From the diary of Hazel Wong, April 1935
The Case of Mr Curtis
Something dreadful has happened to Mr Curtis.
I am quite surprised to realize that I mind. If you had asked me this morning what I thought of him, I should have told you that Mr Curtis was not a nice man at all. But not even the nastiest person deserves this.
Of course, Daisy doesn’t see it like that. To her, crimes are not real things to be upset about. She is only interested in the fact that something has happened, and she wants to understand what it means. So do I, of course – I wouldn’t be a proper member of the Detective Society if I didn’t – but no matter how hard I try, I can’t only think like a detective.
The fact is, Daisy and I will both need to think like detectives again. You see, just now we overheard something quite awful; something that proves that what happened to Mr Curtis was not simply an accident, or a sudden illness. Someone did this to him, and that can only mean one thing: the Detective Society has a brand-new case to investigate.
Daisy has ordered me to write what we have found out so far in the Detective Society’s casebook. She is always on about the importance of taking notes – and also very sure that she should not have to take them. Notes are up to me – I am the Society’s Secretary, as well as its Vice President, and Daisy is its President. Although I am just as good a detective as she is – I proved that during our first real case, the Murder of Miss Bell – I am a quite different sort of person to Daisy. I like thinking about things before I act, while Daisy always has to go rushing head over heels into things like a dog after a rabbit, and that doesn’t leave much time for note-making. We are entirely different to look at too: I am dark-haired and short and round, and Daisy is whippet-thin and tall, with glorious golden hair. But all the same, we are best friends, and an excellent crime-detecting partnership.
I think I had better hurry up and explain what has happened, and who Mr Curtis is.
I suppose it all began when I came to Daisy’s house, Fallingford, for the Easter holidays and her birthday.