This is the second Johnny Dixon novel, coming between The Curse of the Blue Figurine and The Spell of the Sorcerer’s Skull. At the Glomus mansion, a museum of art treasures collected by the late H. Bagwell Glomus, a rich eccentric, Johnny and Professor Childermass learn about a $10,000 reward for the discovery of the dead man’s will. Three items on a table are supposedly clues to its whereabout: a chess set, a Greek newspaper titled National Herald, and a battered old sign lettered YE OLDE TEA SHOPPE.
The clues seem meaningless; the riddle, unsolvable. Johnny doesn’t think of it again (much) until a series of events make him desperate for money. Determined to earn the reward, he runs away to search for the missing will and save his family.
This is the book where Johnny meets his best friend, Byron Ferguson, called Fergie “on account of nobody in their right mind wants to be called Byron.” I continue to be charmed by the characters and the 1950’s setting of this series.