Tommy Tuppence assume new identities
Beresfords take possession of International Detective Agency, situated on the second floor of a building in Bloomsbury. Tommy Beresford’s alias is Mr. Blunt, Tuppence assumes the role of his confidential secretary Miss Robinson. Albert takes the role of office boy is a small outer office. They try their best to give their office a professional appearance using limited resources available.
For first few days they get nothing except request by women or men to get their partners shadowed, and other similar divorce related cases. Tommy wonders whether they are skilled enough to be competent as detectives as most of their training centered only around reading detective stories. During the discussions, Tuppence seemed to get some idea. Without elaborating much about her idea, she leaves for the hat shop. In the following days, Tommy tries to inquire about the idea without any success.
Visit from Lawrence St Vincent
Few days later, a client arrives. The team puts into effect various arrangements they planted to create an impression of a professional detective agency. The young man, after unsuccessfully attempting to conceal his identity, reveals his name as Lawrence St Vincent. The case involves a missing woman.
Tuppence takes charge of the case from Tommy. Vincent shares the information of missing girl with Tuppence. Her name is Jeanette. Se works in a Madame Violette’s hat shop in Brook Street. She went missing the previous day. He found out that she did not come for work that morning. Curious, he got the address of her house and inquired there. He found out that she didn’t arrive at her house the night before. He was skeptical that if she was all right, she would be furious if he went to police. So he came to their detective agency for help. Jeanette only drew his attention towards the advertisement of their agency few days back.
He accepts that he loves the missing girl and would ask her to marry him the next time he sees her. Sensing the opportunity, Tuppence offers him the special twenty-four hour service wherein the fees is doubled and they assign all their available staff to the case. Vincent happily accepts the service.
Tuppence collects the data of Vincent and reveals to Tommy that he is the nephew and heir of the Earl of Cheriton. If they manage to solve the case, they would get publicity at highest places. She also informs him of the twenty-four hours service she invented for double fees which irritates Tommy.
Tommy makes round of hospitals with the missing girl’s description but to no avail. He returns and informs Tuppence of no progress in the case. Tuppence, to his surprise, tell him that she never asked for his help and she has already solved the case.
Tuppence reveals that she goes to Madame Violette’s for her hats(the same place where the missing girl works). Few days back she ran across her old mate who worked in the same hat shop. Everything was fixed. Jeanette rubbed the advertisement into young Vincent and disappear. Vincent fell in love with the girl. With police eliminated as option, Vincent decided to arrive at their doorstep for help. She introduces Tommy to her old friend -Nurse Smith aka Janet. The story ends with all three of them having a cup of tea celebrating the first success of International Detective Agency.