It was a Saturday morning and the young investigators had gathered at Alvin Donovan's headquarters as usual. It was located behind the shop that Alvin's mother owned. Once, it had been the storeroom, but she'd let Alvin take it over for his detective club. Now, the cramped, concrete-walled space looked more like a police squadroom. It had its own entrance that opened onto a car park. On a small window by the door was a big sign, designed by Chrysanthemum "Chryssie" Fallon on her computer. It announced: DONOVAN & CO INVESTIGATORS We investigate anything No case too big or too small Alvin Donovan sat at the desk, an old wooden table. He had worked lots of gel into his spiky hair. His hair was always cut very short at the sides, which seemed to make his ears stick out. And because his hair sprouted up from the top of his head, he looked a bit like a carrot. He had been checking his mobile phone for messages, but there were none. He looked at his team of investigators and rubbed his pointed chin. "We need a big case, a really baffling mystery that's too tough for the cops," he told them. "Then we can solve it, and then we'll be famous!"