading, Piper learns she was set up to meet the condition to get the house.
- Winged Humanoid: The Fairies.